Rangers take seventh at section
The Forest Lake swimming and diving team ended its season at the Section 7AA swimming and diving meet in Coon Rapids last weekend, but two Rangers will represent the squad at the upcoming Class AA state meet.
Senior Jessica Dhaene qualified for the state meet in the one-meter diving competition, while sophomore Rachel Chatwin qualified in the 100-yard freestyle.
Chatwin took second in the final heat behind Duluth East’s Alissa Marlow, and was the only Ranger to take a place in the top three as the team took seventh out of eight with 231 points.
Blaine and Duluth East took first and second with 306 points and 293 points, respectively.
During the diving portion on Friday night, the Rangers finished strong with four top-20 finishes. Dhaene took second place with 334.95 points behind Blaine’s Nicole Wieden, who beat Dhaene by just 3.05 points. Dhaene battled flu-like symptoms throughout the meet.
“Well, it wasn’t the best in the beginning, “ Dhaene said. “But the more I felt sick, then the more I had better dives. So then I felt better.”
Head diving coach Deb Welch said she thought her top diver had a gutsy performance.
“I think it went pretty well considering Jess was throwing up between each dive,” Welch said. “She wants to go to state and I think a lot of kids would have put it aside and couldn’t even be here. She was crumpled up between dives over here just dying and stands up and puts in the best she can do at the time.”
Junior Maddi Gemuenden earned seventh place and a medal with 304.95 points on the night, while junior Katie Dison took 12th with 246.90. Ninth-grader Julia Frost made it to the second round in the No. 20 spot for the Rangers.
“Maddi and Katie did very well. They’re D.D.’s [degree of difficulty] need to be much higher for next year, but they know that and still came out here and made names for themselves. Julia comes in with never putting together an 11-dive list before and it’s great that she made the first cut. So I’m very happy with where they finished.”
Preliminaries for the one-meter state diving meet will take place at 6 p.m. today, Nov. 15 at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. Welch has high expectations for Dhaene said she thinks Dhaene now has the confidence to dive strong this weekend.
“I think state is going to go well,” Welch said. “Last year she was a bit of a deer in the headlights and she had the older girls pushing her and stuff. I know she didn’t feel like she was at their level, but she really is at their level and this year she is seeing it more and more.”
Chatwin begins her state trek on Friday with preliminaries starting at 6 p.m. at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.