Swimmers shine at section

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 9, 2002

AUSTIN &045; After the preliminaries of the Section 1A Girls’ Swimming and Diving Championships, the prospects for the Albert Lea Tigers getting anyone to state did not appear good.

They blew those prospects out of the water.

Samantha Cole qualified for state in two events and the Tigers just missed in two others while setting a school record in Friday night’s finals at Ellis Middle School in Austin.

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&uot;The girls showed up to swim with determination and did outstanding,&uot; said first-year head coach LaChelle Sandon. &uot;It was an awesome meet.&uot;

Red Wing won with 412 points, followed by Austin with 373.5, Northfield 331, Mankato West 290.5, St. Peter 214, Farmington 198, Albert Lea 153, Mankato East/Loyola 131 and Waseca 54.

Samantha Cole, a seventh-grader, beat the state qualifying time in the 50 and 100-yard freestyle, taking fifth in the 50 in 25.46 seconds and ninth in the 100 in 56.6.

Cole and her sister Chelsea, along with Brooke Kaasa and Lonna Vanderploeg, narrowly missed the state cut while placing fifth in the 400 freestyle relay. But their time of 3:52.02 broke the school record.

The other near miss was by Leah Matheson, who took third in the 100 breaststroke in 1:12.85. The state standard is 1:11.89.

The Tigers were seventh in the 200 medley relay and seventh in the 200 freestyle relay.

Other Albert Lea places: Vanderploeg, 12th, 50 free, 26.94; Brooke Kaasa, 13th, 27.24; Kassi Gaul, 16th, diving, 207; Chelsea Cole, 12th, 100 butterfly, 1:07.89 and 11th, 100 backstroke, 1:09.38; Kaeli Wayne, 13th, 100 backstroke, 1:09.98; Krista Horejsi, sixth, 100 breaststroke, 1:14.5.

Non-scoring places: Emily Wirkus, 20th, 200 free, 2:15.15 and 22nd, 500 free, 6:18.29; Rachael Hagen, 22nd, 200 free, 2:15.82 and 17th, 500 free, 6:12.17; Wayne, 20th, 200 IM, 2:33.64; Jill Wilkie, 25th, 200 IM, 2:36.96; Matheson, 27th, 200 IM, 2:37.84; Whitney Walters, 18th, 50 free, 27.85 and 22nd, 100 free, 1:01.37; Rachel Foster, 28th, diving, 72.75; Alyssa Nelson, 20th, 100 butterfly, 1:11.89 and 20th, 100 back, 1:11.78; Jackie Elwood, 26th, 100 butterfly, 1:16.04; Brianna Gold, 32nd, 100 butterfly, 1:21.86; Brooke Kaasa, 17th, 100 free, 59.39; Brittney Kaasa, 18th, 500 free, 6:14.24; Amy Leach, 22nd, 100 back, 1:12.46; Mariah McGill, 23rd, 100 breast, 1:12.02; Megan Austin, 27th, 100 breast, 1:22.81.

The state meet is Friday and Saturday at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis.