Panthers place fourth at section swim meet
Head coach Todd Fritze was impressed with the fourth-place finish by the Park Rapids girls swimming team at Saturday's Section 8A meet at Grand Rapids.
Senior Maija Hovelsrud provided the main highlight for the Panthers with a runner-up finish in the 100-yard breaststroke. Hovelsrud clocked a 1:10.54 to return to the Class A meet and give Park Rapids a state competitor for the 24th consecutive season.
In addition to Hovelsrud, the Panthers advanced to the finals in six other events while swimming in the consolation finals in seven events. Only 10 other girls competed with seven more of them scoring points as the Panthers placed in all 11 swimming events in compiling 223 points. Bemidji claimed the section title with 431 points to edge out Detroit Lakes (422). Grand Rapids took third with 283 points while Fergus Falls was fifth in this 10-team meet with 219 points. Park Rapids finished sixth last year with 141 points. This marked Bemidji's seventh section title in a row.
Hovelsrud will cap off her senior season by competing in Friday's preliminaries of the state Class A meet at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center on the campus of the University of Minnesota. The state finals will be held Saturday.
"We swam outstanding," said Fritze. "This was one of our better section meets. I'm extremely happy about taking fourth. It was a great way to end the season."
Panthers set tone during preliminaries
The Panthers excelled during Friday's preliminaries by qualifying seven swimmers for the finals and eight swimmers for the consolation finals.
Freshman Analise Smee, Hovelsrud, freshman Ellie Ulvin and senior Jordan Klemmer opened preliminaries by placing third in the 200 medley relay in 1:56.97. Detroit Lakes took first with a 1:53.21.
In the 200 freestyle, junior Olivia Ulvin finished fifth in 2:07.67 to advance to the finals while sophomore Chloe Voigt (15th in 2:16.05) and freshman Madi Robbins (16th in 2:16.09) qualified for the consolation finals. Bemidji's Abby Yartz led the field in 2:01.64.
Freshman Aleah Voigt (11th in 2:30.54) and Smee (13th in 2:32.40) advanced to the consolation finals in the 200 individual medley as Detroit Lakes' Jennifer Tracy took first in 2:14.08. Sophomore Jess Kaseman finished 24th in 2:42.87.
Ellie Ulvin finished fifth in 26.06 and Klemmer finished 11th in 26.48 to qualify in the 50 freestyle. Freshman Savana Damar was 28th in 28.78 as Detroit Lakes' Ella Henderson led the field in 24.83.
Tracy broke the section record in the 100 butterfly with a 58.87 while Ellie Ulvin took third in 1:02.54 and Hovelsrud finished eighth in 1:09.12 to qualify for the finals. Sophomore Mary Rose Nichols was 20th in 1:14.67.
Klemmer qualified for the consolation finals in the 100 freestyle with a 59.28 for 10th place. Henderson led the way with a 54.94. Damar clocked a 1:04.33 for 28th place.
The Panthers advanced three swimmers in the 500 freestyle with Olivia Ulvin's 5:46.60 for sixth place and Aleah Voigt's 5:54.59 for seventh place leading the way. Chloe Voigt finished 12th in 6:03.48. Detroit Lakes' Sydney Gulon took first in 5:28.47.
Fergus Falls won the 200 freestyle relay in 1:45.17 while the Panthers placed sixth as Ellie Ulvin, Olivia Ulvin, Aleah Voigt and Klemmer teamed up for a 1:46.92.
Smee finished 11th in 1:08.39 to advance in the 100 backstroke while Robbins (18th in 1:12.02) and Kaseman (22nd in 1:14.55) missed qualifying. Fergus Falls' Madison Hubert clocked a winning time of 1:01.03.
Hovelsrud led the field in the 100 breaststroke with a 1:10.40 while Nichols finished 17th in 1:18.43.
Olivia Ulvin, Aleah Voigt, Chloe Voigt and Smee ended Friday's preliminaries by placing ninth in 4:09.46 in the 400 freestyle relay. Detroit Lakes took first in 3:47.54.
"Overall I was pretty happy with how we did on the first day," said Fritze. "We dropped quite a bit of time on the first day. You can tell a lot from how the medley does and that relay set a great tone for us. We were in a good position after the first day."
Panthers place in all 11 events
Another strong showing in the finals moved the Panthers up in the team standings.
Park Rapids opened the finals by contending for a state berth after placing third in the 200 medley relay with a 1:55.69 to score 32 points. Detroit Lakes took first in 1:52.34 while Fergus Falls was second in 1:54.60 to earn the two state berths.
The Panthers added 20 points in the 200 freestyle as Olivia Ulvin finished sixth in 2:11.34, Chloe Voigt finished 12th in 2:13.49 and Robbins was 15th in 2:18.18. Yartz won the section title in 2:00.89.
Tracy won the section title in the 200 individual medley in 2:14.09 while the Panthers scored 9 points behind Aleah Voigt's 11th-place time of 2:32.17 and Smee's 14th-place time of 2:35.17.
Ellie Ulvin also just missed a state berth by placing third in the 50 freestyle in 25.11. Klemmer finished ninth in 26.13 as the Panthers scored 25 points in that event. Bemidji's Paige Andersen led the field in 24.87.
Park Rapids added 27 points in the 100 butterfly as Ellie Ulvin took fourth in 1:02.55 and Hovelsrud was seventh in 1:08.71. Tracy claimed the section title in 59.17.
Andersen was the section champion in the 100 freestyle with a 54.31 while Klemmer scored 9 points by placing ninth in 57.46. That time would have been good for fourth place in the finals.
In the 500 freestyle, the Panthers scored 31 points behind Olivia Ulvin (sixth in 5:52.64), Aleah Voigt (eighth in 6:07.39) and Chloe Voigt (10th in 5:53.68). Gulon took first in 5:24.35.
Ellie Ulvin, Olivia Ulvin, Aleah Voigt and Klemmer finished fourth in 1:44.79 for 30 points in the 200 freestyle relay. Bemidji won the section title in 1:42.26.
Smee finished 12th in 1:09.35 for 5 points in the 100 backstroke. Crookston's Kate MacGregor led the pack in 1:00.93.
Hovelsrud scored 17 points with a runner-up time of 1:10.54 in the 100 breaststroke while Gulon took first in 1:08.56.
The Panthers ended the meet by scoring 18 points in the 400 freestyle relay as Olivia Ulvin, Aleah Voigt, Chloe Voigt and Smee clocked a 4:09.80 for ninth place. Detroit Lakes clocked a 3:42.85 to win the section title.
"We did so well on the first day, but we still had one more day to go and we still had to go faster and we did," said Fritze. "I thought a couple relays and a couple other swimmers had a shot to get a state berth. We were so close to either taking second or getting the state cut. I'm excited for the girls. They worked extremely hard to earn fourth place."
Team scores: Bemidji 431, Detroit Lakes 422, Grand Rapids 283, Park Rapids 223, Fergus Falls 219, Crookston 172, Thief River Falls 120, Perham/New York Mills 117, Fosston/Bagley 78, Warroad/Roseau 68.
200 medley relay: 1, Detroit Lakes (Retz, Gulon, Tracy, E. Henderson), 1:52.34. 2, Fergus Falls (Hubert, Swanson, Childs, Donais), 1:54.60. 3, Park Rapids (Smee, Hovelsrud, E. Ulvin, Klemmer), 1:57.16.
200 freestyle: 1, Yartz, DL, 2:00.89. 2, Peterson, DL, 2:04.14. 6, O. Ulvin, PR, 2:11.34. 12, C. Voigt, PR, 2:13.49. 15, Robbins, PR, 2:18.18.
200 individual medley: 1, Tracy, DL, 2:14.09. 2, Childs, FF, 2:17.04. 11, A. Voigt, PR, 2:32.17. 14, Smee, PR, 2:35.17. 24, Kaseman, PR, 2:42.87.
50 freestyle: 1, Andersen, B, 24.87. 2, E. Henderson, DL, 24.99. 3, E. Ulvin, PR, 25.11. 8, Klemmer, PR, 26.13. 28, Damar, PR, 28.78.
Diving: 1, Disse, DL, 384.30 points. 2, Yliniemi, DL, 375.85. 3, Appert, FF, 372.20. 4, Fischer, PNYM, 359.80.
100 butterfly: 1, Tracy, DL, 59.17. 2, Westrum, DL, 1:01.57. 4, E. Ulvin, PR, 1:02.55. 7, Hovelsrud, PR, 1:08.71. 20, Nichols, PR, 1:14.67.
100 freestyle: 1, Andersen, B, 54.31. 2, E. Henderson, DL, 55.38. 9, Klemmer, PR, 57.46. 28, Damar, PR, 1:04.33.
500 freestyle: 1, Gulon, DL, 5:24.35. 2, Davis, B, 5:41.05. 6, O. Ulvin, PR, 5:52.64. 8, A. Voigt, PR, 6:07.39. 10, C. Voigt, PR, 5:53.68.
200 freestyle relay: 1, Bemidji (Yartz, Vincent, Port, Andersen), 1:42.26. 2, Fergus Falls (Childs, Koeckeritz, Hubert, Donais), 1:44.02. 4, Park Rapids (E. Ulvin, O. Ulvin, A. Voigt, Klemmer), 1:44.79.
100 backstroke: 1, MacGregor, C, 1:00.93. 2, Hubert, FF, 1:01.70. 12, Smee, PR, 1:09.35. 18, Robbins, PR, 1:12.02. 22, Kaseman, PR, 1:14.55.
100 breaststroke: 1, Gulon, DL, 1:08.56. 2, Hovelsrud, PR, 1:10.54. 17, Nichols, PR, 1:18.43.
400 freestyle relay: 1, Detroit Lakes (Gulon, Tracy, Steinke, E. Henderson), 3:42.85. 2, Bemidji (Andersen, Vincent, Son, Yartz), 3:45.93. 9, Park Rapids (O. Ulvin, A. Voigt, C. Voigt, Smee), 4:09.80.