Albert Lea sends four to state

Published 6:03 pm Friday, November 10, 2017

ROCHESTER — The Albert Lea girls’ swim team punched its ticket to the state meet in multiple events Friday afternoon at the section finals in Rochester.

The Tigers had swimmers in the championship finals of five events, and four of them will move on to state.

The first event saw the team of freshman Jaeda Koziolek, junior Emily Taylor and seniors Natalie Nafzger and Lydia Boorsma take fifth place in the 200-yard medley relay. Although they didn’t place in the top-two to automatically advance to state, their time of 1:53.64 beat the state-qualifying time by just over one second.

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Koziolek would grab her second state berth with a fourth-place finish in the 200-yard individual medley. Again, Koziolek was able to come in under the state-qualifying time by .21 seconds with a time of 2:16.18.

Emily Taylor would come just short of getting another event to the state meet in the 50-yard freestyle. Taylor would finish in fifth place with a time of 25.01, just .07 seconds above the time that would have sent her to state.

The next event the Tigers participated in was the consolation race of the 200-yard freestyle relay. The team of seniors Jill Peterson, Lexie Simon, Emma Grossman and Lauren Bizjak finished with a time of 1:51.81, bettering their prelim time by .54 seconds.

Koziolek would notch her third state meet opportunity with a second-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke. She swam the race in exactly one minute, which sets a new record for the Albert Lea girls’ swim team. Boorsma competed in the consolation portion of the race, and took first place with a time of 1:05.39.

Taylor would get her retribution in the next event, as she grabbed a second-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke. She finished with a time of 1:08.1, which was better than her prelim time by almost two seconds.  

The last race of the day saw the team of Koziolek, Nafzger, Taylor and Peterson race in the consolation final of the 400-yard freestyle relay. The team cruised to a first-place finish with a time of 3:57.85.

Head coach David Voller talked about the team’s performance after the meet.

I’m so proud of this team and how hard they worked all season,” he said. “Watching them accomplish their goals and seeing how excited they were, not only the girls on the relay, but the team, means a lot.

“For the girls, it’s what they worked for all season.  All the morning and Saturday practices paid off for them. They worked hard all season and you could tell how excited they were after the race when they saw their time.  It’s a big deal for them and we still have work to do once we get to state.”

Albert Lea swims in four events at the Minnesota state high school meet, which starts at noon next Friday. The meet will be at Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center on the campus of the University of Minnesota.

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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