Tigers excel at sections, send 5 to state meet (updated)

Published 12:46 pm Saturday, November 13, 2010

Albert Lea's Galen Schulz swims the final portion of the 100 yard freestyle finals Friday night during the Section 1A finals at Ellis Middle School. --Eric Johnson/Albert Lea Tribune

AUSTIN — The Albert Lea girls’ swimming and diving team took part Friday in the Section 1A finals in Austin.

During section finals, the top eight finishers earn a medal and it’s the only time a swimmer can earn a trip to the state swim meet by either finishing in the top two or swimming a state-cut time. By the end of the night, the Tigers had quite a few medal winners and five state qualifiers.

The night started out strong for the Tigers as the 200-yard medley relay team of Galen Schulz, Morgan Field, Amy Horejsi and Lindsey Horejsi took third place and qualified for state with a time of 1 minute, 55.12 seconds. It was a nail biter with only 3/4 of a second separating second through sixth place.

Albert Lea's Lindsey Horejsi swims in the 200 yard IM finals during the Section 1A finals Friday night at Ellis Middle School in Austin. --Eric Johnson/Albert Lea Tribune

“This relay had a three second drop to make it to state,” Albert Lea head coach Jon Schmitz said. “They really did a great job.”

In the 200-yard individual medley, seventh-grader Lindsey Horejsi had a season-best swim to finish in third place with a time of 2:19.25, just shy of a state-cut time.

Morgan Field had a personal best swim to finish in ninth with a time of 2:26.00 and Bailey Sandon ended in 16th place with a time of 2:33.99.

Schulz brought home a sixth place finish in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 25.74 seconds and Amy Horejsi finished in a tie for 13th with a time of 27.04 seconds.

It has been since 1991 that the Tigers have sent a diver to the state meet, but that dry spell ended Friday.

Karli Kriewall finished in second place with a score of 338.60.

“She had a solid last round to maintain second position,” assistant coach Jill Johnson said.

Senior Amy Horejsi had a personal best swim in the 100-yard butterfly to finish in fourth place.

“It feels good to have my best time on my last swim, but at the same time I am sad I didn’t make it to state (in the butterfly),” Horejsi said.

Carly Nelson, an eighth-grader making her first appearance at sections, swam to a 15th place finish in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 1:13.11.

Schulz had another sixth place finish in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 57.04 and seventh-grader Anna Anderson had a season-best swim to end in 13th place with a time of 59.55 seconds.

“We were disappointed that our 200-yard free relay didn’t make it to state” said Schmitz. “The girls have worked hard and we really wanted to see them at state.”

The relay team, made up of Schulz, Lindsey Horejsi, Field and Amy Horejsi, finished in sixth place with a time of 1:45.44.

In the 100-yard backstroke, Bailey Sandon had a 16th place finish with a time of 1:11.65.

“We are proud of our breaststrokers,” said Schmitz. “They have dominated all season and deserved to win tonight.”

Lindsey Horejsi is the new section champion in the 100-yard breaststroke. She led everyone in with a time of 1:10.66.

“The feeling is unexplainable,” Field said. “It feels awesome that all my hard work has paid off.”

Morgan Field continued the 1-2 trend with a time of 1:11.47. Both girls advance to the state meet and are the only individual event qualifiers for the Tigers.

The 400-yard free relay saw some changes for the section meet.

“We lost two of our fastest freestylers from that relay,” said Schmitz.

Kemma Bergland couldn’t swim at sections due to an injury and since she was a member of the 200-yard medley relay team also, that position needed to be filled.

To fill the medley relay, the coaches pulled Lindsey Horejsi from the 400-yard free relay, leaving two open positions.

“It gave a couple of other hard working girls on our team a chance to medal,” Schmitz said. “Hannah Hertling and Sandon filled in and they did a great job for us. They earned a spot on the podium.”

The relay, made up of Hertling, Sandon, Anderson and Whitney Rasmussen finished in sixth place with a time of 4:07.68.

The state swim meet runs Nov. 18-20 at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.