Too close for comfort

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 26, 2001

MANKATO – It was closer than coach Jon Schmitz would have liked.

Wednesday, September 26, 2001

MANKATO – It was closer than coach Jon Schmitz would have liked. But it was a win. And he’ll take it.

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Schmitz’s Albert Lea High School girls’ swimming and diving team overcame a 14-point deficit in the final three events to rally past Mankato East 94-92 in a Big Nine dual meet at Mankato Tuesday.

&uot;We’ll take it,&uot; said Schmitz. &uot;It was an up and down, very, very close meet. We picked up way too many sixth places; that’s why it was so close. East really swam a great meet.&uot;

The Tigers also sustained an injury when junior Chelsea Cole twisted an ankle and was sidelined for the second half of the meet.

Albert Lea won seven events.

Alyssa Nelson, Carly Matheson, Cole and Amy Leach combined for first in the 200-yard medley relay. Laura Grund, Leach, Brooke Kaasa and Lonna Vanderploeg clocked 4:08.27 in the 400 free relay, but it was good for first when East’s foursome – which clocked 4:07.85 – was disqualified.

Two Tigers won a pair of individual events. Grund took the 200 individual medley and the 100 freestyle, Kaasa the 200 and 500 freestyle.

Leah Matheson won the 100 breaststroke.

Other Albert Lea places: Rachael Hagen, fifth, 200 free; Leach, second, 200 IM and second, 100 back; Matheson, third, 200 IM; Krista Horejsi, fourth, 50 free and second, 100 breast; Laura Hillman, third, diving and fifth, 50 free; Kassi Gaul, fourth, diving; Nelson, third, 100 butterfly and fourth, 100 back; Linnes, fourth, 100 butterfly; Vanderploeg, third, 100 free; Brittany Kaasa, fifth, 500 free; Kaeli Wayne, third, 100 back; Megan Austin, fourth, 100 breast.

The win improved the Tigers to 2-4 in dual meets.

The junior varsity lost 104-62. The lone first was by Jennifer Osmundson in the 200 IM.

The Tigers are off until next Tuesday, when they travel to St. Peter for a nonconference dual meet.