Three returning state meet participants are the nucleus around which the Brainerd Warriors will build their girls' swimming and diving team this season.
Senior Katie Lykins and junior Cori Severson (on the 15th-place 200-yard freestyle relay at state) and Tara Schmidt (29th in state diving) hope to lead Brainerd to a second straight Central Lakes Conference title and a high finish in Section 8AA.
Lykins is the school record-holder in the 200 free and is second-fastest all-time in the 100.
BRAINERD WARRIORS Swimming and diving
Head coach -- Dan Anderson, 15th season (8th at Brainerd, 7 at Rock Springs, Wyo.)
Brainerd career record -- 40-27 (.597).
1999 finish -- 6-1 CLC, 8-1 overall, CLC champion, second in Section 8AA.
Returning state meet participants -- Katie Lykins, Tara Schmidt, Cori Severson.
Assistant coaches -- Ann Stenglein, Mary Streiff.
(Meets 6 p.m. unless noted)
16-at Park Rapids Inv., 10 a.m.
23-at Rosemount Inv., 9:30 a.m.
28-at Little Falls
5-ST. CLOUD APOLLO
7-BRD INV., 10 a.m.
12-at St. Cloud Tech
28-CLC at Rocori, 10 a.m.
10-11 Section 8AA at Apollo
20-22 State at U of M
"Katie went to state two years ago in the 200 free," Brainerd coach Dan Anderson said. "Last year that event was loaded (at the section). Katie has a legitimate shot to go to state in the 200 and 100. She was the conference champion in the 200 free. She hopes she can retain that."
Severson is ticketed for the 200 and 500 free and the two freestyle relays.
"Cori's the school record-holder in the 500," Anderson said. "We certainly think she can break her own record again in the 500. That's a tough event to make it to state in.
"The two girls who made it (to state in the 500) are back from our section. I think Cori can challenge for second in the section. I would hope she has a shot to be conference champion in that also. She's also second all-time in the 200 (at BHS)."
Schmidt was fourth in section diving last season to qualify for state.
"I don't think Tara getting to state is what we're worried about," Anderson said. "We would like to see her place at state this year. I think she has the capability to do that."
Seniors returning in addition to Schmidt include Alison Smith (breaststroke, individual medley), Alyssa Altrichter (breaststroke), Ashley Lachelt (middle distance free) and A.J. Hartje (butterfly).
Junior returning letterwinners are Leah Albrecht (middle distance free), Katie MacDonald (sprint free), Katie Toumi (breaststroke, butterfly), Katie Boran (butterfly, distance free), Jael Collins (backstroke, sprint free), Tiffany Klang (backstroke, IM), Rachel Marchand (middle distance free) and Amy Vanderlinden (middle distance free).
Sophomore returning letterwinners include Krista Rauen (butterfly, backstroke), Annie Bahr (diving), Amanda Johnson (diving), Stephanie Peterson (diving), Jenny Olson (butterfly), Megan Groneberg (sprint free), Ashley Magnuson (distance free, butterfly), Erin Donnelly (breaststroke) and Katie Diiro (sprint free).
"We have a very talented group," Anderson said. "I like our chances this year. We have 51 girls and I expect two foreign exchange students within the next two weeks. We've never been this big (in numbers) before. It is almost a little abnormal to be this big."
The Warriors again will compete in Section 8AA with Alexandria, Willmar, St. Cloud Tech and Apollo, Moorhead, Elk River and Bemidji. Anderson considers Elk River the favorite with Alexandria, Bemidji, Moorhead and Brainerd in the running.
"This is a very competitive section as all of those schools have strong swimming programs," Anderson said.
Anderson projects Alexandria as the conference favorite.
"The conference is as balanced and strong as ever," he said. "Sartell is the favorite to win the championship with Alexandria and Little Falls other contenders. I look for Willmar to be much improved also.
"We're a very young team after graduating 10 seniors off last year's conference championship team. However, we feel if we stay healthy and continue to improve we have a shot at competing for the CLC championship as well."
Juniors -- Elizabeth Stokka
Sophomores -- Megan Koehnen, Jenny Garry, Elsie Rehberger
Freshmen -- Annalisa Aakhus, Jessica Baker, Emily Dunphy, Brittani Erickson, Emily Jones, Erica Campbell, Jill Teufert, Jenny Wentworth, Amanda Bateman, Kelsey Boran, Tiffany Bosch, Kelly McFarland, Kim Friehbole, Krystal Halverson, Kati Hilborn, Brittany Jurek, Jill London, Meagan Street, Jenny Peltoma, Christina Roberts, Emily Schindler, Jasmine Mastel-Lipson, Katie Viau, Tonya Redshaw, Chelsea Straw, Lisa Fredrickson.
Eighth grade -- Kristina Johnson
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