Although the Rangers swimming and diving girls didn’t qualify an individual for state, they came away from the Section 7AA championship with 26 personal records to cap their 2013 season. Forest Lake held strong in fourth place throughout the meet until the final two events, when Duluth East pushed ahead to take fourth by 4.5 points.
The 200-yard medley relay team of junior Jessica Walker, sophomore Emma Dolby, junior Rachel Chatwin and ninth-grader Emma Nelson started the trend of personal records with their own best time. The foursome clocked 2:00.68, nearly a four-second improvement from their regular-season best and good for sixth place in the championship heat. Andover set a new section record in the event with a time of 1:51.31.
Sophomore Andrea Dunrud qualified for the championship heat in the 200-yard freestyle, where she knocked more than three seconds off her previous best time for a seventh-place finish in 2:05.17. Senior Karlee Lawrence (2:09.03) and junior Kristin Stomberg (2:11.38) took third and seventh place, respectively, in the consolation heat.
Junior Rocci Wohlk earned a spot in the consolation heat by clocking a personal best, 2:29.74, in the prelims of the 200-yard individual medley. She took fourth place in 2:29.89. Wohlk also competed in the consolation heat of the 100-yard butterfly, taking fifth place in 1:07.68, a personal best by more than two seconds among her regular-season times.
Eighth-grader Kenzie Klein faced stiff competition in the 50-yard freestyle. She took fourth place in the championship heat with a personal-best time of 26.28. Nelson also qualified for the championship heat, where she took eighth in 26.94. Bella Smits of Andover set a pool and section record with a time of 23.94. Dolby (26.46) and junior Josephine Hudoba (26:85) placed second and third, respectively, in the consolation heat. All four sprinters earned personal bests in either the preliminary or final heats.
Chatwin and Klein both qualified for the championship race in the 100-yard freestyle, where Chatwin scored a state bid last season. Chatwin earned a personal best with a time of 56.19, good for fourth place but two spots away from another state appearance. Klein finished in eighth place in 58.49 after earning a personal record of 58.20 in the preliminary race. Hudoba competed in the consolation heat, finishing in fifth place with a season-best 59.59.
Dunrud took seventh place in the top heat in the 500-yard freestyle with a personal record of 5:45.76, dropping more than 10 seconds off her regular-season top time. Lawrence placed third in the consolation heat in 5:49.87 by shaving nearly eight seconds off her top time.
The 200-yard freestyle team of Hudoba, Dolby, Klein and Chatwin had a strong showing in the championship heat by taking fourth place with a personal best, 1:44.83. The girls were less than a second from state contention and less than three-tenths of a second from third place. Klein (26.16), Dolby (25.91) and Chatwin (25.44) earned their fastest legs of the season.
Walker competed for consolation and placed sixth in 1:08.68. Chatwin competed in the championship heat of the 100-yard breaststroke and earned fourth place and a personal best (1:11.59). Dolby took first place in the consolation race with a time of 1:14.06, more than a two-second improvement from her prior best time.
The 400-yard freestyle relay team of Dunrud, Wolhk, Stomberg and Klein finished strong with a personal-best time of 3:55.09, good for sixth place in the championship race.
On the diving side, the Rangers struggled this season with numbers after just one of three eligible divers who competed at sections in 2012 returned to dive this fall.
Senior Maddi Gemuenden finished her high school career with a ninth-place finish and a season-best 290.6 points in the diving finals. The senior took seventh place last year, but suffered a setback this season after sustaining a concussion while diving. The injury held Gemuenden to just five regular-season competitions this season.
Senior Brittney Rangitsch made it to the semifinal round in 20th place with 156.25 points. Ninth-grader Dani Sardeson and senior Tina Witzel were unable to compete due to injury and illness.
Ranger swimming head coach Kimberly Jones said this was her best season for the swimmers in terms of significant time drops.
“I am very proud of the way that the girls trained and competed this season,” Jones said. “They all worked very hard in practice – kept pushing when the sets got hard and they felt like they wanted to give up. Each and every athlete competed to their best potential at every meet; this resulted in many personal bests.”