Junior Ellie Ulvin and freshman Emma Vrieze were hoping to advance to the finals of the state Class A girls swimming meet.
Both Park Rapids swimmers fell short of accomplishing that goal during the preliminaries at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center on the campus of the University of Minneapolis on Friday (Nov. 15).
Ulvin finished 20th in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 25.37 and followed by clocking a 55.27 to finish 21st in the 100-yard freestyle. Vrieze clocked a 55.91 to finish 22nd in the 100-yard freestyle during the preliminaries. Ulvin entered the state meet seeded No. 14 out of 20 qualifiers in the 50 freestyle and No. 21 in the 100 freestyle while Vrieze was seeded No. 22 out of 22 qualifiers in the 100 freestyle. The top eight finishers advanced to the finals while the next eight qualified for the consolation finals.
Hutchinson’s Grace Hanson had the fastest preliminary time in the 50 freestyle with a 22.98 while Breck’s Shaniya Newton earned the final spot in the consolation finals by placing 16th in 25.07.
In the 100 freestyle, Hanson led the field in 50.85 while Newton claimed the final spot in the consolation finals with a 54.45 for 16th place.
During the finals on Saturday (Nov. 16), Hanson won her third consecutive state title in the 50 freestyle by tying the state Class A record with a time of 22.79. That tied Albert Lea’s Lindsey Horejsi’s mark set in 2015. Hanson followed by winning the state title in the 100 freestyle in 49.83.
Ulvin claimed her first section title and earned her second state berth by winning the 50 freestyle at the Section 8A meet in 24.76. That topped her runner-up time of 25.09 at the 2018 section meet and was ahead of 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.
Senior Annika Dalager of Thief River Falls, who claimed the other state berth with a runner-up 25.01 at the section meet, advanced to the finals with a time of 25.00 for 15th place. Dalager ended up placing 13th in 24.89.
Ulvin and Vrieze earned their first state berths in the 100 freestyle by going 1-2 in the 100 freestyle at the section meet. Ulvin led the field in 55.15 while Vrieze followed in 56.14. Both were lifetime bests. The 55.15 moved Ulvin up to the No. 3 spot in school history behind Schik’s 54.99 set in 2001 and Emma Helfrich’s 55.06 set in 2004.