The Winhawk girls swim and dive program earned their first dual meet win of the season against Albert Lea, 95-77. It was a great win and many events included new season and personal bests. The coaching staff is very proud of the girls and is looking forward to the next few meets where the team should be very competitive.
The night started with a strong 200 medley relay where Winona Senior High School (WSHS) took first and third. In first place was the team of Lauren Whyte, Grace Miller, Carolyn Macon, and Mary Hoffman with a time of 2:01.52. In third was the team of Anna MacLennan, Emily Robison, Tara Ziegeweid, and Harper Wolner with a time of 2:12.44.
WSHS girls rocked the 200 freestyle and finished first, second and third. Leading the pack was Kaylee Niemeyer, who touched first in 2:13.00, just barely ahead of Lauren Whyte in 2:13.52. Finishing in third and crushing a new season and personal best was Anna-Lee Landers in 2:21.40.
The 200 individual medley was another extremely well-swam event and again the Winhawk girls finished first, second and third. Finishing in first was Anna MacLennan with a time of 2:38.55, and just a fingernail length behind her was Emma Hanson who touched second in 2:38.61. Emily Robison came in third with a time of 2:45.63!
The 50 freestyle is always a quick and fun-to-watch race! These girls went up against one of the fastest girls in the section: Emily Taylor. Taylor placed in the top five in the 50 freestyle last year at the Section 1A Meet. The Winhawks were happy to finish second and fifth in this event. In second was Mary Hoffman with a time of 26.89, and in fifth was Jillian Foss at 29.13.
Diving continued to be one of the team’s strongest events and the girls certainly did not disappoint as they again finished first, second and third. Winning the event was Issara Schmidt with 240.65 points. In second was Morgan Walker with 190.50 with Anna White right behind her in 185.55.
Butterfly was a very good event for the Winhawk girls as it featured some of their future strength against one of the strongest swimmers in the Big 9 and Section in Jaeda Koziolek. Koziolek is an incredible individual medley swimmer with strengths in butterfly and backstroke. She again did both of those in very impressive times. Koziolek won the butterfly in 1:03.79. The Winona girls gave their best, finishing just behind Koziolek in second, Carolyn Macon 1:06.99; third, Tara Ziegeweid, 1:14.07; and fourth place, Harper Wolner, 1:22.73.
WSHS raced to first, second, and fifth places in the 100 freestyle. Leading the charge was Mary Hoffman with a time of 59.09; right behind Mary was Grace Miller with a time of 1:00.91. Fighting for fifth (missing fourth place by just .6) was Jillian Foss with a final time of 1:07.06.
The 500 freestyle was the “Kaylee Niemeyer and Lauren Whyte show.” Both girls swam almost the exact same pace for 500 yards and finished in first and second position, respectively, with times of 5:53.70 and 5:54.12. This was a fantastic race for the two teammates as they pushed each other to drop roughly five seconds each! Finishing in third was Francesca Schewe with a time of 6:40.86. Schewe was battling an injury but still showed up, giving her best and earning the team some much needed points.
The event that really solidified the Winhawk win was the 200 freestyle relay. WSHS finished in first place with a time of 1:52.33, earning eight points from the 200 freestyle relay, bringing their score to a grand total 95 points. After 94 points earned, a team usually exhibitions out the remainder of their events to keep the overall meet competitive. For the rest of the races, they did not score the individuals from the team; however, they deserve to be mentioned, as they had some great races!
Second, Carolyn, 1:08.84
Third, Anna MacLennan, 1:11.96
Fourth, Emma Hanson, 1:12.19
Second, Grace Miller, 1:18.04
Personal season-best, Emily Robison, 1:20.44
Personal season-best, Anna-Lee Landers, 1:29.66
400 free relay
Kaylee and Tara got out to a big lead, and then it was up to Lauren and Carolyn to anchor the relay. They may have anchored the event, but they swam like speed boats and both of them finished in under 1:00 for their 100s. For each the boys and girls Winhawk swim teams, team sweatshirts are awarded to those who achieve 100 freestyles in under 1:00. Lauren Whyte already had one, but Carolyn Macon earned hers as she finished her 100 free in 59.97 seconds. This tradition traces back almost 30 years.
This was a great meet; this team swam hard, raced even harder, and earned the win. It’s hard work, day in and out, that has been the difference this year. With a team so young, it would be easy to say it’s a rebuilding year, but this team is not looking or acting like a rebuilding team — they are a young, fiercely determined, and strong group of young women ready to battle the toughest opponents and teams in the Big 9 and Section.