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Girls swimming and diving: Leading the way

Rosemount's Olivia Johnston helps the 200 medley relay team to a first-place finish during last Thursday's South Suburban Conference dual win over Lakeville North at Rosemount Middle School. The Irish are 5-0 in the conference and ranked eighth in the state.

Lakeville North didn't enter any athletes in the 1-meter dive at last Thursday's South Suburban Conference dual meet in Rosemount.

Those 13 points that went eighth-ranked Rosemount's way ended up being the difference as the Irish improved to 5-0 atop the league standings with a 93-90 win.

"If they had any divers, we just would have swam faster," Rosemount coach Tami Carlson joked after the meet.

The home team took the early lead thanks to victories by the 200 medley relay team and Megan Wenman in the 200 freestyle. After a 2-3-4 finish by Katie Garrity, Olivia Johnston and Ashley Heimkes, the Irish held a 28-18 advantage.

Lakeville North answered with a 1-3-5 finish in the 50 freestyle to move within 34-28 after four events, but the dive sweep by Claire Judeh, Kristina Terhaar and Katrina Orthmann pushed the Irish's lead back to 19 points at 47-28. With two regular divers out sick, Orthmann, a swimmer, learned six dives for the meet and ended up contributing three points that matched the team's final margin of victory.

"She was truly a team player," Carlson said.

Trailing by 19, Lakeville North finished first in the next five events to close within 78-75 with two events to go. During that stretch, the Irish got second-place showings from Wenman in the 100 butterfly, Garrity in the 500 freestyle Claire Tolan in the 100 backstroke and the 200 freestyle relay team.

The Irish moved back in front by five points thanks to a 1-3 finish by Johnston and Heimkes in the 100 breaststroke.

The Panthers responded with a first-place finish in the meet's final event, the 400 freestyle relay, but the Irish brought in their relay teams second and third to earn the other six points and clinch the meet.

"Linde Toenges was the anchor of the 400 free B relay and we had to place two of the top three places in order to win," Carlson said. "She saw that their B relay was right with her and with about 15 yards to go she just buried her head, didn't breath and out-touched her by six-tenths of a second. It was an outstanding finish."

The Irish returned to the pool Saturday and placed seventh out of 11 teams in the Gold Division with 146 points at the Maroon and Gold Invite at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center.

Wenman had the team's top two individual finishes and anchored a pair of top-10 relays. She opened with a third-place swim in the 200 freestyle and came back for a second-place showing in the 100 freestyle. She then teamed up with Madeline Ryan, Tolan and Johnston for a ninth-place swim in the 200 freestyle relay and Garrity, Grace Herron and Tolan for a seventh-place effort in the 400 freestyle relay.

Garrity added a seventh-place finish of her own in the 500 freestyle and came in 10th in the 200 individual medley. Also cracking the top 10 were Johnson in the 100 breaststroke (7th) and Herron in the 50 freestyle (8th).

Twelfth-place finishes were achieved by Tolan in the 200 freestyle and Aby Tesch in the 100 buterfly and 13th-place showings came from Terhaar in the 1-meter dive and the 200 medley relay team.