Park girls swimming & diving: Wolfpack’s season ends short of stateLast year, the youthful Park girls swimming and diving team made a few steps forward at the Section 3AA Championship meet. However, this year the Wolfpack took a couple steps back.
By: Patrick Johnson, sports editor, South Washington County Bulletin
Last year, the youthful Park girls swimming and diving team made a few steps forward at the Section 3AA Championship meet. However, this year the Wolfpack took a couple steps back.
In 2011, the Wolfpack didn’t finish last — as it did the previous year — sent one swimmer to the section finals, and qualified one athlete to the Class AA state meet, something they didn’t do in 2010.
However, this year, Park was unable to send an athlete to the state meet, while finishing in eighth place out of eight teams at the section meet – held Wednesday and Friday at Richfield Middle School. The Wolfpack scored 66 points to finish behind Henry Sibley (152 points). Rosemount was able to defended its Section 3AA team championship title with 499.5 points, ahead of second-place East Ridge (361.5 points) and third-place Woodbury (333 points).
At sections, the top two individual finishers in each event qualify for state, along with any swimmer who eclipses the state-qualifying time. Teams don’t qualify for state as a whole, however, each swimmer and diver that reach state count toward the team’s overall finish at the state meet.
Last year, Park 2012 graduate Ali Ramey, a diver, was the Wolfpack’s lone state representative. As a team, Park finished in seventh place in the eight-team section with 99 points a year ago, with St. Paul Highland Park taking eighth with 94 points.
Unlike last season, Park didn’t have a swimmer reach the section finals. The Wolfpack’s best individual finish was turned in by Maddy McNearney. The sophomore finished in 18th place overall in the 100-yard freestyle – two spots short of the finals – with a time of 59.48 seconds in the event. McNearney also had the Wolfpack’s second-best finish, taking 20th in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 27.03.
Park had a number of swimmers come close to the finals in multiple events. Park junior Peyton Adams earned 21st in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 6 minutes, 1.12 seconds and finished 26th in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:36.50. Park senior Marit Christianson took 22nd in the 500 free with a time of 6:01.87 and 26th in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:25.30. Also, sophomore Alexandra Burd took 23rd in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:14.07 and 24th in the 500 free with a time of 6:04.52.
In addition, Park sophomore Morgan Fox earned 23rd in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1:14.46, junior Hannah Munson finished in 24th in the 100 breaststroke in a time of 1:20.13 and freshman Sierra Oden took 25th in the 100-yard butterfly in 1:17.52.
Park sophomore Sarah Schank, an All-Conference diver and perhaps the Wolfpack’s best shot at a state entrant, didn’t compete in the section meet.
Park now must say good-bye to five seniors from its youthful roster – Christianson, Sarah Schiemann, Kelsey Fox, Kari Mudek and Janelle Johnson.