The Winona Winhawk girls swim and dive program had a huge home meet win against a young Austin Packer team. The final score was Winona 96, Austin 84. Lots of girls stepped up again and Winona won all but two events!
The night start out with a very good 200 medley relay where the girls finished first and third. Winning the event was the relay team of Lauren Whyte, Grace Miller, Carolyn Macon, and Mary Hoffman with a time of 2:02.31. In third place was the relay team of Anna MacLennan, Bailey Olson, Tara Ziegeweid, and Harper Wolner with a time of 2:09.55.
The 200 freestyle saw two Winona girls lead from the start with nearly the exact same splits! In first place with 2:14.49 was Grace Miller; in second was Carolyn Macon with 2:14.75. Winona also earned fifth place in the event with a great swim from Anna McCormick at a time of 2:23.87.
The 200 individual medley continued the momentum for the Winhawks as they took first, third, and fourth. Winning the event was Kaylee Niemeyer with a time of 2:31.57. In third place was Emma Hanson with 2:38.56, and right behind her in fourth was Bailey Olson with a time of 2:43.18. For all three girls, these times were near-season or personal bests.
The 50 freestyle has usually been one of the teams higher scoring events, but it came up just a bit short this time. Mary Hoffman was Winona’s lead swimmer and, unfortunately, she was out-touched at the finish, 26.89 to 26.97. The team also placed fourth in the event as Anna-Lee Landers posted a 29.88.
Diving was another jaw-dropper and this time Issara Schmidt and Morgan Walker dove their way to a 1-2 finish! Issara scored 208.15 and Morgan scored 200.20. Anna White struggled with one dive but nailed the others as she placed fourth for the strong diving squad. White scored 145.05.
The Winhawks began the second half of the meet with a come-from-behind win in the 100 butterfly. Carolyn Macon was nipping at the heels of Austin’s Molly Garry, but at the third turn and coming home on the last 25 yards, Macon turned on the jets and squeaked out a win, 1:06.53 to Garry’s 1:06.99. There were also two great races from Tara Ziegeweid and Ryka Parsi, who respectively took third and fourth in times of 1:14.77 and 1:20.52.
Mary Hoffman took charge of the 100 free from the start and didn’t look back. She won the event convincingly with a time of 58.33. The real race was for second, third, and fourth. Ninth graders Emily Robison and Anna-Lee Landers, battled Austin’s Madelynn Murley but came up a bit short, settling for third and fourth. Both times were personal bests, Robison with a 1:03.03 and Landers with a 1:03.56. Murley must have had longer fingernails than those girls as she finished with a 1:02.94.
From one great race to another, the 500 freestyle was the Kaylee Niemeyer show as she led from the get-go, winning in 5:58.21. The best racing however was for second place. Seventh grader Harper Wolner battled Austin’s Taya Kuchera from the dive. Each 50 the girls eyed each other, neither giving up an inch to the other. In the end, Wolner’s daily hard work and persistence paid off as she touched for second in 6:20.33, .08 seconds ahead of Kuchera’s 6:20.41.
The 200 free relay was another to-the-nail finish with Austin touching in first with a time of 1:51.87. The Winhawks were right behind them in 1:52.13. That was the relay team of Grace Miller, Tara Ziegeweid, Kaylee Niemeyer and Mary Hoffman. Winona also took third place with the relay team of Anna-Lee Landers, Bailey Olson, Anna McCormick, and Harper Wolner at a time of 1:58.58.
The 100 backstroke has been Lauren Whyte’s forte for years. She won with a new season best, coming close to her best time from last year, 1:07.27. At this point in the meet, the Winhawks had achieved 94 points and exhibitioned the remaining events. (Once you hit 94 points, the other team cannot score enough points to win; therefore, it is considered good sportsmanship to exhibition the score and take the win then.) If the event had been scored, they would have placed third and fourth as Anna MacLennan touched in 1:12.57 and Emma Hanson touched in 1:12.88.
The 100 breaststroke was a fun, close race with Grace Miller and Bailey Olson chasing Molly Sheehan from Austin. The Winhawks placed second and third: Olson with a 1:18.10 and Miller with 1:18.83. Sheehan was just a bit ahead with a 1:16.53.
And the last event, the 400 free relay, saw Winona take first and second place. Winning the event was the relay team of Kaylee Niemeyer, Tara Ziegeweid, Carolyn Macon, and Lauren Whyte with a time of 4:08.84. In second, just ahead of Austin’s A Relay, was the Winhawk B relay of Emma Hanson, Ryka Parsi, Harper Wolner, and Anna-Lee Landers with a time of 4:26.10.