Christina Roberts and the 200-yard freestyle relay won championships as eight Brainerd Warriors qualified for state following their performances in the Section 8, Class 2A swimming and diving finals Saturday at Bemidji High School.
Roberts paced the 200-yard freestyle and was a member of the victorious 200 free relay. The Warriors' Sarah Gervais was runner-up in the 100 breaststroke, the 200 medley and 400 free relays both were second and Katie Diiro qualified for state by time standard in the 50 free.
The top two relays, the top two individuals, the top four divers and those who qualify by standard advance to the state meet Friday and Saturday at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
Roberts, who set a school record in the 200 free prelims Friday, outdistanced the competition with a time of 2:00.60 in the finals.
"Anytime you're an individual champion in a section meet it's a huge accomplishment," Warriors coach Dan Anderson said. "Christina's just an incredible athlete, a big-meet athlete. The bigger the stakes, the better she is. She was incredible.
"She swam a little smarter race in the finals, trying to take the first half of the race more under control. She did bring the second half home a little faster than the day before. She had taken the first 100 out a little slower, and she still won by two full seconds. She knew she was winning. That's all that was a concern to her, just to keep that lead."
Roberts, Jenny Wentworth, Amanda Bateman and Diiro led the 200 free relay to the title at 1:42.08.
"We knew we would get a test from St. Cloud Tech," Anderson said. "They've been kind of a thorn in our side all year, but the girls stepped it up. The girls went a 1:42, which is the second-fastest time in school history."
Gervais, who set a school record in her event in the prelims, churned out a 1:10.80 to finish behind Elk River's Megan Kampa.
"Sarah missed about the first five weeks with a broken thumb," Anderson said. "I think she was concerned whether or not she would get back to the level she was at, but she went faster than last year."
Erica Campbell hugged Roberts during the awards ceremony for the 200 freestyle.
The 200 medley relay of Krystal Halverson, Gervais, Krista Rauen and Diiro was runner-up at 1:55.02.
"That relay was somewhat of a question mark at the beginning of the year," Anderson said. "We were not sure who would swim on that. It seemed to take us quite a while to get that relay to jell. They didn't break two minutes until the conference meet, then they go 1:55, which is the second-fastest swim in school history."
The 400 free relay of Roberts, Krystal Halverson, Erica Campbell and Amanda Bateman was runner-up at 3:43.33.
"Elk River had gone 3:45 in the prelims," Anderson said. "We kind of changed that relay up and they went 3:56 (in the prelims). I figured they could go 3:44, and they went 3:43. Again, it was the second-fastest time in school history.
"It was a fun race to end the meet with, two teams up and down the pool for 16 lengths. Elk River got us at the end."
Diiro was clocked at 25:24 in the 50 free, finishing third but advancing to state by standard.
"That event was really stacked this year," Anderson said. "The foreign exchange student from Apollo was really good. Then, Elk River put a girl in there who was quick. Only 4/10ths of a second separated Katie from winning it. She was right there."
200 medley relay -- 1-Elk River 1:52.14; 2-Brainerd (Krystal Halverson, Sarah Gervais, Krista Rauen, Katie Diiro) 1:55.02
200 freestyle -- 1-Christina Roberts (Brd) 2:00.60; 4-Erica Campbell (Brd) 2:04.19; 5-Jenny Wentworth (Brd) 2:04.41; 13-Kelsey Boran (Brd) 2:09.98
200 individual medley -- 1-Emmie Lee (ER) 2:17.32; 5-Gervais 2:27.07; 9-Emily Dunphy (Brd) 2:30.84; 10-Brianna Elg (Brd) 2:31.91
50 freestyle -- 1-Saskia Rehder (SCA) 24.85; 3-Diiro 25.24; 4-Jocelyn Jones (Brd) 25.94; 5-Amanda Bateman (Brd) 25.96; 12-Kara Rutman (Brd) 27.10
Diving (top 4 advance) -- 1-Tiffany Baker (ER) 392.5 points; 5-Amanda Johnson (Brd) 3:34.00; 8-Annie Bahr (Brd) 300.30; 11-Lauren Trapp (Brd) 2:82.40
100 butterfly -- 1-Amy Killpatrick (ER) 59.74; 5-Rauen 1:03.61; 8-Roberts 1:06.28; 10-Elg 1:07.21
100 freestyle -- 1-Rehder (SCA) 54.34; 3-Diiro 55.73; 4-Amanda Bateman 56.78; 7-Halverson 58.36; 9-Jones 58.12
500 freestyle -- 1-Killpatrick (ER) 5:12.74; 4-Erica Campbell 5:34.46; 5-Wentworth 5:39.64; 8-Kelsey Boran 5:47.25; 15-Jessica Bateman (Brd) 6:11.72
200 freestyle relay -- 1-Brainerd (Roberts, Wentworth, Amanda Bateman, Diiro) 1:42.08
100 backstroke -- 1-Lee (ER) 1:02.38; 3-Rauen 1:03.89; 5-Halverson 1:06.82; 8-Cara Wiltse (Brd) 1:08.09; 15-Jill London (Brd) 1:12.09
100 breaststroke -- 1-Megan Kampa (ER) 1:08.14; 2-Gervais 1:10.80; 7-Dunphy 1:15.07; 12-Dana Hanson (Brd) 1:16.71; 13-Erin Donnelly (Brd) 1:18.18
400 freestyle relay -- 1-Elk River 3:42.39; 2-Brainerd (Roberts, Halverson, E.Campbell, A.Bateman) 3:43.33
Next meet -- Class 2A state meet Friday-Saturday at University of Minnesota.
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