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Swim/dive Gators splash into new season

The swim/dive Gators of Minnewaska/Morris/Chokio-Alberta splashed into a new season on Friday, Aug. 27, in the Willmar Invitational

The team now has 55 total members.

"Before the pairing we had difficulty filling a roster," co-coach Becca Hennessy said. "We are now able to fill each lane in each event and have a full roster.We definitely have more depth than before the pairing."

The team goes by the MAHS initials (initials that are used to denote both Morris Area and Minnewaska Area

MAHS had a #8 showing in the Willmar Invitational Highlights included these section qualifiers:

Becky Korth (200 IM, time of 2:41.92) and 100 back (1:10.97).

Sam Jipson: diving.

Alison Moore: 200 IM (2:44.98) and 500 free (6:39.1).

Melissa Koos: 100 breast (1:21.62).

Many of the Gators swam with better times than last season.

"We had a great start to the season," co-coach Kris Entzi said. "We're looking forward to the rest of the year and the possibilities."

The diving coach is a familiar face in area swimming, Tara Schmidt, and she noted that "we have only one senior diver, but there are many young up-and-coming divers."

She reported eight divers total on the roster.

"Its fun to watch their progress," she continued. "Many of the JV divers are close to six dives."

Hennessy concluded that "for a first meet as a paired team, it was nice to see the support between team members. This was a high-energy meet, fun to be part of. It was nice to see the section competition. There was tough competition with Sartell, St. Cloud Tech and Willmar."

In addition to the section qualifiers, these notable swims were turned in:

Kelsey Raasch: She cut five seconds in the 100 free.

Lisa Suckstorff: She posted her best time of 2:47 in the 200 free.

Holly Henriksen: Best times of 2:48.87 in the 200 IM and 1:17.77 in the 100 fly.

Caroline Van Luyk: 200 IM (3:26.49).

Melissa Kirsch: 100 back (1:32.34).

Nicole Valnes: 100 breast (1:34.47)

Hadley McIntosh: 100 back (1:33.0).

ON SEPTEMBER 1 action continued for the swimming/diving Gators, in a dual against Willmar.


Holly Henriksen: 100 fly (1:16.36).

Lexi Ekren: 100 back (1:16.87).


Elissa Terhaar swam a superior time over last year with her 1:37.75 clocking, in her first meet of the season.

Elise Silver: 100 breaststroke (1:29.54).

JV swimmer Emily Larson did her first 500 freestyle.

"There was a 19-second drop for Kelsey Raasch in the 500 free (7:47.36). There were great 100 freestyle times by JV swimmers Laura Moe (1:13.67) and Jen Buchanan (1:11.92). JV swimmer Ana Billehus swam a time of 33.43 in the 50 freestyle."

Lexi Grainerd: 50 freestyle (50.34).

Melissa Kirsch dropped a second in the 100 backstroke (1:31.14).

Bess Boever in the 200 freestyle (1:38.23)

REFLECTIONS Schmidt observed that quantity and quality of the divers on the team are impressive.

"We have to work on consistency. The divers' attitudes are great."

Entzi added thatmany of the swimmers have been swimming new events, sometimes events they are not comfortable with. Their attitudes and dedication are great.