Alison Hall, sophomore, swims the 100 yard breaststroke at the Section 5AA Prelims meet at the Plymouth Lifetime Fitness. Hall qualified for the section finals meet with the second-place seed, swimming a time of 1:07.05.

Michael Korsh

Girls swim and dive gains momentum at section 5AA prelims

November 9, 2017

On Nov. 9, the Royals girls swim and dive team competed in the preliminaries of the MSHSL Section 5AA meet at the Plymouth Lifetime Fitness, qualifying 11 swimmers for the section finals meet.

In order to qualify for the finals meet, swimmers must place in the top 16 in an individual event or top eight in a relay event at the prelims meet.

Along with all three relays, the following swimmers qualified for individual events at section finals:

  • Kristen Ho, senior: 13th in 200 freestyle, 16th in 500 freestyle
  • Josie Newhall, sophomore: 14th in 200 freestyle, 13th in 500 freestyle
  • Alison Hall, sophomore: second in 200 IM, second in 100 breaststroke
  • Hannah Sherman, junior: 14th in 200 IM, 11th in 100 backstroke
  • Ellie Miranda, senior: 15th in 200 IM, 14th in 100 backstroke
  • Ellen Hofstede, junior: second in 50 freestyle, fifth in 100 freestyle
  • Jordan Ashby, senior: sixth in 50 freestyle, tenth in 100 freestyle
  • Amber Forbort, junior: 16th in 50 freestyle
  • Molly Meland, junior: first in 100 butterfly, second in 100 backstroke
  • Elsbeth Epperson, sophomore: tenth in 100 butterfly
  • Kala Guettler, junior: tenth in 100 breaststroke

The Royals have seen two significant changes this season. The first was the hiring of Ashley Steenvoorden as the team’s new head coach, bringing new coaching styles and leadership to the team. Additionally, MSHSL section realignment, which occurs every two years, has placed the Royals into section 5AA against Irondale, Park Center, Robbinsdale Armstrong, Spring Lake Park, Champlin Park, Osseo, and returning section champion and state runner-up Wayzata.

In preparation for sections, the team began a weeks-long taper, a gradual decrease in difficulty of workouts in order to conserve energy. Captain Jordan Ashby, senior, said that the team’s months of effort before taper was essential to their success at prelims.

“Our success was the result of many, many hours of hard work in and out of the pool. Keeping a positive attitude and truly supporting all the girls on the team, combined with hours of hard work, truly is the key to our team’s success. Achieving our goals at sections makes it all worth it,” Ashby said.

After a fourth-place finish at the Section 6AA meet last year, the Royals are hoping to make a name for themselves in their new section.

“I am really excited to see what the team can do on Saturday [at the section finals meet],” Ashby said. “We had so many fast and successful swims today and I know that there will be even more at finals!”

The Royals divers will compete on Nov. 10, and the qualifying swimmers will compete in the Section 5AA finals meet at Plymouth Lifetime Fitness on Nov. 11.

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