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Irish swim to 36th

The Rosemount girls swimming and diving team has finished at or near the top at the state tournament a handful of times in program history, but considering the progress made over the course of this fall season, coach Jim Ertl was happy with a 36th-place finish at last weekend's Class 2A State Swimming and Diving Championships.

"From what we were expecting when we started out, we would have never believed we would get two relays to state," Ertl said. "It's going to take more kids to go after that upper level in the team race, that's the bottom line. These kids just wanted to try to get to the finals. They came up a little short, but they did improve so it was a pretty good deal."

Four of Rosemount's five points came from sophomore Beth Wenman, who finished 13th in the 100 backstroke in 1 minute, 45-hundredths of a second. Her preliminary time of 59.79 missed the Rosemount school record by nine hundredths of a second.

"She's very talented and very hard-working, there's no doubt about that," Ertl said. "She's just going to get better and better in the future."

Rosemount's other point came from senior McKenzie Tolan, who finished 16th in the 200 freestyle and 17th in the 500 freestyle in her third appearance at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center. She swam to a time of 1:58.15 in the 200 freestyle and a 5:14.46 clocking in the 500 freestyle.

"She closed out a good year. She won a lot of races in dual meets and in invitationals, as well," Ertl said. "She probably scored more points than anybody on the team this season."

In the relays, both Rosemount squads moved up from their section seedings. The 200 medley relay team of Wenman, Nadezda Rybina, Julie Normandeau and Teija Normandeau came in seeded 24th and finished 21st in a time of 1:53.92, while the 400 freestyle relay team of Wenman, McKenzie Tolan, Claire Tolan and Elyse Griffith entered ranked 21st and moved up to 19th with a time of 3:42.20.