Instead of hitting a wall, Jaelin Beachy will be attacking them.
The Staples-Motley Cardinals junior will compete in her fourth Class 1A state swimming and diving meet Friday at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. She will compete in the 50-yard freestyle for the second time at state and the 100 breaststroke for the fourth time.
The state veteran, who made the finals for the first time in last year’s breaststroke, said wall work will be the key during Thursday’s warm-up to the meet.
“I’m going to focus more on my walls because last year my wall work wasn’t the best,” Beachy said. “I’m used to having something to grab onto when I make my turn, but at the state meet they use a bulkhead to separate the pool so you just have to touch and go. That’s what I’m going to focus on during our practice Thursday.”
Beachy enters state with the fourth-fastest breaststroke time. She won the Section 8-1A title with a school, Warroad pool and section record of 1:06.58. She will swim in heat three, lane five, next to Albert Lea’s Lindsey Horejsi, who holds the top seed with a 1:03.71.
“I will be a little intimidating swimming next to (Horejsi) in the prelims,” Beachy said. “But I think it will be beneficial because she’ll make me swim faster.
“Last year was my first year making the finals. It was a good learning year. I think it will be really beneficial this year.”
Dassel-Cokato’s Elisa Burgstahler is seeded second at 1:06.18 and Kathryn Ostrom of St. Louis Park is seeded third at 1:06.48.
Ostrom is the defending state champion with Horejsi last year’s runner-up. Andrea Yechout of Mahtomedi placed seventh last year and is seeded fifth. Along with Beachy, those are the only four returning from last year’s championship heat.
“At the beginning of the season, my goal was to swim a 1:04.9 by the end of the season,” Beachy said. “I want to go to state and finish in the top three. I’m pretty confident I can go faster because I wasn’t fully tapered at sections and I haven’t shaved yet. I’m hoping to shave off a little more time at state.”
Last year, Beachy swam a finals time of 1:08.43 after swimming a prelim time of 1:07.90.
She placed 17th as a freshman in the breaststroke, missing Saturday’s finals by one place.
She didn’t make the finals of the 50 free last season, but she’s hoping that will change. She’s on the bubble to make it to Saturday and believes she has more time to drop.
Beachy’s 24.71 in the 50 free has her seeded ninth. The top eight make the championship finals, with the next eight falling to the consolation finals.
Mankato West’s Danielle Nack is the top seed with her 23.56. Nack beat Little Falls’ Whitney Weisz in last year’s state finals with a 1A record time of 22.93. Beachy will swim in the first heat in lane three.
“I want to make the finals,” she said “That’s my goal. It’s kind of a crazy race. It’s all about walls and starts.
“This week we’ve started every practice with six starts a day. My one-way 25s have been fast and that’s giving me a good feeling.”