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The Spartan swim and dive team took third place at the MSHSL Section 3A 2020 meet. (Submitted photo)

The Orono Girls Swim and Dive team ended their season on a high note with a 3rd place finish at the MSHSL Section 3A meet on Oct. 23-24.

On Friday, Oct. 23 in Willmar, junior divers Makena Rasmussen and Sophia Capece successfully defended their first and second place Section 3A titles from 2019, which qualified both for the State Meet, with scores of 427.20 and 380.35. Callie Brown and rookie eighth grade diver Delilah Tate also represented Orono with Tate placing 13th with a score 226.15. Rasmussen was also awarded Section Diver of the Year!

The swimmers competed on Saturday, Oct. 24 in Hutchinson, and every single one of the 32 individual swims was a season best time. Those swimming performances combined with the diving dominance led Orono to a third place team finish, up from fourth place in 2019.

Orono would have sent two individual swimmers and two relays to the cancelled State Meet. Sophomore Hailey Ball qualified in the 200 IM (2:12.19) and 500 Free (5:17.78) and fellow Sophomore Skye Thalhuber qualified in the 100 Breast (1:09.47). The 200 Medley Relay qualified for State with a time of 1:51.76 thanks to Sophomore squad Kaelyn Knutson, S. Thalhuber, Ball, and Addie Thalhuber. The 200 Free Relay team of K. Knutson, A. Thalhuber, Caroline Close (11) and Mallory Knutson (8) achieved a State-qualifying time by just 0.01 seconds.

Other Top eight performances at the Section Meet included an eighth place 200 Free of 2:02.24 by Lila James (9), K. Knutson’s seventh place 25.65 50 Free and eighth place 1:03.54 100 Back, and A. Thalhuber’s 8th place 55.85 100 Free and fourth place 1:09.76 100 Breast.

A few weeks earlier, Orono’s JV swimmers had their season-culminating meet when the Spartans were hosted by the New Prague Trojans. Orono kicked off the meet by winning the JV 200 Yard Medley Relay. Lola Schottler (7), Olivia Monger (9), Sofie Dyvik (7) and Kate Albers (12) finished in 2:24.48. Orono swept the JV 50 Free when Jasmine Ural (12), Ainsley Kaufman (8), and Albers took the top three spots. In the JV 100 Fly, Sydney Sloneker (8) and Brooklynn Wilson (9) tied for first with matching personal best times of 1:15.10. Sloneker also went on to win the JV 100 Back with a lifetime-best of 1:15.37. The JV 500 Free was a tight race, with Audrey James (11), Lola Schottler (7), and Sofie Dyvik (7) all touching within two seconds of each other for first, second and third. In the JV dive competition, Jadyn Herrera (8) placed fifth with a score of 99.10 and Delilah Tate (7) scored 118.6 for third place. At the varsity level Callie Brown (8) placed sixth with a score of 108.40. Makena Rasmussen (11) and Sophia Capece (11) swept first and second place respectively with scores of 222.65 and 185.35. The JV swimmers capped off their season with a win in the JV 400 Free Relay by A. James, Dyvik, Nora Redding (9) and Katherine Springmeyer (7) to bring home a big win.

Congrats to all the Orono swimmers and divers for a great season!

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