The Mounds View girls swim and dive team has grown substantially in number from last season, with this group now totaling 82 athletes.
Head coach Chris Yauch and assistant coach Amanda Donley, along with head diving Coach Brenda Bebeau, return, combining their skill sets with new assistant coaches Linnea Johnson, and assistant diving coach Ryann Lynch, in leading this diversely-talented group of athletes.
While the roster has increased in number, times have been dropping as the swimmers got up to speed for conference relays and their first dual meets. They showcased much promise and team spirit at the relays and currently their dual record stands at 3-2.
The season began with the always exciting conference relays, with which its unique events, exemplified the depth of the Mustang team. Mounds View finished second overall behind Stillwater, besting Woodbury, Park, and Roseville. The divers finished fourth overall behind Woodbury, Roseville, and Stillwater and while each team may claim only one top five spot for point awards, MV had multiple top five times in all but three of eight swimming events.
The Mustangs touched the wall first in two events — the 200 yard free relay with senior Nora Waffensmith (28.15), senior Mackenzie Groth (26.64), senior captain Annie Moen (25.14), and senior captain Zoe Rylander (24.81) and in the 400 free relay with Moen (56.84), Melania Meyers (56.76), senior captain Megan West(57.91), and Rylander(55.23).
In the 400 medley, 200 free, 200 butterfly, 200 backstroke, and 400 free, Mounds View had top-five times in one or more than one relay, to the credit of additional swimmers including Elly Lynch, Maren Durand, Kaja Holtz, and Olivia Schuette swimming the 400 medley; Corrina Schell, Emily Landin, Laney Schweiters, and Lilly Baber in the 200 free relay; Alexandra Rylander, Katelyn Welle, and Erika Turkington in the 4 x 100 medley relay; Alexis Easley in the 200 fly relay; Natalie Jahnsen, and Rachel Thaden in the 200 back relay; and Alana Schmitzer contributing in the 200 Breast.
Also scoring points that evening were Sara Wilkowski in the 800 free relay and Claire Kadwell, Grace Bury, Bella Hoppe, and Lauren Lian in the 200 free relay. The vast majority of girls on the team had an opportunity to swim in this first meet and their efforts were impressive. With around 32 first-time rookies, there is much to look forward to regarding emerging Mustang talent.
The first dual meet, a loss, was against powerhouse Stillwater, who remains MV’s most difficult rival historically in the sport. The Mustangs still managed to score 82 varsity points and were able to finish in the top three in all three relays.
The relay team of West, senior captain Anna Montgomery, senior Alli Misialek, and Moen finished second in the 200 medley relay. Finishing less than a second behind first place Stillwater in the 200 free relay was the team of Moen, Misialek, Waffensmith and Rylander. Eighth-grader Erica Turkington, Groth, West, and Rylander had a third-place time in the 400 free relay.
Other varsity highlights included topping Stillwater that evening in the 50 free – Moen (25.40) — and the 100 free — West (56.32). Also, Misialek finished second (100.61) in the 100 fly. Turkington and eighth grader Alexis Easley finished 4th and 5th in the 200 free. Rylander and sophomore Elly Lynch finished 4th and 5th in the 200 IM. Junior Kaja Holtz finished 4th in the 50 free. Rylander touched 4th in the 100 fly. Moen was 4th in the 100 free. Turkington and junior Laney Schwieters were 4th and 5th in the 500 free. West in 100 back, and Misialek and Montgomery in the 100 breaststroke. Diver sophomore Darah Ostrom (170.25) and freshman Addie Knoll (156.80) finished 2nd and 3rd.
MV was victorious in recent meets against both Roseville 105-73 at home (Chippewa Middle School) and Park 104-61 in Cottage Grove.
The meet against Woodbury resulted in a loss for the Mustangs. The senior lineup alone for that meet was sans more than a couple key athletes either out absent or swimming limited events. The Mustangs beat Cretin-Derham Hall on Thursday. Upcoming meets are Irondale at home, Eastridge on the road, and True Team Sections on Oct. 12.