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Girls swimming and diving: Sections start for swimmers

Rosemount girls swimming and diving coach Jim Ertl has been around long enough to see many highlights, talented swimmers and impressive meet performances.

What he saw Wednesday in the Class 2A, Section 3 preliminaries might have topped everything.

"That was awesome," Ertl said. "That was the best meet I have been in for a long time. I am proud of all the girls. They really stepped up."

Rosemount had several solid performances in the section preliminaries. Ertl said each of the swimmers reached lifetime-best times.

"It was definitely the best meet of the year so far," Ertl said.

And it came at the most critical time.

McKenzie Tolan set personal bests, and was under state-cut times in both the 200- and 500-yard freestyle races. She narrowly missed the school record in the in the 200 freestyle.

Senior captain Katie Heinsen set lifetime bests in the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke.

"She was probably one of the biggest surprises because of where and how much she dropped," Ertl said. "Those times were just phenomenal."

Rosemount also placed three swimmers in the top eight -- and thus into the finals -- in the backstroke. Beth Wenman, Lynette Griffith and Elyse Griffith were the backstrokers.

Lindsey Erickson and Claire Tolan each had personal bests in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle. As did Rebecca Eggers in the 200 freestyle and 100 freestyle.

Elyse Griffith also dropped four seconds in the 200 individual medley.

Colleen Baker swam a 25.6 in the 50 freestyle, a full second better than her previous time.

The Irish swim in the section finals today.