10 December 2013

Senior swimmers help take Tigers to new heights

2013 was the most successful girls swimming and diving season in school history
Paced by the largest senior class in the program's history, the Tigers put together a memorable 2013 season.

The list of accomplishments is a lengthy one. The season started with a win at the Missota Conference Relays and meet championships at the Maroon and Gold Invite and the Bloomington Kennedy Invitational soon followed.

Then came a team building trip to Duluth and a third straight True Team section title. In between came the school's best-ever dual meet mark and four new school records.

All-state recognition for Kaitlyn O'Reilly and the relay team of O'Reilly, Cora Rizicka, Kirsten Kracke and Chelsea Gehrke added a little icing on the cake.

"This was the biggest senior class we've ever graduated and I'm proud of their accomplishments in and out of the water," coach Jen Marshall said. "Over the years, I've witnessed their leadership skills develop, the strongest bonds of friendship formed and pride for themselves and their team grow in everything they did. 

"I'm excited to see where life leads them and the additional successes they create for themselves. It's been nothing short of an honor and privilege to work with them and watch them grow into amazing young women."

Thirteen of the 34 varsity letters handed out at the team's post-season banquet went to members of the class of 2013, including: Katie Aaron, Nikki Cayard, Mackenzie Farran, Sydney Geiger, Chloe Holton, Leah Huls, Sara Kintner, Maddie Kohlbeck, Courtney L'Heureux, Kaitlyn O'Reilly, Cora Ruzicka, Hannah Seitzinger and Ahan Wilson.

Underclassmen receiving letters included juniors Katie King, Kirsten Kracke, Ellie Sundet, Hanna Sundt and Kendall Novak; sophomores Kaylee Dahlberg, Chelsea Gehrke, Emily Ley, Tori Sontag and Elizabeth Welter; freshmen Katie Anderson, Paige Hansen, Allison Kjellberg, Paige LeTourneau and Gena Sheehan and eighth-graders Lexie Bray, Caroline Cummings, Catherine Gehrke, Shannon Newman, Grace Roach and Jessi Witherill.

Six Tigers--Cayard, Chelsea Gehrke, Kracke, Novak, O'Reilly and Ruzicka--earned all-Missota Conference honors while Kintner and Sundet garnered all-league honorable mention.

Several other awards were announced at the post-season banquet:
Most Valuable Players: O'Reilly, Kracke and Holton
Most Improved: Geiger
Hardest Worker: Kracke
Tiger Award: Holton
Rookie of the Year: Anderson

Coach Marshall also announced King, Kracke, Sundet and Gabby Freuler as team captains for the 2014 season.

Marshall admitted she'll feel the loss of the big senior class when practice begins next fall but she is confident her younger athletes will step up to carry on the program's strong tradition.

"The underclassmen will have big shoes to fill but I'm confident they'll rise to the occasion as we enter the South Suburban Conference," she said. "Since we'll be competing against faster teams we'll have to step things up even more to be competitive."