The Maple Grove girls’ swimming and diving team recorded many season best times to become the Section 8AA runner-up at a meet that gets faster every year.
Following prelims, the Crimson returned 27 of 32 individual swims, three divers, and all three relays to finals. The Crimson 200 Medley Relay team of juniors Erin Buck and Emily Sjolander and seniors Molly Hebzynski and Kristina Rudin set the tone for the team from the very first event as they finished third with a time that qualified for the state championships.
In the 200 freestyle, Buck raced to a first place finish and her first individual state cut of the meet. Freshman Rose Gallagher placed third while freshman Alyssa Haram and sophomore Alaina Dabson placed 13thand 14th.
In the 200IM, three Crimson swimmers placed in the top 16: freshman Anne Rouleau stood in fifth place on the podium, and juniors Sjolander and Rosie Garvey swam to 14th and 16th place finishes.
In the 50 freestyle, the Crimson earned their next individual state berth as Rudin sprinted to first place. Freshman Hennessy Locsin placed seventh, junior Sarah Dill came in 12th, and senior Edyn Isaacs placed 14th. In diving, two Maple Grove divers scored in the top 16: senior Lauren Biorn placed sixth and eighth grader Hannah Kreye finished in 13th.
In the 100 butterfly. Hebzynski raced to a second-place finish and a state qualifying time. Senior Vivian Nguyen touched the wall fifth and Dabson finished 16th.
In the 100 freestyle, Rudin earned her second individual section championship, touching the wall more than three-tenths of a second ahead of her closest competitor. Locsin placed eighth, while Gallagher and Dill raced to 12th and 13th place finishes.
In the 500 freestyle, all four Crimson swimmers placed in the top eight; freshmen Gabby Rengel, Rouleau, and Haram, and sophomore Sutherland Ingall stood on the podium in fourth, fifth, seventh, and eighth places, respectively.
In the second relay of the night, the 200 freestyle relay, the Crimson team of Gallagher, Dill, Locsin, and Hebzynski fought to a third-place finish, just missing the state qualifying time.
Buck touched the wall first in every 100 backstroke race this season and this meet was no exception. Buck earned her second section championship with a time that was nearly two and a half seconds fasted than the second-place swimmer. Garvey and Isaacs placed 11th and 15th in the event.
In the 100 breaststroke, Sjolander placed eighth, while seventh grader Sammy Soller raced to ninth place.
In the last race of the meet, the Crimson 400 freestyle relay team of Locsin, Hebzynski, Rudin, and Buck not only won the event and qualified for state, but also set a new pool record. The previous record had stood since 2009 when it was set by the Crimson team of Elaine Boosalis, Lauren Kessler, Buck, and Tess Behrens.
The Crimson now advance to the State Championships Nov. 18-20 at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.