Good week for Wildcat swimmersThe Wildcat girls’ swimming and diving team maintained its hold on first place in the Big Rivers Conference with a 108-78 dual meet victory at Hudson Thursday night, then posted its best finish ever at Saturday’s Eau Claire North Invitational.
By: Bob Burrows, River Falls Journal
The Wildcat girls’ swimming and diving team maintained its hold on first place in the Big Rivers Conference with a 108-78 dual meet victory at Hudson Thursday night, then posted its best finish ever at Saturday’s Eau Claire North Invitational.
Despite being outsized by many of the teams in attendance, the Cats finished third Saturday with 208 points. Apple Valley, Minn., was first with 273 followed by D.C. Everest with 256.
The Wildcats will face a big challenge Thursday night when five-time defending conference champion Eau Claire Memorial comes to town for a BRC dual meet beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the high school pool.
The Cats set up the showdown between conference unbeatens by posting seven first place finishes in their win over Hudson last Thursday. Grace Goblirsch and Tessa Coggio each won two events and helped a pair of relay teams pick up wins.
Coggio set a new personal best mark of 25.98 seconds in the 50 yard freestyle while also winning the 100 backstroke in 1 minute, 7.65 seconds, while Goblirsch took first in the 200 freestyle in 2:06.57 and the 500 freestyle in 5:47.26.
The pair also hooked up with Sofia Carlson and Marlayna Probst for a first place time of 1:46.91 in the 200 freestyle relay, while Madison Probst, Katie Kidd, Coggio and Marlayna Probst combined for a first place time of 2:02.04 in the 200 medley relay.
Julia Rydberg, Maura Watson, Emma Langer and Carlson gave the Cats a sweep of the top two spots in the 200 medley relay with a second place time of 2:14.89.
“It’s been fun to watch these times go down as we swap girls for different strokes,” coach Lynn Huiskamp said about the Cats’ medley relay teams. “Again, it’s everyone’s ability and willingness to do a variety of strokes that gives us a good advantage.”
Sierra Becker topped the 200 point mark in diving for the third straight meet on her way to winning with a score of 202.45. Rose Tashjian took third with 160.95 while Britta Grebner was fifth with 141.1.
Diving coach Roxie VanDeWater said all the team’s divers are improving as the season progresses.
“It takes a lot out of the each day to hit that water hard and keep getting back on the board,” she said. “But they are learning from each splat.”
Saturday at the 10-team Eau Claire North Invite, Coggio won the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:04.96 and took second in the 50 freestyle in 26.42 seconds.
“I knew by her stroke counts that her fly race wasn’t going to be her best and couldn’t have felt her best, but she went after the win,” Huiskamp said about Coggio. “There are times when everyone has to race when they’re feeling ‘off’ or tired, but there are no regrets when they swim their best. I was proud to see Tessa do just that.”
Coggio also teamed up with Carlson, Goblirsch and Marlayna Probst for a second place time of 1:48.73 in the 200 freestyle relay. The Cats 200 medley relay team of Madison Probst, Kidd, Coggio and Marlayna Probst took third with a time of 2:01.97, while the 400 freestyle relay team of Goblirsch, Shannon Moe, Madison Probst and Mandy Hedeen finished fourth in 4:08.95.
Becker boosted the Cats’ team total with a second place score of 328.45 in the 11-dive competition while Tashjian was fifth with 278.05. Goblirsch added fourth place times of 2:09.83 in the 200 free and 5:50.28 in the 500 free.
“At these big invitationals, points in individual events can be very difficult, so we needed to push our relays to fight hard and swim hard,” Huiskamp said. “Our strong relay finishes and great diving contributed over half our point total. We had four divers contribute 32 points and our relays alone added 92 points.”
See more sports stories in this week's print edition of the River Falls Journal.