Albert Lea swimmers start strong at sections

Published 12:07 pm Thursday, November 13, 2008

Eight Albert Lea swimmers and one diver moved on to the finals Wednesday at the preliminaries of the Section 1A meet at Austin Ellis Middle School.

The Tigers had a brilliant showing in the 100-yard breaststroke as Gracie Thomas, Bria Schreiber and Morgan Field finished 1-2-5 in the event. Thomas and Schreiber swam personal bests and came in under state cut times.

Thomas won the event with a time of 1 minute, 11.68 seconds, besting the state cut time of 1:12.62 by nearly a second. Schreiber was just behind Thomas with her time of 1:11.70 and Field had a time of 1:15.44.

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“Those were two huge swims,” Albert Lea head coach Jon Schmitz said. “They’re really dominating.”

Taking first in the breaststroke was important for Thomas. She’s missed out on the state meet the last two years in the event. She made the state cut time in her prelim swim last season, but missed out in the final by.22 seconds. Thomas will still have to finish in the top two or come in faster than the state cut time to advance to state for the first time as an individual.

The 200 medley relay team of Amanda Walters, Thomas, Amy Horejsi and Galen Schulz, finished second at the prelims with a time of 1:55.93, two seconds below the state cut time and three seconds faster of its seed time.

“The medley relay looked good,” Schmitz said. “We had some trouble on walls on that one, which we’ll correct.”

Walters advanced to the finals in the 50 and 100 free. She finished fourth in the 50 with a time of 25.58 just off the state cut time of 25.41. Walters had the best prelim time in the 100 free with a time of 54.44, bettering her seed time by .45 seconds.

“Amanda in the 50 is going to be much better,” Schmitz said. “I just see her winning that.”

The 200 free relay of Walters, Schulz, Schreiber and Horejsi, which qualified for state last season, finished third with a time of 1:44.52.

“We know that that 200 freestyle relay is going to be a whole different story,” Schmitz said. “We know we want to win that.”

Schulz moved on in the 50 and 100 free with an eighth-place prelim time in the 50 and a sixth-place finish in the 100.

The 400 free relay team of Schreiber, Kim Nelson, Field and Makayla Walters also made the finals with a sixth place prelim time of 4:12.65.

Karli Kriewall also advanced to the finals in 1-meter diving with a prelim score of 192.70.

Schreiber will swim in the consolation finals in the 200 free after coming up just shy of the finals with a ninth-place finish. Field and Thomas are in the consolations in the 200 individual medley, Horejsi is in the 50 free consolations. Makayla Walter made the consolations in the 100 fly. Jasmine Hanson and Rachel Gould also made the consolation finals. They will compete in the 500 free.

The section finals for swimming events begin at 7 p.m. Friday at Austin Ellis Middle School. The top two swimmers from each event advance to state and those that swim faster than the state cut time in the finals.


200 medley relay: 2. Amanda Walters, Gracie Thomas, Amy Horejsi, Galen Schulz 1:55.93. 200 freestyle: 9. Bria Schreiber 2:08.19, 17. Rachel Gould 2:15.79, 21. Jasmine Hanson 2:17.93. 200 individual medley: 13. Morgan Field 2:32.35, 15. Thomas 2:33.99, 17. Makayla Walters 2:34.75. 50 freestyle: 4. Amanda Walters 25.58, 8. Schulz 26.03 15. Horejsi 26.66, 34. Mary Wangen 30.08. 100 butterfly: 12. Makayla Walters 1:07.51, 18. Kim Nelson 1:11.45, 20. Horejsi 1:12.11. 100 freestyle: 1. Amanda Walters 55.44, 6. Schulz 57.42, 22. Kemma Bergland 1:03.39, 25. Whitney Rasmusen 1:04.58. 500 freestyle 11. Hanson 6:01.76, 13. Gould 6:06.94. 200 freestyle relay: 3. Schulz, Amanda Walters, Schreiber, Horejsi 1:44.52. 100 backstroke: 20. Bergland 1:15.94, 22. Rasmusen 1:17.94. 100 breaststroke: 1. Thomas 1:11.68, 2. Schreiber 1:11.7, 5. Field 1:15.44. 400 freestyle relay: 6. Schreiber, Nelson, Field, Makayla Walters 4:12.65.