From: Chris Mayer, head coach

The Winona Winhawk ladies swim and dive program had a great week as it won three dual meets, two on Tuesday versus Black River Falls, Wis., (126 to 37) and the co-op team of Onalaska, Holmen, Aquinas, Galesville, Ettrick, and Trempealeau (88 to 86), and one Thursday versus Red Wing, Minn. (95 to 91). These were some close meets as the girls have been training very hard in preparations for the end of the season, which is just around the corner.

Thursday’s meet versus Red Wing was tight for the entire meet. Harper Wolner, Emily Robison, Abby Williams, and Ava Pike took the win in the medley in 1:59.86 minutes. Ava hopped out of the water after the 200 medley relay and then dove right back in for the 200 freestyle, winning the race in 2:14.35. Maddie Modjeski was right behind her, taking second in 2:15.40. Our girls went 1-2 again as Anna MacLennan swam a new personal best in the 200 individual medley, notching a 2:26.61 time. Grace Nelson continues to hold her times and took second with her 2:32.67.

Red Wing has always had stellar sprinters, and Teegan Beyers continues their sprinting dominance as she won the 50 free in 26.17 seconds. Williams was up for the challenge of taking on Teegan, but fell just a bit short as she took second in 26.86. Emily swam a fast race and took third in 27.63, and Erica Ruppert picked up the valuable fifth spot in 29.43.

The divers gracefully fell into first and fifth place, as Ayanna King won the meet with her 166.35 points and Ashlyn Full picked up fifth with her 101.15-point performance. After diving, the score was 43-35, and the meet would stay close.

Wolner used the power of her underwater dolphin kicks to propel herself to the win in the 100 butterfly, notching a new personal best 1:07.49 time. Hanna Benter picked up fifth place with her 1:21.43. We lost a little ground, 50-44.

Pike took on Teegan in the 100 free, but fell just a bit behind at the end as Teegan won in 57.37. Ava was second in 59.18 seconds, .04 ahead of third place. Anna MacLennan picked up fourth for us in 59.69. This was a fun, close race to watch. The score tighted to 56 to 54, with Winona still in the lead.

Nelson swam another great performance in her 500 freestyle. Just off last week’s best of 5:57, she finished second in 5:58.17. Maddie took third with her 6:04.98. Red Wing tied the meet at 63.

Emily, Abby, Ava P., and Anna Mac won a tight 200 freestyle relay, as they swam a collective 1:47.08 time, beating Red Wing by less than a second and taking the lead back 71-69.

Abby and Harper both swam fast 100 backstrokes, Abby taking second in 1:07.73 and Harper third in 1:08.16. However, Red Wing tied the meet back up, 78-78.

Robison gave us the win in the 100 breaststroke with her 1:14.81 finish, and Benter picked up the valuable fifth spot (1:31.65), but Red Wing took the lead 87 to 85 with the last race remaining.

At this point, we knew we had some firepower left, but we wanted to give the girls a little pep talk and get them fired up to win the meet. Our A relay knew they needed to have safe starts and go for the win, but our B relay were the ones with the pressure. They needed to have safe starts, swim their best, and try to beat Red Wing’s B team. If they did, it would earn us the win.

Our A relay, consisting of Modjeski, Nelson, MacLennan, and Wolner, notched the teams’ best 400 freestyle time this season, winning in 4:00.01 minutes. Grace Nelson also achieved Minuteman status with her 59.97 swim. Congratulations, Grace, and welcome to the club.

Like Atlas carrying the world on his shoulders, the B relay stepped up and crushed the event, taking third and earning us the win, 95 to 91. There was no doubt in my mind they would rise to challenge and all four girls had great swims. Erica Beckman lead the relay, Ruppert was second in the water, Anna McCormick had the important third role, and Ava Koopman threw down the anchor to finish at 4:17.40. What a great way to end a fun meet with awesome competitors.