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The 2018 Minnesota Class AA Girls State Swimming and Diving Championships took place on Nov. 16 at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center on the University of Minnesota’s campus.
Backed by junior diver Megan Phillip who broke a 21-year-old Minnesota State record on the 1-meter diving board, Edina used impressive depth to secure their third-consecutive title with 365 points. Minnetonka took second with 231 points as Wayzata posted a score of 186 for third.
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Top 5 Team Scores:
1. Edina – 365
2. Minnetonka – 231
3. Wayzata – 186
4. Eden Prairie – 178.5
5. Robbinsdale Armstrong – 131
The meet began as Eden Prairie’s Chloe Skogg, Kylie Rydland, Grace Logue and Grace Witherspoon won the opening 4×50 medley relay in 1:44.15, about a second ahead of runner-up Wayzata (1:45.02) and St. Michael-Albertville (1:45.77).
Edina’s Claudia Chang cruised to first in the 200 free as the only swimmer in the field under the 1:50 mark, doing so in 1:49.49. Robbinsdale Armstrong’s Sierra Smith was second in 1:50.58 while Eastview’s Claudia Dougan took third in 1:52.45.
Anoka’s Reese Dehen found herself with an individual gold in the 200 IM, posting a seven-tenth victory in 2:02.10 over Wayzata’s Jordan McGinty (2:02.83). Stillwater’s Sydney Rogness wound up third in 2:03.52.
Edina’s Lily Gremmels sprinted her way to a narrow 50 free gold, doing so in a swift 23.66. Her teammate Nora Clarkowski took a close second in 23.68 while Andover’s Emily Pawlaski finished third in 23.76.
Phillip dove to first on the 1-meter board, posting a final score of 517.00 for first place to defend her title for the third-straight year. Her score broke a 21-year-old Minnesota State record of 507.00 set by Jaime Sanger in 1997. St. Cloud Tech’s Meredith Matchinsky posted a score of 406.85 for second while Minnetonka’s Faith Robinson finished third with 389.25 points.
Minneapolis Southwest’s Peyton D’Emanuele grabbed an individual gold in the 100 fly, where she flew to first place with a time of 54.45. Molly Meland of Hopkins finished second in 55.10 as Emma Lezer of St. Michael Albertville placed third in 55.56.
After taking second in the 50 free, McGinty found herself on top of the podium in the 100 free with a time of 50.54. 200 free runner-up Smith was again second in 50.81 as Dougan rounded out the podium in 51.07.
Chang was back in the water after winning the 200 free to earn the State title in the 500 free, claiming victory by three seconds with a final time of 4:54.64. Also sneaking under the five-minute barrier were Robbinsdale Armstrong’s Zoe Bresnahan (4:57.80) for second and Minneapolis Southwest’s Elle Niebuhr (4:59.08) for third.
Edina’s Brecken Merkel, Chang, Nora Clarkowski and Gremmels combined to win the 4×50 free relay in 1:34.43. Eden Prairie was over a second behind in 1:35.75 for the silver while Minnetonka grabbed the bronze in 1:35.78.
After leading off the winning 4×50 medley relay, Skogg cruised to a victory in the 100 back. Her time of 54.47 was about seven-tenths faster than her teammate Katelyn Pennell (55.24) and Edina’s Katie Murphy swam a time of 56.20 for third place.
Lezer got her hands to the wall first in the 100 breast, stopping the clock in 1:01.98 for the win and successful State title defense. Dehen swam to second in 1:02.72 while Rydland touched the wall third in 1:03.53.
The Edina quartet of Merkel, Gremmels, Chang and Clarkowski concluded the meet with a bang as champions in the 4×100 free relay, besting the field by four seconds in 3:26.73. Minnetonka (3:30.11) and Wayzata (3:31.39) finished second and third, respectively.