MINNEAPOLIS Behind two seventh-place finishes by McKenzie Vermeire, in the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard backstroke, and a fifth-place finish by Kylie Vermeire in the 500-yard freestyle, the Marshall Tigers swim team took 12th place at the Class A state meet on Saturday at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
The Tigers scored 63 points, while Northfield won the Class A meet with 223 points.
"I think that, honestly, we were probably hoping to do a little bit better in terms of personal bests and that sort of thing this weekend," said Marshall head coach Nicole Peterson, "but I'm just so proud of my girls. They worked really hard to get here and they just kept plugging through it and they didn't give up. And hopefully they're happy with the performance that we did have."
Photo by Travis Andries
Marshall sophomore Kylie Vermeire swims in the 500-yard freestyle during the finals of the Class A state swimming and diving meet at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis. Vermeire placed fifth in the event with a time of 5 minutes, 14.26 seconds.
Both Vermeire's earned All-State honors with their top-eight finishes on Saturday.
McKenzie Vermeire, a senior, took seventh in the 200 IM with a time of 2 minutes, 12 seconds, missing out on sixth place by three one-hundredths of a second to Mahtomedi's Brooke Bacchus. She also placed seventh in 100 backstroke, completing four lengths of the pool with a time of 1:00.00.
"I thought today went OK," McKenzie Vermeire said. "I would have liked it to go a little bit better, but you can't go back and change it. Last weekend I injured my elbow and I wasn't able to practice like I should have. So I mean, if things were different, I would have liked it to go better, but I'm happy with how we did today. I'm really happy with our 400 freestyle relay. We pulled it out in the end. It was a good race."
Marshall Top Finishers
200 Freestyle: 10. Kylie Vermeire 1:57.50
200 Individual Medley: 7. McKenzie Vermeire 2:12.40
500 Freestyle: 5. K. Vermeire 5:14.26
100 Backstroke: 7. M. Vermeire 1:00.00
400 Freestyle Relay: 9. M. Vermeire, Abby Surprenant, Ashley Dunn, K. Vermeire 3:42.59
Marshall received points for its ninth-place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay, chasing down the team from Bemidji, which held a three-second lead with over half the race complete.
McKenzie Vermeire opened the race for the Tigers, taking a two-second lead over Bemidji's Danielle Hoven. But Bemidji regained an edge over the Tigers as Steph Frey passed Abby Surprenant to give the Lumberjacks a three-second lead. Ashley Dunn cut the deficit down by a second over four lengths of the pool, but ultimately the race came down to how Kylie Vermeire would swim.
Having already competed in the 200-yard freestyle consolation meet, taking 10th with a time of 1:57.50, and the 500-yard freestyle, Vermeire managed to erase the deficit and beat Bemidji's Erin Arndt to the wall.
The Marshall team completed the race with a time of 3:42.59, while Bemidji swam 400 yards as a team in 3:42.79.
"Our goal going in, since we couldn't move up to the top eight, was to win our heat," Kylie Vermeire said. "I didn't want to lose it, so I just went as hard as I could."
Kylie Vermeire's time of 5:14.26 in the 500-yard freestyle placed her fifth overall, making her Marshall's top finisher of the tournament.
With the state meet and the 2012 season now finished, the Tiger swim team says farewell to four seniors. Surprenant, McKenzie Vermeire, Laura Mitlyng and Cassaundra Krogen each had a special impact on the program over their years swimming for Marshall, according to their coach.
"Swimming is a sport where the kids are on the team, a lot of them, since seventh grade. So it's six years that I've had the privilege of working with those seniors," Peterson said. "They're all leaders in their own way. And it will be different next season."
For Kylie Vermeire, a sophomore, the state meet marked the end of a 10-year time span of swimming with her older sister.
"It's going to be very different next year. I'm not ready for it to be over. I'm going to miss her a lot, but I'm very proud of her," she said.
As a whole, Peterson felt that the 2012 season was a successful one, considering the coach was unsure of who would return, and how many new faces would be seen.
"The season as a whole was just a fantastic season," Peterson said. "We started out not sure of who was coming back, how many girls we would end up having. We ended up having a lot more girls than we expected. I just think that it was kind of a different make up of a team than we had expected going in. They worked well together and it was a fun year."