Hibbing Daily Tribune

HIBBING — The Hibbing High School girls swimming team had time drops, pretty much across the board.

What that means and how it plays out on Saturday is yet to be determined, but the Bluejackets put on a stellar performance at the Section 7A Preliminary Meet held Thursday at the Hibbing High School Pool.

Hibbing coach Mike Veneziano was ecstatic about the performance of his team.

“All but a couple of swims coming from inexperienced swimmers we were in the 90th percentile, we had time drops,” Veneziano said. “That is not easy to do with a team our size that had as many entries as we had today.

“We finally put a good quality meet together, from the beginning to the end. Some of our swims were incredibly outstanding. They were amazing time drops.”

Veneziano said he and his coaching staff had an inkling that that was going to happen.

“It kept not showing up, so it’s kind of like a monkey off of our back,” Veneziano said. “You know what you have. You know what they can accomplish, but you’re waiting, waiting and waiting.

“Everybody starts questioning, ‘Are we doing the right thing?’ As a coach, I’m proud. All I told the team was simply, ‘Just go and be intense. Stop worrying about things, then everything else will take care of itself.’ That happened today.”

Veneziano doesn’t want his athletes worrying about the person next to them, and the Bluejackets did a great job of blocking that out.

“A lot of their races, wherever they were seeded, they got such a jump on the field that in some cases, they couldn’t even see the competition,” Veneziano said. “Or, if they were supposed to be clearly behind a kid, all of a sudden it was, ‘Holy cow, I’m keeping up that kid.’”

All of that got put into play by the 200 medley relay team of Macie Emerson, Claire Furlong, Bella Alaspa and Emery Maki.

That Hibbing foursome of seeded eighth coming into the prelims, but they swam their best time of the season (2:02.54) to move up to the fifth seed heading into finals.

“With that particular group of athletes I had in it, coming in with a 2:08 seed time and barely being in the top eight, they put it together,” Veneziano said. “There were teams so far ahead of us that I was hoping to hang on to eighth.

“All of a sudden we’re fifth, and we’re not that far out of fourth. The way they swam, if they put another one together, they could maybe break two minutes, which would be outstanding.”

Furlong is the lone senior on that relay. Alaspa is a sophomore, Maki a freshman and Emerson an eighth-grader.

“They’re young, inexperienced kids, who have had little or no region experience in a meet of this caliber,” Veneziano said. “For them to do what they did, that is outstanding. That goes to a lot of the hard work that we do every day around here.

“It’s not just the fact that the coaching staff works the kids hard, but they’re willing to accept the hard work. They do delayed gratification pretty well, and they understand that process. If a bunch of younger kids understand that, that says a lot about their character.”

The Bluejackets did pick up three No. 1 seeds; Meghan Minne in the 100 freestyle, and Minne, Natalie Skorich, Madison St. George and Geli Stenson in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays.

Minne has a No. 2 seed in the 50 freestyle

Also swimming in the championship heats on Saturday will be St. George in the 200 individual medley and the 100 butterfly; Stenson in the 200 and 500 freestyles; and Skorich in the 50 and 100 freestyles.

“We are thoroughly pleased with how we performed today,” Veneziano said. “Once you start a process like this where it clicks, 90-percent of the time, we reproduce it or better it in finals.

“That’s what I’m looking for.”

Section 7A Preliminary Meet

200 medley relay — 1. Mesabi East 1:54.39; 2. Two Harbors/Silver Bay 1:54.78; 3. Virginia 2:00.06; 4. International Falls 2:01.09; 5. Hibbing (Macie Emerson, Claire Furlong, Bella Alaspa, Emery Maki), 2:02.54; 6. Cloquet/Esko/Carlton 2:03.62; 7. Denfeld 2:06.19; 8. Proctor/Hermantown 2:06.43; 10. Chisholm (Clara Nelson, Courtney Anderson, Jaelyn Jordan, Sofie Anderson), 2:07.30.

200 freestyle — 1. Grace Brunfelt, ME, 2:01.85; 2. Riley Larson, THSB, 2:02.61; 3. Lindsay Johnson, DD, 2:03.09; 4. Hannah Sandman, CEC, 2:03.35; 5. Geli Stenson, H, 2:03.43; 6. Adrianna Lehmkuhl, ME, 2:06.07; 7. Audrey Hanson, TH/SB, 2:08.71; 8. Adriana Sheets, ME, 2:09.58; 10. Alaspa, H, 2:22.23; 18. Alli Raukar, H, 2:19.13; 20. Riley Story, H, 2:16.72; 29. Ava Baumgard, C, 2:21.52; 37. Hanna Halberg, C, 2:34.03; 40. Mackenzie Holewa, C, 2:44.20.

200 individual medley — 1. Kaylee Overbye, THSB, 2:17.13; 2. Haley Melin, PH, 2:20.79; 3. Emma Williams, ME, 2:22.32; 4. Lydia Skelton, ME, 2:22.80; 5. Madison St. George, H, 2:25.61; 6. Lily Tedrick, NRE, 2:29.87; 7. Macey Marcotte, IF, 2:30.58; 8. Amara Carey, EG, 2:30.77; 10. Emerson, H, 2:32.77; 14. Ella Kalisch, H, 2:35.06; 18. Nelson, C, 2:39.91; 26. Alison Trullinger, H, 2:46.09; 35. Brianna Altman, C, 2:53.12; 36. Emma Sundquist, C, 2:55.38.

50 freestyle — 1. Kate Thomasen, THSB, 24.86; 2. Meghan Minne, H, 24.92; 3. Hannah Nygaard, ME, 25.21; 4. Mollie Albrecht, EG, 25.25; 5. Chloe Smith, V, 25.61; 6. Elli Jankila, EG, 25.65; 7. Brooke Pasmick, NRE, 25.78; 8. Natalie Skorich, H, 25.87; 20. Maki, H, 27.51; 21. Lily Lantz, H, 27.92; 22. Tresa Baumgard, C, 28.01; 29. Sofie Anderson, C, 28.75; 41. Molly Sundquist, C, 32.36.

100 butterfly — 1. Larson, THSB, 1:02.04; 1. Johnson, DD, 1:02.44; 3. Havyn Pelland, IF, 1:03.68; 4. Hannah Mattson, ME, 1:03.72; 5. Lauryn Devich, V, 1:03.80; 6. Carly George, EG 1:04.05; 7. St. George, H, 1:04.25; 8. Melin, PH, 1:04.95; 10. Alasap, H, 1:06.28; 17. Jordan, C, 1:11.52; 20. Ryanne Sauer, H, 1:14.83; 23. Meghan Savage, H, 1:16.24; 31. Altman, C, 1:29.99.

100 freestyle — 1. Minne, H, 53.84; 2. Thomasen, THSB, 54.60; 3. Albrecht, EG, 54.63; 4. Skorich, H, 56.84; 5. Jankila, EG, 57.47; 6. Skelton, ME, 57.48; 7. Hannah Ewer, PH, 58.48; 8. Sheets, ME, 58.64; 16. Maki, H, 1:00.45; 18. Furlong, H, 1:00.74; 27. Tresa Baumgard, C, 1:04.00; 32. Ava Baumgard, C, 1:05.15; 41. Holewa, C, 1:12.40.

500 freestyle — 1. Larson, THSB 5:27.20; 2. Brunfelt, ME, 5:30.12; 3. Stenson, H, 5:31.37; 4. Rosie Cruikshank, THSB, 5:46.15; 5. Elizabeth Nicolai, PH, 5:48. 87; 6. Ellie Robillard, EG, 5:55.19; 7. Hannah Williams, ME, 5:59.97; 8. Riile Clark, DD, 6:01.70; 10. Raukar, H, 6:05.67; 15. Alexis Walters, H, 6:13.31; 20. Makenna Kriske, H ,6:21.03; 32. Mya Pessenda, C, 6:59.02; 33. Halberg, C 7:07.99.

200 freestyle relay — 1. Hibbing (Skorich, Minne, St. George), 1:43.12; 2. Eveleth-Gilbert 1:45.13; 3. Mesabi East 1:46.88; 4. Denfeld 1:47.26; 5. Proctor/Hermantown 1:48.23; 6. Cloquet/Esko/Carlton 1:48.59; 7. Two Harbors/Silver Bay 1:49.18; 8. International Falls 1:49.46; 10. Chisholm (Sofie Anderson, Tresa Baumgard, Courtney Anderson, Jaelyn Jordan), 1:53.94.

100 backstroke — 1. Emma Williams, ME, 1:01.88; 2. Siiri Hakala, ME, 1:05.13; 3. Pasmick, NRE, 1:05.97; 4. Dostal, CEC, 1:06.69; 5. Kailey Fossell, ME, 1:06.80; 6. Marcotte, IF, 1:07.24; 7. Jada Larson, THSB, 1:07.74; 8. Bethany Harvey, V, 1:08.59; 10. Emerson, H, 1:09.11; 11. Kalisch, H, 1:10.41; 14. Lantz, H, 1:12.00; 16. Clara Nelson, C, 1:13.17; 19. Jordyn McCormack, H, 1:13.57; 41. Ava Wuori, C, 1:41.15

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