It’s only the Class A state prelims, but the Hutchinson girls swimming and diving team already made a splash Friday at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
In the final event of the day, the 400 freestyle relay team of Grace Hanson, Madison Witte, Hailey Farrell and Lexi Kucera set a new state record with their time of 3:27.06. They were six seconds faster than the second-place team. The previous record of 3:27.64 was set last year by the same four Hutch swimmers.
Along with the 400 freestyle relay team, the ’Sharks had 15 of their 16 state entries qualify for finals Saturday, including nine in championship heats and seven with first-place times in their events.
Hailey Farrell had the fastest prelim times in the 200 individual medley and 500 freestyle, while Grace Hanson also led the way in the 50 and 100 freestyle. Lexi Kucera had a top time in the butterfly and was second in the 200 freestyle, and the 200 freestyle relay team of Hanson, Madison Witte, Ainslea Jensen and Kucera also finished with the fastest time in prelims.
Hutch’s other championship swim is in the 200 medley relay, where the team of Mikayla Witte, Madilyn Gehrke, Farrell and Jensen took fifth in prelims.
While they won’t earn medals Saturday, Hutch has six other individual swims that will try to finish the season with their fastest times and help the Tigersharks score team points. They are Madison Witte in the 200 freestyle and butterfly, Mikayla Witte in the backstroke, Jaiden Mezera in the individual medley and Kasidy Brecht in the 500 freestyle and backstroke.
Hutch’s only entry that missed out on qualifying for finals was Mikayla Witte in the 200 freestyle. She finished 23rd.
The Tigersharks will look to wrap up their season with a pile of state medals and hopefully a team trophy during the finals noon Saturday.