Warriors Athlete of Week: Freshman delivers against second-ranked, unbeaten Sabres
Katie Streiff Sport: Swimming Events: 100 butterfly, 200 individual medley, 200 free relay, 200 medley relay Year: Freshman Age: 14 Height: 5-8 Other sports: Track & field Career highlight: Winning section butterfly title and going to state G...
Events: 100 butterfly, 200 individual medley, 200 free relay, 200 medley relay
Other sports: Track & field
Career highlight: Winning section butterfly title and going to state
Grade-point average: 4.0
Favorite class: AP Human Geo
Favorite food: Chinese
Favorite website: Twitter
Favorite athlete: Olympic gold medal swimmer Missy Franklin
Parents: Brett & Mary Streiff
When the Brainerd Warriors swam Class 1A's second-ranked Sartell Sabres in a duel between unbeaten teams they knew they were in for a battle.
The Sabres went on to win all but two of the 12 events on their way to a 105-79 Central Lakes Conference victory. Brainerd's only wins were by freshman Katie Streiff in the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly.
"Katie just had an outstanding meet," Warriors coach Dan Anderson said. "Sartell is ranked second in the state in 1A, and they showed us why. Katie really had some great swims."
Streiff beat Sartell's Anna Ellis in what Anderson called "a battle of wills." Streiff touched at 2:17.90 and Ellis at 2:17.95.
"Before I got up on the blocks I looked over and saw her name on her cap," Streiff said. "I was surprised she would be in that race. I got really nervous but I was excited to race her. She's a freshman too and she's really good.
"During the race I had my eye on her the whole time. At the end, it just came down to little things."
Three events later Streiff faced off against the Sabres' Paige Pawlenty and senior Gaby Hagen. She finished in 1:00.61, Pawlenty 1:02.49 and Hagen 1:04.41.
"They're probably two of the best butterflyers in the conference and Katie beat them by almost two seconds and four seconds," Anderson said. "She won that race decisively."
In the 200 medley relay, Streiff, Hannah McKeag, Kylie Lange and Jamie Wallace were runners-up at 1:55.33 compared to Sartell's winning 1:51.27.
"We had a great medley. It's just Sartell's incredibly fast," Anderson said. "1:55.3 is easily our best time of the year. Katie's split was almost a full second faster than their girl. Katie really is in our conference an elite butterflyer for sure."
Streiff and Ellis later went head to head anchoring their respective 400 free relays. Streiff caught up to Ellis near the end but the Sabres won the battle 3:46.80 to Brainerd's 3:47.47.
"Katie had an amazing swim," Anderson said. "That race came down to 10ths of a second but we just couldn't quite pull it off."
Individually this season, Streiff has recorded 12 victories, one runner-up finish, one third-place finish and has been a member of 11 winning relays. She also leads the Warriors in team points scored. Anderson has moved her around in events other than her specialty (IM and butterfly), including the 200 free, 100 backstroke and 100 breaststroke.
"If we kept her in her best events all the time she would probably be undefeated," Anderson said. "We have moved her around. There have been some races where she's had to go against (teammate) Fallon (Ryan) or possibly against another school's best swimmer. She's only freshman. We need to keep trying her in different events. She doesn't need to do the butterfly every week. We're just trying to keep her fresh."
Streiff experienced a breakout 2013 season. She won conference and section championships in the butterfly and was on the section runner-up 200 medley relay. She went on to place 11th in the Class 2A state medley relay and 20th in the 2A butterfly.
"I kind of went into it knowing the competition would be hard," Streiff said of the state meet. "I just told myself to have fun and learn what it's all about so for years to come I know what it's like. It was just like a learning experience."
At the conclusion of last season, Streiff's teammates rewarded her with the team's most valuable swimmer award.
"I was really shocked," she said. "I was surprised that I had gotten that. There were so many other girls on the team that were veterans and were just as good."
Anderson wasn't surprised Streiff was the MVP.
"She's really a talented swimmer," he said. "She trains hard. She's got talent and she works hard at it. That earns her the respect of her teammates.
"And she's not afraid to race."
Other notable efforts:
• Hanson Devine, football, passed for 181 yards and two TDs vs. Apollo.
• Cole Spieker, football, caught 2 passes for 105 yards and a TD vs. Apollo.
MIKE BIALKA may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5861. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bertsballpark .