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Taking their talent to the twin cities

Erin Todd, Staff Writer

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On November 17, ten Mayo swimmers, one diver, and three coaches loaded a bus that would take them to the fastest high school meet yet. After an immensely successful season, the girls were ready to go all out for their final meet.

Top (left to right): Bryn Carlstrom, Erin Todd, Ella Thompson, Gretchen Dowdy, Lindsay Turner, Madi Dejong Bottom (left to right): Sophie Alfred, Kasey Erickson, Anna Cook

The 200 freestyle relay consisted of Kasey Ericson, Bryn Carlstrom, Lauren Wood, and Ella Thompson, and they were ready to swim. The 400 freestyle relay included Gretchen Dowdy, Lindsey Turner, Kasey Ericson, and Ella Thompson. The individual qualifiers in the 500 yard event, Kasey Ericson, and section champion, Lindsey Turner, were equally excited to be competing at State for their senior year. Section champion in the one meter diving, Isabella Lichen, was prepared to show off her incredible diving skills in one of the largest diving wells in Minnesota. The Mayo Girls’ Swim and Dive team was ready for the State championships.

The State Championship meet was held at the University of Minnesota natatorium in Minneapolis. Swimmers usually consider it a “fast pool,” meaning the records and swimmers from the U of M are consistently improving and getting faster. Even with the daunting records looming over them, the Mayo girls were not intimidated. Junior Lauren Wood says, “State is literally just so fun. No matter what happens, it’s just crazy to be at such a fast pool with your teammates.” The aquatic center has three pools, one for dives, one for races, and one for warm-ups. The meets started at 6:00p.m both Thursday and Friday, and went until approximately 8:45. It was a long meet.

The atmosphere at the preliminary meet was anxious and excited, with hundreds of girls determined to make it to finals. Every girl was walking hurriedly in their kneeskins (fast technical suits that go down to the knee), and every coach was rushing around figuring out logistics. The first event for Mayo was the 500, the longest high school event. Lindsey Turner was in the first heat, and beat her personal record, qualifying for finals. Kasey Ericson, who competed in the last heat, also dropped her time, and made it in the top 16, qualifying for finals. The 200 freestyle relay had a phenomenal race, with a time of 1:40.50. The 400 freestyle relay finished at a time of 3:38.33. They earned 17th place, heart-wrenchingly close to coming back to finals. Even though the relays didn’t make it back to finals, they had an extremely successful season filled with improvements, fun, and fast times.

After plenty of pizza, and a good night’s sleep, the Spartan swimmers were ready to tackle another race day. Arriving at the pool, there was already a buzz of intensity. This was the fastest meet of the year for many swimmers, and everyone was determined to perform their best. At the diving event, dozens of girls competed. Isabella Lichen was among them. She executed her complex dives with accuracy, precision, and grace. Lichen landed 8th place overall, which is incredible, since she was competing with every other diver in the state. Turner and Ericson warmed up and were ready to go. In a gripping five and a half minutes, Turner and Ericson had one last chance to prove their speed in their high school careers. Ericson swam a time of 5:09:55, grabbing 12th place. Turner, in another time drop, went a 5:06.71, getting 10th place. Both Ericson and Turner were proud of themselves, and the team. Although their high school swimming career is over, both girls plan on swimming in college, and will no doubt excel.

The season is officially over for all girl swimmers, and the winter season is upon us. Minnesota is home to many talented and speedy girls, who get recruited for colleges, break school records, and even go to Olympic trials. The Spartan State qualifiers have proven again that they belong right up there among the best.  

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Taking their talent to the twin cities