Hibbing Daily Tribune
CHISHOLM — Chisholm High School girls swimming coach Jessica Rice doesn’t have a lot of numbers, so the focus at meets is a lot different than if she had a larger team.
When the Section 7A Preliminary Meet begins today at 3 p.m., at the Hibbing High School Pool, Rice has one objective — see time drops.
That’s what the Bluestreaks will try to get, and at the same time, advance some swimmers into the finals Saturday.
“I’m looking forward to seeing our times come down, and top off the year with some good times,” Rice said. “They’ve been practicing hard these last couple of weeks. They’re excited.
“Their energy has been good at practice this week. It’s all about attitude. That has to be 100-percent when it comes to sports. If their attitudes are good, their times and swims show it.”
Rice has seen some time drops from her team this season, but now, she gets to see how her taper has affected her teams’ swims.
“Some of the girls have hit their personal bests, but I’m excited to see how far down their times can get,” Rice said. “As they get older and looking back at last year, a lot of their times have come down from last year’s sections.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how far down their times can be.”
Rice, who is in her third season as coach, has worked hard this season on her teams’ technical issues.
“We focused a lot of our efforts on technique, making sure that’s good,” Rice said. “We talked about speed work and good turns, and how that makes a big difference in races. It’s all about starts and turns.
“They’ve done well with that. I have to remind them every day to give it their best effort, and not think about the race too much. I have to remind them about their good technique and good turns. Those are things we’ve talked about all season.”
With that said, Rice said this team is ready to compete against the rest of Section 7A.
“They’ve seen a lot of these teams all season, so they know what they can do,” Rice said. “They’re prepared. I’ll remind them to give their best effort.”
As far as her lineup goes, Rice has done her homework to put her athletes in the best position to succeed.
“I put them in events where they can swim their best,” Rice said. “I don’t have a full lineup, so that’s why we focus on times with the ones I do have in the lineup.”
All three of Rice’s relays will advance into Saturday’s finals. It’s just a matter of what seed they get. Individually, Rice wants to see how a couple of her girls fare in their events.
“I’m looking forward to Clara’s (Nelson) races in the individual medley and backstroke,” Rice said. “I want to see how Courtney (Anderson) does in the breaststroke. We have a few swimmers who have a chance to advance to the top 16.”
Chisholm seeds are as follows:
200 medley relay — 9. Chisholm
200 freestyle — 23. Ava Baumgard; 35. Hanna Halberg; 39. Mya Pessenda; 43. Mackenzie Holewa.
200 individual medley — 11. Clara Nelson; 35. Emma Sundquist; 37. Brianna Altman.
50 freestyle — 20. Tresa Baumgard; 27. Sofie Anderson; 39. Molly Sundquist; 41. Wren McLaughlin.
100 butterfly — 18. Jaelyn Jordan; 34. Altman.
100 freestyle — 27. Ava Baumgard; 28. Tresa Baumgard; 42. Holewa; 43. Amariiya Larson.
500 freestyle — 30. Pessenda; 32. Halberg; 35. Maggie Nelson.
200 freestyle relay — 10. Chisholm.
100 backstroke — 15. Clara Nelson; 40. Ava Wuori; 42. Cheyenne Parr.
100 breaststroke — 9. Courtney Anderson; 17. Sofie Anderson; 26. Molly Sundquist; 37. Emma Sundquist.
400 freestyle relay — 11. Chisholm.