• 70°

Albert Lea swimmer heads to Day 2

Tigers compete in state tournament, 1 will compete in consolation round

MINNEAPOLIS — The stage can’t get any bigger.

Thursday kicked off the preliminary round of the 2016 Minnesota state girls’ swimming and diving meet. Albert Lea was lucky enough to have two individuals — Emily Taylor and Jaeda Koziolek — to make it to the big dance.

Taylor made it in two races — the 50-yard freestyle and 100 breaststroke — and Koziolek made it in the 100 backstroke. Both had their eyes set on making it to today’s finals.

In order to advance, their times had to be there. Unfortunately, the two Tigers swimmers faced heartbreak, but also had some success Thursday at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.

Taylor was the first to compete in the 50 freestyle. Taylor posted a time of 25.13, which was a bit slower than the 24.87 she posted at the Section 1A meet on Nov. 11 in Rochester. The time put Taylor in 24th out of 26th place. While she finished near the bottom, she was one second behind second place and .70 seconds from making the finals.

Taylor would rebound in the 100 breaststroke, where her time was good enough to make it to the consolation round. She came in 15th place with a time of 1:09.27. She was a little more than a second behind Hutchinson’s Mackenna Stuber for the final spot in today’s finals.

Koziolek, an eighth-grader, just missed out on a consolation spot in the 100 backstroke. She finished with a time of 1:01.32, which was .05 off the pace for a spot in the consolation round. Ogilvie’s Jenna Williams claimed the final spot. Koziolek finished in 17th place. She finished two seconds back from a spot in the finals.

Taylor will swim at noon today during the state swim meet at the University of Minnesota.