SWIMMING AND DIVING: LF’s Weisz caps unbeaten season with championship
Whitney Weisz didn’t lose a 100-yard freestyle race in the regular season, and at the Granite Ridge Conference or the Section 6-1A meets.
The Little Falls Flyer culminated a standout senior season Saturday night when she captured the 1A state championship at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
After swimming the fastest time (51:19) in Friday’s prelims, Weisz was even better in the finals, splashing her way to a 50.57 clocking. She beat runner-up Solveig Viren of Grand Rapids by 1.46 seconds.
“Being a senior I was way more confident,” Weisz said. “It wasn’t as nerve-wracking. I knew what I wanted to do and what I had to do. I went out, relaxed and swam my fastest.”
She became the first state champion in the history of the Flyers’ swimming and diving program.
“I’ve wanted it for so long now,” Weisz said. “On this year’s goal sheet I said I wanted to win it. I just swam my best and made it happen.”
Weisz was state runner-up in the 100 (51.73) as a junior, a finish that motivated her this season.
“When she got done she said, ‘Coach did you think I could go that fast?’ and I said, ‘Yes, I expected you to be that fast.’ She wanted to break 51 (seconds). Her time was more than a second drop from last year.
“She was pushed a little harder in the finals than the prelims, but there really wasn’t anyone close to challenging her.”
In her first race Saturday, Weisz cranked out a runner-up time of 23.23 after going 23.42 in the prelims, which earned her the top seed. Danielle Nack of Mankato West won at 22.93, a 1A state meet record.
“She wasn’t wearing a taper suit and she wasn’t shaved in the prelims so in the finals I knew she would be faster,” Weisz said of Nack. “I just went out and raced and she beat me. She deserved it. She swam well.”
Weisz placed sixth in the state 50 last year at 24.11.
“Going up to second, that’s a huge improvement,” Corbett said. “Only (a few) girls in history have swam the 50 faster than that up to (Saturday) night. She’s near the top of the state in either class, which says something.”
Weisz is bound for the University of Wisconsin where she will swim next fall.
“She’s not a 12-month swimmer,” Corbett said. “She will be at a Division I school, which is a whole different ballgame. There’s more room for improvement from that kind of training that you can’t get in our program. We don’t have a year-round program option.
“Almost all the girls at state have been swimming 12 months a year for years. The significant thing for Whitney is she’s going to Wisconsin next year and she’s going to blossom, I really believe that.”
S-M’s Beachy finishes sixth
Jaelin Beachy of Staples-Motley maintained the place she attained in the 100 breaststroke prelims as she cruised to a sixth-place finish in the finals at 1:08.43 to earn all-state honors.
Beachy went 1:07.9 in the prelims, which shattered her previous school record.
“Going into the race I was already in the top eight,” Beachy said. “This was really a big accomplishment for me. I was tied for sixth going in (to the finals), and I’m excited that I maintained that.
“It was just exciting because I didn’t expect to make top eight. It was a big goal to accomplish.”
Warriors’ Etterman 13th
Brainerd’s Beth Etterman was 13th following Thursday’s diving prelims and semifinals and that’s where she wound up Saturday night.
In her first trip to state, Etterman finished 13th with 325.30 points.
“It was a pretty tough finals as far as there was a lot of quality diving left, which you would expect in the finals of the state meet,”Warriors diving coach Mary Streiff said. “We felt like she had three solid dives left. She missed her first one but she came back and did OK the last two dives.
“She seemed to dive a little more nervous in the finals than in the prelims and semifinals. Big picture — she’s a sophomore and landed 13th at the state meet. We’re excited about that and what her future holds.”
Flyers’ relay 15th
Weisz anchored the Little Falls’ 200 free relay, which included Diana Kempenich, Kenzie Hanson and Josie Lange. The Flyers finished 15th at 1:42.71.
The Flyers, who qualified for state by time standard, moved up a place from their prelims showing.
“That was really cool,” Weisz said. “We didn’t know if we were going to make it to state because the timing system at the section meet wasn’t working. It was really exciting, especially for the other girls. They deserved it. They all worked super hard.”
Class 2A state finals
Diving: 1, Jessie Ramberg, Forest Lake, 472.05; 2, Jenna Karrow, East Ridge, 433.75; 3, Emily Bonfig, Woodbury, 431.55; 4, Lexi Tenenbaum, Maple Grove, 385.20; 5, Yasmeen Almog, Edina, 382.50; 6, Jasmine Smith-Sharp, Hopkins, 366.10; 7, Olivia Olesiak, Forest Lake, 362.10; 8, Lauren Puglisi, Woodbury, 361.85
9, Summer Getty, Maple Grove, 354.60; 10, Allie Bey, Forest Lake, 353.85; 11, Brooke Fontaine, Wayzata, 337.50; 12, Nicole Fontaine, Wayzata, 337.00; 13, Beth Etterman, Brainerd, 325.30; 14, Kimberly Larson, Edina, 316.95; 15, Kelly Brush, Metro United, 311.05; 16, Anna Percival, Stillwater, 309.90
Class 1A state finals
50 freestyle: 1, Danielle Nack, Mankato West, 22.93; 2, Whitney Weisz, Little Falls, 23.23; 3, Solveig Viren, Grand Rapids, 23.80; 4, Kaitlin Kamm, St. Peter, 24.03; 5, Tarin Anding, Sartell, 24.29; 6, Chandra Yueh, Breck, 24.39; 7, Emily Anderson, Northfield, 24.41; 8, Haley Cassens, Hutchinson, 24.66
100 freestyle: 1, Whitney Weisz, Little Falls, 50.57; 2, Solveig Viren, Grand Rapids, 52.03; 3, Steph Frey, Bemidji, 52.62; 4, Abby Schnaith, Red Wing, 53.09; 5, Emily Anderson, Northfield, 53.38; 6, Marla Thomforde, Northfield, 53.40; 7, Chandra Yueh, Breck, 53.57; 8, Tarin Anding, Sartell, 54.06
200 free relay: 1, Sartell 1:36.62; 15, Little Falls (Diana Kempenich, Kenzie Hanson, Josie Lange, Whitney Weisz) 1:42.71
100 breaststroke: 1, Kathryn Ostrom, St. Louis Park, 1:04.65; 2, Lindsey Horejsi, Albert Lea, 1:05.06; 3, Jordan Ford, Hutchinson, 1:07.45; 4, Megan Gaylord, Visitation, 1:07.57; 5, Maddy Pesch, St. Cloud Cathedral, 1:07.59; 6, Jaelin Beachy, Staples-Motley, 1:08.43; 7, Andrea Yechout, Mahtomedi, 1:08.63; 8, Sarah Wellumson, Big Lake, 1:09.13