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The Willmar Cardinals Medley-Relay qualified for the Class A State Meet by going under the State Entry time in the opening race of the Section 3A Swimming and Diving Meet at Willmar High School on Saturday.

Willmar, Litchfield swimmers gain State

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WILLMAR  — The Willmar Cardinals will send two relays teams the the Minnesota state swimming and diving meet while sisters Kennedy and Alycia Holwerda also advance in individual events after a big day in their home pool.

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The Litchfield Dragons, too, swam large at the Section 3A finals on Saturday. Senior Marissa Warren won the butterfly and placed second in the backstroke and will also swim on the Dragons’ qualifying 200-medley relay team.

The Cardinals’ 200-free quartet missed the state time standard by .02 of a second, though they could take satisfaction that their time was a season-best by two full seconds.

Senior Kennedy Holwerda didn’t win the 50 freestyle, as she did in prelims in a career-best 24.72. But she wasn’t far off in the finals, swimming a 24.90, good for third and well inside the state entry time of 25.04. Alycia took second in the breaststroke.

Kennedy said she was concerned if she could repeat her one second drop from her prelim seed time. But she was “on” again, remarking after the race “I’m so happy. Qualifying in an individual event was a goal.”

Cardinals coach Carl Shuldes said that, at this stage, mental preparation becomes the difference between sparring and delivering a knockout punch.

“Physically they are prepared by all the training and work they had done for the last 3 months,” Shuldes said. “It’s usually a question of being mentally sharp. That was the difference in all of the big time drops that we had. They were ready to swim fast.”

The qualifying 200-medley unit of Miranda Kuchta, Alycia and Kennedy Holwerda and McKenna Olson dropped three seconds. They placed seventh but undercut the state entry time by 1.41 seconds.

The 400-relay dropped an incredible 11 seconds to finish third. The team was 3.54 seconds under the state entry time. Marin Fischer led off, followed by Anna Backes, Kuchta and Kennedy Holwerda.

Besides each relay, Shuldes listed 24 individual personal-bests swam either in prelims or the finals. In addition, diver Olivia Welsh posted a personal best 207.

Dragons shine

Litchfield senior Marissa Warren won the butterfly in 57.18 and was runner-up to Jessica Stangret of Waconia, who swam a pool-record 58.51 in the backstroke. Warren touched out at 1:00.02.

Anika Ellingson placed third in the 100 breaststroke in 1:08.14. Those two were on Litchfield’s third-place 200-medley relay with Emma Ridgeway and Sydney Weires. They finished in a qualifying time of 1:51.63.

The Class A State Meet for swimmers is Nov. 19-20, both days at noon, at the Aquatics Center on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis.

Team scores

(1) Hutchinson 364 (2) Orono 305 (3) Chaska 270 (4) Dassel-Cokato 239 (5) Waconia 213 (6) Willmar 167 (7) Litchfield 152 (8) Marshall 147 (9) Mound Westonka 126 (10) Holy Family Catholic, Victoria 111 (11) Montevideo 85

Key: State qualfiers in bold … Willmar, Litchfield, Montevideo results

MEDLEY RELAY – (1) Hutchinson 1:50.87 (2) Orono 1:51.19 (3) Litchfield: Emma Ridgeway, Anika Ellingson, Marissa Warren, Sydney Weires; 1:51.63 (4) Holy Family 1:52.55 (5) Dassel-Cokato 1:52.66 (6) Chaska 1:53.03 (7)Willmar: Miranda Kuchta, Alycia Holwerda, Kennedy Holwerda, McKenna Olson; 1:53.31  … (9) Montevideo: Meghan Mortenson, Lexi Quigley, Baylee P:auling, Abby Grussing; 2:03.89

200 FREESTYLE – (1) Elisa Burgstahler, DC, 1:55.78 (2) Kyle Vermeire, Mar, 1:57.33 (3) Caitlin Papke, Hut, 1:59.58 …. (14) Anna Backes, Wil, 2:07.84  

200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY – (1) Sam Norton, Orono, 2:08.00 (2) Erin Hawker, Hut, 2:12.38 (3) Shea Braden, HF, 2:13.76 (4) Taylor Beynon, Wac, 2:15.12 … (7) A. Holwerda, Wil, 2:21.36 (8) Ellingson, Lit, 2:21.53

50 FREESTYLE – (1) Peyton Ristau, Cha, 24.49 (2) Annika Sherek, Oro, 24.88 (3) K. Holwerda, Wil, 24.90 … (13) Pauling, Mtv, 26.51 (14) Marin Fischer, Wil, 26.52

DIVING – (1) Caitlin Latt, DC, 333.70 (2) Rachel Haugen, Hut, 323.90 (3) Nicole Hennen , Wac, 230.70 ()4) Beth Mayfield, DC, 303.70 … (7) Allyssa Parker, Mtv, 237.95 (8) Alex Hansen, Mtv, 235.80 (13) Olivia Welsh, Wil, 207.75 (16) Svea Ellingson, Lit, 194.30 (17) Magen Vlaminck, Wil, 142.35

100 BUTTERFLY – (1) Marissa Warren, Lit, 57.18 (2) Haley Cassens, Hut, 59.02 (3) Shea Braden, HF, 59.79 (4) Alison Tallen, Oro, 1:01.03 (5) Ashley Dunn, Mar, 1:01.76

100 FREESTYLE – (1) Burgstahler, DC, 52.62 (2) Olivia Travis, DC, 54.69 (3) Carly Peterson, Oron, 54.79 (4) Caitlin Papke, Hut, 55.12 …. (7) K. Holwerda, Wil, 55.41 (15) Kucta, Wil, 57.62

500 FREESTYLE – (1) Vermeire, Mar, 5:16.50 (2) Beynon, Wac, 5:24.18 (3) Emei Thompson, Oro, 5:24.80 … (7) Weires, Lit, 5:32.56 

200 FREESTYLE RELAY – (1) Orono 1:39.53 (2) Hutchinson 1:39.97 (3) Willmar: Fischer, Backes, Cassie Lankenau, Olson; 1:42.82 …. (8) Montevideo: Annie Agrotis, Rylee Schultz, Quigley, Katie Osman; 1:51.17

100 BACKSTROKE – (1) Jessica Stangret, Wac, 58.51* (2) Warren, Lit, 1:00.20 (3) Erin Hawker, Hut, 1:02.41 … (6) Weires, Lit, 1:03.34 (12) Ridgeway, Lit, 1:04.77 (14) Moira Revier, Wil, 1:05.35

100 BREASTSTROKE – (1) Samantha Norton, Oro, 1:05.46 (2) A. Holwerda, Wil, 1:07.93 (3) Ellingson, Lit, 1:08.14 (4) Bri LaVelle, HF, 1:09.49 (5) Mackenna Stuber, Hut, 1:09.60 (6) Michaela Larson, Cha, 1:10.05 …. (8) Kelsey Wattenhofer, Lit, 1:011.77 (12) Hannah Arnold, Wil, 1:16.22 (15) Erin Zondervan, Wil, 1:17.59

400 FREESTYLE RELAY – (1) Hutchinson 3:39.45 (2) Dassel-Cokato 3:41.14 (3) Willmar: Fischer, Backes, Kuchta, K. Holwerda; 3:43.91 Chaska 3:44.35 (5) Mound Westonka 3:45.66 …. (9) Montevideo: Osman, Nikki Feldhake, Kyra Follen, Pauling; 3:56.32 (10) Litchfield: Alyssa Raiber, Sarah Schmidt, Brylee Stenmark, Ellingson; 4:03.43

*Pool Record.

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Rand Middleton

Covers Willmar and area high schools and Ridgewater College, plus amateur baseball, stock car racing and fitness events in summer. Writes weekly column since 1980. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 

(320) 214-4334
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