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Swimming & diving: Irish make a splash, finish seventh at state

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The gap between the section and state swim meets was four days longer this year.

In past seasons, the state meet was held on the Friday and Saturday after the section meets the previous weekend. The longer layoff seemed to affect the Irish in Tuesday’s prelims, but by Wednesday night they were back on track.

The Irish advanced 12 of their 15 events to the second day and earned All-American consideration and all-state honors in several events while placing seventh out of 36 scoring teams in Class 2A with 141 ½ points at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center. The team finished 13th last season and 22nd at the 2011 state meet.

“The girls started the state meet a little flat. That seemed to be the trend across the schools. The state meet being four days later was a big adjustment both mentally and physically,” Rosemount coach Tami Carlson said. “They mentally turned it around and had a great meet on finals night.”

Wayzata topped runner-up Minnetonka 275-232 for the team title. Rosemount was the highest finisher among all the South Suburban Conference teams in the meet.

Megan Wenman, an all-stater in two events last season, achieved that status in three events this year. Individually, she placed fourth in the 200 freestyle and earned All-American consideration with a time of 1 minute, 50.30 seconds. She also placed fifth and earned All-American consideration in the 100 freestyle with a clocking of 51.52 seconds.

Wenman closed out the meet by teaming up with Grace Herron, Katie Garrity and Olivia Johnston for a school-record time of 3:30.12 in the 400 free relay that was good enough for fourth place.

Herron also reached the podium in the 100 butterfly where she placed seventh in 57.44. In the 50 freestyle, she won the consolation final and settled for ninth place with a season-best time 24.12.

Johnston achieved individual all-state honors in the 200 individual medley where she placed eighth in 2:08.05. She was also 14th in the 100 breaststroke.

Diver Sawyer Murray, like many of her Irish teammates, came on strong on the second day of the meet. In 14th place after eight dives, she scored big on her final three dives to reach the podium with an eighth-place finish.

Garrity narrowly missed all-state finishes in three events. She won the consolation final in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:00.81 that would have placed her fourth in the final, placed 10th in the 200 IM with a season-best time and swam a leg of the ninth-place 200 freestyle relay. Garrity, Wenman, Herron and Cassandra Hutchins combined on a school-record time in the event that earned them All-American consideration.

Abby Tesch added a 14th-place finish in the 200 freestyle and a 27th-place showing in the 100 butterfly. Hutchins was 24th in the 100 freestyle and the Rosemount 200 medley relay team placed 19th.

“Over the course of this season the girls have broken every school record except backstroke and diving and two pool records,” Carlson said. “It was a rewarding season and I am very proud of our girls and all their hard work.”