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The Waconia girls swimming and diving team went into their final meet of the conference season with just one loss, taking on a one loss Chanhassen team. The Wildcats swam well as they had all season long, coming up just shy of the win in a 97-89 contest. On senior night, Waconia’s three seniors won five individual events, while the ‘Cats won all three relays, but the Storm’s depth proved to be too much.

The 200 yard medley relay team of Jerica Warrington, Ella Swanson, Abigail Voelker and Julia Bartell started the Oct. 26 meet with a winning time of 1 minute, 52.44 seconds to give the Wildcats an early boost.

“Our A medley relay started the meet off with a bang, winning the event and almost breaking our own pool record in the process,” said coach Ashley Westphal.

To no one’s surprise, the 100 backstroke served as the highest scoring individual event for the Wildcats. Warrington, Claire Canfield and Laura Stockinger finished first, third and fourth. Warrington out-touched Avery Luedke from Chanhassen by 0.08 seconds to win the event with a time of 58.62, while Canfield posted a time of 1:05.14 and Stockinger finished with a time of 1:06.85.

In another exciting race, senior Ella Swanson won the 100 breaststroke by a slim margin of 0.17 seconds, finishing with a top time for the season (1:12.82).

With a strong showing, Waconia had a chance to split the meet in the final event, needing to go 1-2 in the 400 freestyle relay in order to tie.

“Even though we knew it would be a bit out of reach, the ‘A’ relay turned in our best 400 freestyle relay time of the season with Julia Bartell coming from behind on the anchor leg, beating Chanhassen by less than a second,” said Westphal.

The team of Warrington, Canfield, Bartell and Jordyn Grotbo posted a time of 3:42.73 in the 400 freestyle relay.

Waconia also won the 200 freestyle relay, as the team of Voelker, Canfield, Grotbo and Amalia Schaefer posted a winning time of 1:45.98.

Bartell won both the 50 and 100 freestyle events with time of 24.45 and 53.58, Warrington won the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:58.76 and Voelker won the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:01.62.

Waconia finishes their inaugural season in the Metro West Conference with a 7-2 record. Their overall record was 7-4 and included losses to Delano, Hutchinson, Orono and Chanhassen. Three of those teams are top 10 teams in Class A, while Chanhassen competes in Class AA. With the regular season finale completed, the Wildcats look toward the section meet.

“It was a great meet to end our regular season with,” said Westphal. “We were lucky to end with a highly competitive dual in front of a loud crowd. This helps us gear up for sections on Nov. 11 and 13 in Willmar.

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