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A.L. falls to Mankato West

The Albert Lea girls’ swimming and diving team welcomed the Mankato West Cougars to town Thursday night for a Big Nine Conference showdown.

Coming into Thursday’s matchup, the Tigers were still looking for their first victory of the season. Unfortunately, they will have to wait just a bit longer, as the Tigers fell to the Cougars, 97-77.

Jaeda Koziolek finished in second place in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:27.73, three seconds behind Mankato West’s Sarah Patenaude. Emily Jensen finished fifth in the race for the Tigers with a time of 2:51.11.

Once again, Albert Lea’s Emily Taylor was strong in the 50 freestyle. She took first place in a time of 25.98. Lexie Simon finished fifth in a time of 29.14 and Jill Peterson took sixth with a time of 29.58.

In the one-meter diving event, Albert Lea’s only diver, Natalie Nafzger, had a strong showing. She came in second place with an overall score of 145.60.

Jensen and Simon came in fourth and fifth in the 100 fly with times of 1:20.41 and 1:26.69, respectively.

Alana Skarstad was Albert Lea’s best performer in the 100 freestyle, coming in third with a time of 1:02.15. Lydia Boorsma came in fifth and Emma Grossman finished in sixth with times of 1:02.71 and 1:05.25, respectively.

In the 500 freestyle, Eperanza Johnson came in fourth place with a time of 6:59.70 and Odelia Jensen finished in 7:26.64 for fifth place.

The team of Taylor, Peterson, Simon and Skarstad won the 200 relay event by three seconds over Mankato West. The foursome finished with a blazing time of 1:54.70.

Taylor took first in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:11.58, and Koziolek took second in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:06.78.

Albert Lea will travel to Northfield Tuesday.

Start time for the meet is scheduled for 6 p.m.