by MATTHEW DAVIS
Rebel freshman and senior pair to compete at state
Champlin Park swimmers Elise Magalis and Gina Grandner have taught each other plenty and will take one more challenge as they represent their school at next week’s state meet.
“I think Gina’s going to the Olympics,” Magalis said. “She’s fast, a very naturally gifted swimmer.”
Grandner reached state in her first varsity season as a freshman. She had help from her senior teammate and team captain in growing as a varsity swimmer this season.
“She would always push me in practice,” Grandner said.
The Rebels senior has seen her freshman teammate emerge this season with quick speed in the pool. Grandner qualified for state in her first varsity season as a freshman. She won the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1 minute, 57.33 seconds in the finals.
“She had the lead pretty much the whole way,” Thiel said.
Elise Magalis also qualified in second-place with a time of 2 minutes. She will make her second trip to state.
“Competing against her was pretty cool because we both wanted to go to state, and we did that together,” Grandner said about Magalis.
Grandner also won the 500-yard freestyle in a time of 5:16.25. She improved her time by seconds from the preliminaries (5:21.75). She beat McKenzie Johnson of Blaine (5:17.21) by a second. Magalis came in at fifth.
Both reached state by finishing first or second, so they will need to hit the state qualifying times at state in the preliminaries in order to advance to the finals.
“They have a pretty good chance that they’re going to do that, but they’re going to have to swim best times,” Thiel said.
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