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Editorial: Exceptional swim team has 2 more home meets

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Albert Lea residents have a unique opportunity this fall.

We have a chance to witness the Albert Lea girls’ swimming team — a group that features some of the best swimmers in the state and nation — compete in two more home meets this season.

This year’s senior class led the Tigers to a fifth-place finish at the Class A state meet as sophomores and third place as juniors. The pool is overflowing with talent.

The remaining home meets for head coach Jon Schmitz’s crew will be at 6 p.m. Oct. 1 against Rochester Century and at 6 p.m. Oct. 8 against Mankato East. Drop by the pool and support the swimmers and coaches.

Senior Lindsey Horejsi grabs most of the headlines — and deservedly so as a national champion, state champion and state record holder in multiple events — but the Tigers have more than one elite athlete.

Including Horejsi, the Tigers return four state champions and seven state qualifiers. It will be exciting to watch them compete.

Last year at the state meet, Horejsi broke the 1-minute barrier in the 100-yard breaststroke and the 2-minute barrier in the 200 individual medley to take gold and set all-class state records in both events. She was also part of the state-champion 200 medley relay team. The only event Horejsi didn’t win was the 200 freestyle relay, where the Tigers were the state runner-up.

Senior sprinter Anna Andersen was a state champion in two events — the 50 freestyle and 200 medley relay — and a state runner-up in two events — the 100 freestyle and 200 freestyle relay.

Ahnika Jensen and Bailey Sandon, both seniors, swam the other two legs of the state-champion 200 medley relay. Jensen also competed in the 50 freestyle, 200 freestyle relay and 400 freestyle relay. Sandon swam the 100 backstroke, 200 IM and 400 freestyle relay.

Seniors Haley Simon and Samantha Nielsen also competed at state along with freshman Emily Taylor.

Mark your calendars for the Section 1A meet on Nov. 11 and 13 and the Class A state meet from Nov. 18 to 20 to watch the hard work pay off for our hometown athletes.