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Opdahl to swim for Gators at State Meet

The 400 free relay team of Bridgitte Weaver, McKayla Smith, Paige Entzi, and Bridget Opdahl broke the school record with a time of 3:53.08.

MORRIS, Minn. -- The Section 6A preliminaries were held Friday at the RFC in Morris. Many Gators swam that night with several advancing to Saturday's finals.

The 200 medley relay team of Paige Entzi, Mason Schlief, Bridget Opdahl and McKayla Smith cracked the top eight, which landed them in championship finals for Saturday with a four-second time drop and two spots improvement.

In the 200 Free senior Alexis Banister continued her fine season and finished her career with her personal best in this event with a 2:21.17 and placed 30th overall.

Freshmen Bridgitte Weaver also achieved her personal best in this event with a 2:14.73 and finished 22nd overall.

In the 200 individual medley, Paige Entzi qualified for the consolation finals in this event and was seeded 13th.

Colleen Rutledge had an outstanding swim and dropped nine seconds and swam a lifetime best of 2:52.39.

In the 50 free senior McKayla Smith swam a personal best and finished 22nd overall with a 27.07. Junior Bridget Opdahl advanced to the championship heat of the 50 final with a chance of earning a trip to state. She swam a personal best with a 24.82 in prelims and will have to duplicate that or better to go to state. The qualifying time is 25.13. She was seeded fourth behind Tarin Anding of Sartell, Amanda Warzecha of Melrose, and the University of Wisconsin bound Whitney Weisz of Little Falls, who broke a pool and section 6A record with a prelim time of 23.65.

In the 100 butterfly Amanda Thompson placed 29th and swam a personal best in this event with a 1:24.08.

In the 100 freestyle Banister had another fine performance and earned her best time with a 1:04.65. Weaver continued her awesome day with a two-second time drop in this event and finished in a tie with a time of 1:00.90 and placed 22nd.

In order to get into the consolation finals she needed to swim faster than a 58.99.

"It was one of the fastest 100 frees for this section that I have ever seen," said coach Linda Hoffmann.

Opdahl continued her blistering speed by swimming a 54.94, almost 1.5 seconds from her seed time. She was seeded fifth and needed a 55.29 to earn a trip to state.

In the 500 free eighth grader Halleigh Thompson and Rutledge continued their fine swims with personal bests in this event. Thompson finished 36th with a time of 6:47.41 and Rutledge with a 35th place and a time of 6:45.52

The 200 freestyle relay team of Julie Helander, Smith, Banister and Weaver was seeded 10th in the consolation finals. The relay swam a personal best time.

In the 100 back Paige Entzi made it to the championship finals, seeded fourth with a time of 1:04.93 and had a three-second time drop from conferences. She needed a 1:03.59 to qualify for state.

In the 100 breaststroke Amanda Thompson dropped a second and had a personal-best time in this event and placed 17th and missed out on the top 16. Eighth grader Mason Schlief finished 18th and had a great swim also. Both gained valuable section swim experience for future years.

Senior Maddy Pesch of St. Cloud Cathedral/ St. Johns Prep broke the section and pool record in this event with a time of 1:06.41

The 400 free relay team of Weaver, Smith, Entzi and Opdahl were seeded fifth with a time of 3:55.02. They advanced to the championship finals.

During Saturday's championship finals, three new school records were set.

The 400 free relay team of Bridgitte Weaver, McKayla Smith, Paige Entzi, and Bridget Opdahl finished in 3:53.08, breaking  the old record set in 2010 by Barsness, Johnston, Entzi, and Opdahl of 3:54.58.

Bridget Opdahl broke the school's record in the 50 and 100 free with times of 24.68 and 54.46, respectively, and qualified for the state meet.

Opdahl will swim on Friday and Saturday at the Class "A" state swim meet at the U of M Aquatic Center. Prelims will start at noon Friday and finals at noon on Saturday. Opdahl hopes to crack the top 16 in the 50 and 100 free this year.

"These two events have gotten so much faster in the last three years, so it will be interesting to see," said Hoffmann.