Ellie Ulvin and Emma Vrieze kept the streak alive.
At the Section 8A meet at Grand Rapids on Saturday, Nov. 9, Ulvin clocked two winning times while Vrieze added a runner-up finish as the Park Rapids girls swimming and diving team will be represented at the state Class A meet for the 26th consecutive season.
Ulvin, who qualified for her first state trip with a runner-up finish in the 50-yard freestyle as a sophomore last season, earned a return trip to state by winning the section title in both the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle. Vrieze, a freshman, advanced to her first state meet with a runner-up finish in the 100-yard freestyle as the Panthers qualified two swimmers in two events for the Class A meet.
Ulvin claimed her first section title and another state berth by winning the 50 freestyle in 24.76. That topped her runner-up time of 25.09 at last year’s section meet and her time of 24.94 for 20th place at last year’s state meet. The 24.76 is second in school history behind Caroline Schik’s 2001 record of 24.59. Annika Dalager of Thief River Falls claimed the other state berth with a runner-up 25.01.
In the 100 freestyle, Ulvin led the field in 55.15 while Vrieze followed in 56.14 to claim the two state berths as both qualified for state in that event for the first time. Detroit Lakes’ Chelsey Johnson was a distant third in 57.08. At last year’s section meet, Ulvin was fourth in 55.97 while Vrieze was eighth in 58.40.
Park Rapids finished fourth in the team standings with 291 points. Grand Rapids claimed the state title while Detroit Lakes was second with 419 points and Bemidji was third with 292 points. Following the Panthers were Fergus Falls (123), Perham/New York Mills (113), Warroad (81) and Crookston (58). The Panthers finished fifth last year with 236 points.
The state meet will hold preliminaries beginning at noon on Friday, Nov. 15, with the finals set for Saturday, Nov. 16, starting at noon at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center on the campus of the University of Minnesota. Ulvin enters preliminaries as the No. 14 seed out of 20 qualifiers in the 50 freestyle. Hutchinson sophomore Grace Hanson has the top time of 23.51. In the 100 freestyle, Ulvin is the No. 21 seed and Vrieze is the No. 22 seed out of 22 qualifiers. Benilde junior Taylor Williams has the top seed time of 51.52.