The Winona YMCA Winfins sent 18 athletes to the 2018 Minnesota YMCA State Championship meet on Sunday afternoon at the University of Minnesota Natatorium. The Winfins competed in 27 individual events and six relay events. Mary Hoffman placed first in the 15 and over 200 freestyle and Kyler Ernst placed first in the 13-14 200-yard backstroke. The 15 and over 200-yard freestyle relay of Kyler Ernst, Brooke Rolbiecki, Elle Lettner, and Mary Hoffman placed first, beating the second place Southdale YMCA Sharks by over five seconds with a finish time of 1:49.51.
Mary Hoffman medaled in all her individual events and helped bring home the first place finish in the girls 15 and over 200-yard freestyle relay. During her first place finish in the 15 and over 200-yard freestyle, Hoffman dropped over six seconds from her sectional qualifying swim, touching the wall at 2:05.46. This was followed by a third place finish in the 15 and over 50-yard freestyle with a 26.55 and a third place finish in the 15 and over 200-yard IM with another five second drop from her sectional qualifying time to get a 2:24.99.
Kyler Ernst earned two state championship medals in the girls 13-14 200-yard backstroke and the girls 15 and over 200-yard freestyle relay. In the 200-yard backstroke, Ernst left nothing to chance, finishing in 2:23.23, over five seconds before the second place finisher. This was Ernst’s first time winning an individual state event and her third time winning a relay event.
Brooke Rolbiecki took first in the girls 15 and over 200-yard freestyle relay and second in the 15 and over 100-yard breaststroke. Being the final Winona swimmer of the meet, Rolbiecki made sure the team finished on a high note, breaking the 1:20 mark for the first time this season in her 100-yard breaststroke, touching at 1:19.51.
Winona’s final top finisher was nine-year-old Aubrey Ebersold. Ebersold started the meet with a fourth place finish in the 25-yard backstroke at 21.78, narrowly missing a third place spot by .04 seconds. She then finished her last individual event, the 25-yard butterfly, in second with a lifetime best of 20.17.
Nine swimmers, Aubrey Ebersold, Kyler Ernst, Mary Hoffman, Elle Lettner, Brooke Rolbiecki, Claire Rolbiecki, Johanna Rupple, Cordel Ruppert, and Erica Ruppert have already hit the pool again to train for the regional meet in Des Moines, Iowa. This meet brings some of the top swimmers from Midwest who have met ambitious time standards. The rest of the team is resting until the start of the summer season and Stroke Clinic beginning in May.