Less than 24 hours after all three River Falls’ divers qualified for this Saturday’s WIAA Girls State Swimming and Diving Championships, senior teammate Ellery Ottem punched her third ticket to state in the swim portion of the Division 1 sectional over the weekend in Hudson.

River Falls dominated Friday night’s diving competition, with junior Rachel Everson setting a new school record to win the sectional title, freshman Avery Singel placing second and senior Kayleigh Volkman finishing third.

Everson’s school record score of 474.6 automatically qualified her for state while Singel, who scored 430.05, and Volkman with 425.1, advanced by virtue of their scores. The winner of each event at each sectional, and the top 18 individuals from all six sectionals, not including the winners, qualified for the state meet.

The sectional sweep capped a regular season that saw the Wildcat fivers sweep the top three spots at every dual meet and the Big Rivers Conference Tournament. It will be the first state meet appearance for all three.

Ottem will join the divers on their trip to Waukesha after she won sectional titles in both the 200 yard freestyle and 100 yard freestyle in Saturday’s swimming competition.

Ottem won the 200 freestyle by nearly 10 seconds with a time of 1 minute, 48.88 seconds. Jocelyn Trzebiatowski of Stevens Point was second in 1:58.81. She went on to take the 100 freestyle in 50.68 seconds, over two seconds ahead of Peyton Watson of Chippewa Falls.

It’s the second straight season, and third overall, Ottem has qualified for the state meet. She finished fourth in both the 200 free and 100 free at last year’s Division 1 meet and was the Division 2 state champion in both events as a freshman in 2019.

Ottem and the divers helped River Falls finish fifth in the 13-team sectional standings with a score of 224 while Hudson was seventh with 179. Stevens Point won the team title with 345.

River Falls’ team score was boosted by a pair of fourth place finishes from junior Katie Olson with times of 2:21.32 in the 200 individual medley and 1:11.11 in the 100 breaststroke. Freshman Elise Gulick contributed a sixth place time of 1:03.75 in the 100 butterfly, while junior Mickey Baar finished 10th in the 500 freestyle in 5:47.2.

River Falls also got a pair of sixth place finishes in the relays, with sophomore Rilee Smith, Olson, Gulick and Ottem posting a time of 1:58.34 in the 200 medley relay, and Ottem, Gulick, Baar and Olson combining for a time of 1:44.85 in the 200 freestyle relay.

Hudson’s top finish came from senior Ellen Wilson in the 500 freestyle with a fifth place time of 5:42.46. She also placed ninth in the 200 freestyle in 2:08.59.

Junior Alice Calabria finished eighth in the 100 breaststroke in 1:15.92, and junior Gabby Herbert took eighth in the 500 free in 5:44.43, while freshmen Peyton Kline and Claire Collins both had a pair of top ten finishes. Kline was ninth in the 100 butterfly in 1:05.88 and tenth in the 200 individual medley in 2:25.44, while Collins was ninth in the 100 freestyle in 56.8 seconds and tenth in the 50 free in 26.01.

The Raiders also had a pair of seventh place finishes in the relays– with sophomore Ellie Wood, Kline, sophomore Kaylie Johnson and Collins combining for a time of 1:45.62 in the 200 freestyle relay, and Wood, Herbert, Johnson and Collins posting a time of 3:52.95 in the 400 freestyle relay.

Everson, Singel and Volkman will compete in the diving portion of the Division 1 state meet this Saturday beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Waukesha South High School Natatorium. Ottem will compete in the swimming competition Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

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