The swimming and diving season is coming up on its last week with the state meet this Thursday through Saturday, and a strong group of Hutchinson swimmers will be there.
Last season, the Tigersharks did well enough to finish second behind Visitation as the Blazers captured their sixth straight state championship. This year, the ’Sharks are hoping to end that streak of titles, but it will be a tall order.
Visitation has 24 state entries compared to 16 for Hutchinson. Of course it’s not how many entries make it, it’s about how well they score at state. Just like sections, the top eight swimmers in each event during prelims qualify for the championship heat Saturday, while swimmers that place ninth through 16th qualify for the consolation heat. They all help score points for their team.
Visitation has 14 entries seeded in the top eight and seven more seeded between ninth and 16th place. Hutchinson, meanwhile, has eight seeded in the top eight and seven seeded between ninth and 16th place. That means if the Tigersharks hope to make a run at Visitation, it will need swimmers to move up from their seeds as much as possible.
Hutchinson also has individuals and relays seeded to have a chance at state titles. The 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams are both seeded No. 1 and in good position to repeat as state champs. Both have times that are more than a second faster than the closest competition. The 200 medley relay team is seeded No. 3, but less than a second separates the No. 1 and No. 5 seeds in that race, so anything could happen.
Individually, Grace Hanson looks to defend her title in the 50 freestyle and is the No. 1 seed in that event, plus the No. 2 seed in the 100 freestyle. In the 500 freestyle, Hailey Farrell will also look to defend her title and is seeded No. 3, just four seconds behind the leader.
The ’Sharks are hoping they saved their best swims for last because they will have to give everything they’ve got to finish the season on top.
Hutchinson’s state seed times
200 medley relay — 1. Breck 1:48.17; 3. Hutchinson 1:48.78
200 freestyle — 1. Taylor Williams (Benilde-SM) 1:52.39; 10. Lexi Kucera 1:57.12; 14. Mikayla Witte 1:57.42; 17. Madison Witte 1:58.01
200 IM — 1. Hannah Hintermeister (Richfield) 2:08.39; 5. Hailey Farrell 2:09.50; 16. Jaiden Mezera 2:13.17
50 freestyle — 1. Grace Hanson (Hutch) 23.51
100 butterfly — 1. Cecelia DeJong (Red Wing) 56.19; 7. Lexi Kucera 57.59; 14. Madison Witte 58.81
100 freestyle — 1. Taylor Williams (Benilde-SM) 51.52; 2. Grace Hanson (H) 51.83
500 freestyle — 1. Zella Lucas (Mound-W) 5:04.18; 3. Hailey Farrell 5:08.40; 27. Kasidy Brecht 5:27.51
200 freestyle relay — 1. Hutchinson 1:37.01
100 backstroke — 1. Emme Kern (Delano) 56.83; 10. Mikayla Witte 59.26; 16. Kasidy Brecht 1:00.56
400 freestyle relay — 1. Hutchinson 3:33.16