Sadie Panzer has found her place on the Brainerd Warriors swimming and diving team.
While it took her and head coach Dan Anderson four varsity seasons to find it, the discovery helped the Brainerd Warriors to a 123-60 victory over the Little Falls Flyers Thursday in Central Lakes Conference action at Brainerd High School.
Panzer was a distance swimmer trapped in a sprinters mind- set. Prior to this season, Panzer swam the 100-yard butterfly and backstroke. Now the senior captain is swimming and winning the 500 freestyle.
"I practiced it all summer and just worked on it," Panzer said. "I'm still learning how to swim it, but tonight I just went and swam hard.
Brainerd Warriors senior Christie Nelson won the 200-yard freestyle event Thursday against Little Falls. Brainerd Dispatch/ Clint Wood » Purchase reprints of this photo.
It's a mental battle more than anything and that's what I had to get used to. I'm so used to swimming 100s so I had to make that adjustment to distance."
Panzer placed first with a time of 5:51.88. She was six seconds faster than second place. She also finished second in the 200 free, 0.06 seconds behind fellow senior Christie Nelson.
Nelson usually swims the 500, but a shoulder injury has kept her out of the event. Enter Panzer, who said she's always wanted to try it.
"I do like it," Panzer said. "I have so much more respect for the girls who have been swimming distance longer than I have."
Nelson also won the 100 backstroke for the Warriors, who improved to 3-1 in the conference and 4-1 overall. Jessica Reese was a double individual winner as she paced the 50 free and the 100 breaststroke.
Sadie Panzer won the 500 freestyle
"With Christie's shoulder bothering her we threw her in the backstroke," Anderson said. "I thought she could do OK, but now she's a 107.3 and that's really fast.
"Jessica Reese is going for that breaststroke pool record and swims a 1:08.94. That's a top six time in the state right now."
The Brainerd pool record is 1:08.4
Brainerd's Alex Erickson (100 butterfly), Destiney Schindele (100 free) and all three relays rounded out the Warrior swimming wins.
The Warriors swept the top three diving spots to increase Brainerd's lead from 30 points to 40 points. Sam Smith won with a score of 222.9. Tiffany Etterman finished second and Katie Etterman placed third.
Warrior junior Destiney Schindele finished second in the 100-yard individual medley Thursday against Little Falls. Brainerd Dispatch/ Clint Wood » Purchase reprints of this photo.
Molly Binger grabbed the Flyers lone first-place finish as she won the 200 IM in 2:25.93.
Brainerd 123, Little Falls 60
200 medley relay: 1-Brainerd (Siri Smith, Jessica Reese, Alex Erickson, Jodi Larson) 2:00.28, 2-Brainerd (Christie Nelson, Della Gramer, Ronia Gramer, Amanda Barthel), 3-Little Falls (Nicole Roy, Kaitlin Boerner, Stephanie Stumpf, Whitney Weisz)
200 freestyle: 1-Christie Nelson (Brd) 2:10.04, 2-Sadie Panzer (Brd), 3-Nikki Hanson (Brd), 4-Carlee Davich (LF), 5-Ally Nagel (LF), 6-Jessica Martinson (LF)
200 individual medley: 1-Molly Binger (LF) 2:25.93, 2-Destiney Schindele (Brd), 3-Alex Erickson (Brd), 4-Stephanie Stumpf (LF), 5-Grace Bymark (Brd)
50 freestyle: 1-Reese (Brd) 26.27, 2-Jodi Larson (Brd), 3-Sarah Dens, 4-Brittany Then (LF), 5-Megan Voss (LF), 6-Weisz (LF)
Diving: 1-Sam Smith (Brd) 222.90, 2-Katie Etterman (Brd), 3-Tiffany Etterman (Brd), 4-Katie Skurza (LF), 5-Shelby Atkinson (LF)
Brainerd 123, Little Falls 60
Key: The Warriors swept the relays and won all but one individual event
Conf: Brd 3-1, LF 0-4
Overall: Brd 4-1, LF 0-4
Next: Brainerd at St. Cloud Apollo 6 p.m. Thursday; Little Falls hosts Rocori 6 p.m. Tuesday
100 butterfly: 1-Erickson (Brd) 1:09.69, 2-Larson (Brd), 3-Melissa Kempenich (LF), 4-R. Gramer (Brd)
100 freestyle: 1-Schindele (Brd) 57.30, 2-Binger (LF), 3-Dens (Brd), 4-Hanson (Brd), 5-Stumpf (LF)
500 freestyle: 1-Panzer (Brd) 5:51.88, 2-Davich (LF), 3-Laura Goll (Brd), 4-Nagel (LF), 5-Leah Hight (Brd), 6-Trisha Wippler (LF)
200 freestyle relay 1-Brainerd (Reese, Larson, Schindele, Dens) 1:44.90, 2-Little Falls (Voss, Kempenich, Binger, Then), exhibition
100 backstroke: 1-Nelson (Brd) 1:07.3, 2-Siri Smith (Brd), 3-R. Gramer (Brd), 4-Wippler (LF), 5-Voss (LF)
100 breaststroke: 1-Reese (Brd) 1:08.94, 2-D. Gramer (Brd), 3-Then (LF), 4-Boerner (LF), 5-Macy Olson (LF), 6-Mariah Moen (Brd)
400 freestyle relay: 1-(exhibition) Brainerd 3:59.65, 1-Little Falls (Weisz, Kempenich, Voss, Binger) 4:09.63
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5856.
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