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Mound Westonka-Holy Family Girls Swim and Dive broke multiple school records at state championships Nov. 15 and 16. The state team, from left: Annie Springer, Annabelle Elsner, Ellen Ries, Ava Kittleson, Zella Lucas, Jaylyn Storm, Kate Johnston and Alyssa Bourdon (Submitted photo)

The Mound Westonka-Holy Family White Hawks sent eight swimmers to the state championships held Nov. 15 and 16 at the University of Minnesota Jean K Freeman Aquatic Center. The team qualified for the state meet in all three relays, and two swimmers qualified in three individual events. The team walked away from this meet with three new Mound Westonka school records, five new Holy Family school records and with two relays and one individual in the Minnesota Top 8 earning All State honors. The team placed 10th of 46 teams.

Preliminaries were held Nov. 14. Only the top 16 in each event advance to finals, so the pressure was on. Swimmers who place in the Top 8 at prelims get to swim in the championship heat, and they are guaranteed to place in the Top 8 at finals. Swimmers who place ninth through 16th at prelims qualify to swim in the consolation heat at finals, and they cannot advance any higher than ninth place even if they get a faster time than someone in the championship heat.

Two relays made the championship heat and advanced in the Top 8 at finals. The Top 8 are awarded medals and are recognized on the podium. They also receive All State honors and will be invited to the All State banquet in the spring.

The 200 freestyle relay team of Jaylyn Storm, Annie Springer, Ellen Ries and Alyssa Bourdon broke a school record for Mound Westonka and Holy Family at prelims with a time of 1.39.45. This team placed seventh at finals, earning them All State honors.

The 400 freestyle relay team of Ava Kittleson, Ellen Ries, Annie Springer and Zella Lucas also broke school records for both Mound Westonka and Holy Family in prelims with a time of 3.38.12. This team went even faster at finals, earning themselves seventh place and All State honors with a time of 3.37.85.

The 200 IM Relay team of Annabelle Elsner (backstroke), Kate Johnston (breaststroke), Zella Lucas (butterfly) and Jaylyn Storm (freestyle) set new records for Mound Westonka and Holy Family with a time of 1.50.21. They were out touched by two teams by .14 and .15 seconds and missed getting all state honors by one place, placing them ninth in prelims. Even though they won the consolation heat and swam faster than two of the Top 8 teams at finals, they were not able to place higher than ninth place because they were in the consolation heat. Last year this team placed 17th in the state.

Senior Annabelle Elsner earned her individual spot in finals in the 100 backstroke. At the section meet, Elsner broke Shae Braden’s Holy Family record set in 2015. Elsner swam even faster at the state meet and broke her own Holy Family school record with a new time of 59.57, earning her 13th place.

Ninth-grader Zella Lucas earned her individual spot in the Top 8 in the 100 fly and 500 freestyle. Lucas broke her own Holy Family school record in the 100 fly (56.16) and earned all state honors by placing fifth at finals. Lucas also placed second at prelims in the 500 free. Unfortunately, Lucas was disqualified in the final heat due to a false start.

This marks the end of the season for the Girls Swim and Dive team. They will be meeting one last time to hand in their parkas and vote for team awards and next year’s captains. The team will be celebrating their record breaking season at the banquet at the Lafayette Club Saturday, Dec. 7.

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