Just under two weeks since their last competition, the Marshall girls swimming and diving team is ready to head to the Section 3A meet, which starts today in Willmar, and head coach Nicole Peterson said the girls are ready to swim.
"In terms of being in the water, the girls are feeling the exhaustion from last week and they are picking things up this week," Peterson said. "The excitement is in the air and they are starting to feel rested and ready to go."
The fifth-ranked Tigers are looking to capitalize on their experience and improve on their fourth-place finish from a year ago.
Independent file photo
Marshall’s Cassaundra Krogen swims in the 100-meter breaststroke during the Tigers’ home meet against Morris Area/Minnewaska on Oct. 11. Marshall swims in the Section 3A meet starting today in Willmar.
"Everyone that went to state last year is back this year," Peterson said. "Kids that didn't make it last year, there are some that have the potential to make it this year."
In 2010, Marshall sent seven girls to the state swim meet. This year, all seven return and are hungry for more.
Heading into the Section 3A meet in Willmar, the Tigers have had two relay teams and three individuals swim qualifying times for the state meet.
Two juniors and a freshman have qualified for Marshall. Junior Marcela Sanchez-Aizcorbe has qualified in the 100 butterfly and the 200 freestyle, junior McKenzie Vermeire made the cut in the 200 individual medley and freshman Kylie Vermeire qualified in the 200 and 500 freestyle races.
Two of the three relays have also qualified for the state meet and the third is about a half second away from qualifying.
Sanchez-Aizcorbe, Kailn Webskowski, Kylie Vermeire and Abby Suprenant make up the 200 freestyle relay has posted a qualifying time, while McKenzie Vermeire and Ashley Dunn join Sanchez-Aizcorbe and Kylie Vermeire on the qualifying 400 freestyle relay team.
Though the individuals and relays have posted qualifying times, they are not guaranteed good starting positions at state. Their section times could affect seeding at the state meet, which means there is no holding back this weekend.
"They take only the times on Saturday," Peterson said, "so the faster your time is on Saturday, the better seed time you have going into the state meet, the better your lane will be."
But Peterson is not concerned with her team giving its full effort in the section meet.
"I have always been blessed with a team that works very hard in practice and kids that are constantly setting the example and raising the bar for everyone else," Peterson said. "Practice is tough, but my team definitely works hard and works up to the level everyone else is at."
The medley relay team of Suprenant, Webskowski, Courtney Taylor and Dunn is just over a half second from qualifying for the state meet and if the relay team qualifies, the Tigers would meet the number of qualifiers from a year ago.
Peterson has seen a new attitude in her team, one that she hopes will lead to positive results starting Thursday.
"On our team, the section meet is a very big deal. To make it to state you have to do well at sections. As a team, that's always been our focus," Peterson said. "This year, we are seeing more focus on making it to state and what we are going to do at state, which is fun to see."