By: Jared Hines
After a great performance during Thursday and Friday’s prelims, the Magic girls swimming and diving team set themselves up nicely for another top finish in Section 5A. With a team goal of sending as many individuals to next weekend’s state tournament, the girls hit the pool looking to lower their times against the section’s best talent.
At the end of the day, six swimmers advanced to the MSHSL State Meet with the team finishing second as a team! Sauk Rapids-Rice took first with 438 points while Monticello and Cathedral/St. John’s Prep tied with 335 points. The second-place finish ended a historic run of 15 straight section championships for the Magic.
It didn’t take long for the Magic team to advance swimmers to next week’s meet as the 200-yard medley relay team took care of business in the first race of the day. Lorna Belchak, Emerson Brooks, Grace Farnsworth and Juanel Roux dropped 4.10 seconds off their entry time and finished the race in a time of 1:51.73. The time beat the 2019 state standard, allowing Milaca, Monticello, Foley and Sauk-Rapids Rice to all advance from Section 5A.
In the second race of the day, Elsie Anselment and Jade Kopff both swam well, with Anselment finishing in fourth place and Kopff finishing in seventh. In race No. 3–the 200-yard IM–McKenna Biegler, Hadley Branson, and Lexi Welle finished in 11th, 12th, and 15th respectively.
In the 50-yard free, Farnsworth earned another state berth by finishing second place with a time of 24.17. The drop of 0.74 dropped Grace below the state standard time of 24.81, a fantastic improvement from the Magic senior.
The swimmers took a break as the divers took center stage. Magic’s Pearl Keene, Shelby Ergen and Macey Morgan all finished in the top-12. Keene (277.75) finished 9th, while Ergen (269.25) finished 11th and Morgan (260.85) finished 12th.
Back between the lanes, Farnsworth advanced to state in the 100-yard fly with an incredible time of 57.76. Farnsworth holds the Magic pool record with a time of 58.38 and crushed that today with her 57.76 time.
Two races later, teammate Elsie Anselment joined the state-bound crew as she dropped 4.89 seconds in the 500-yard free en route to a second-place finish. Anselment’s time of 5:22.77 is her personal best, advancing the junior to next weekend’s state meet.
In the final race of the day, Monticello’s 400-yard free relay team of Jade Kopff, Lorna Belchak, Emerson Brooks and Grace Farnsworth finished in second place with a time of 3:39.24. The time was a drop of over ten seconds from the team’s entry time and was below the state standard time of 3:43.09.
The 2019 MSHSL State Meet will take place Nov. 14-16 with Class A action beginning at 12 p.m. each day. Nov. 14 will be diving prelims while Nov. 15 will be swimming prelims. The Championship heats for both will take place on Nov. 16.