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Gators look to only get better

Team award winners from Gator girls’ swimming and diving were (from left) Kate Folkman (MVP), Emma Zosel (Gator Award), and Maria Gallegos (Hardest Worker). Not pictured Katie Ohren (Most Improved).

Brooke Kern, Sun Tribune

The Morris/Minnewaska gator swim team wrapped up their season on a positive note, sending a swimmer to state.

The Gators finished the regular season 4-4. The best record in Gator history.

“That’s the best we have ever done,” Head coach Anita Nelson said. “This is only my second year coaching, but from my understanding that’s never happened before.”

Along with their best regular season record, the Gators swam for another first in history, placing third in the West Central Conference meet.

“Getting first in the conference meet is also something that has never happened before,” Nelson said. “That was very exciting.”

Other accomplishments the Gators had this season were placing sixth at True Team, ninth at sections, and sending swimmer Lacey Entzi to state.

Entzi was the lone state qualifier for the Gators, and placed sixteenth in the 500-yard freestyle. “She was the only seventh grader in all of the top 16,” Nelson said. “She swam really well.”

Kate Folkman was named MVP for the Gators at the Fall Sports Banquet on Nov. 4 and for good reason, too. Folkman participated in sections in four events. The 400-yard freestyle relay made up of Folkman, Bridgitte Weaver, Entzi, and Meghan Thoen placed seventh and medaled at the section meet on Nov. 9.

“Kate was a good leader and a good point-turner this season,” Nelson said at the Fall Sports Banquet. “She brought some good out-touching swims when we needed the points to win our meets.”

Emma Zosel, a newcomer this season, stepped up a ton her first year out. Zosel was named co-captain with Ashley Homme and was the recipient of the Gator Award at the season-end banquet.

“Emma did very well for her first time out,” Nelson said. “She really stepped up a ton from day one, both my captains were awesome.”

Coach Nelson had nothing, but positives to say about this years season.

“We had a fun season,” Nelson said. “It was so fun.”

A lot of young girls came out this year, and that means the future looks bright in the Gator pool.

“We have a very young team, and that’s exciting,” Nelson said. “Because that means the stats [we saw this year] will just get better.”

“I think we are going to see some good things from some of our swimmers next year,” Nelson said. “I’m excited about it.”

Brooke Kern

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