MINNEAPOLIS Senior Jessica Reese of the Brainerd Warriors girls' swimming and diving team finished her career on a high note, standing on the medalists' podium on the final day of the Class 2A finals at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center Saturday.
Reese said she wanted to be in the 1:05 range on the second day after qualifying sixth in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 107.19 Friday.
With a sixth-place finish in the finals Reese became just the second Warriors individual medalist since head coach Dan Anderson arrived in 1993 thanks to her Saturday time of 1:07.91.
Anderson said it may not have been a perfect race for Reese but the finish was still impressive.
Brainerd senior Jessica Reese leaped off the starting platform in the 100-yard breaststroke preliminaries Friday at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. Reese finished sixth in Saturday's finals. John Pedersen
"She might have lost her legs a little bit on the last length. She went out fast but her second 50 wasn't quite what I wanted it to be," he said. "Still, she's only the second swimmer I've seen up there. To be an all-state swimmer is quite an accomplishment."
Reese said it was a satisfying final high school race.
"I can't remember anything about the race. It was so fast. The girls in that race were so fast, it was just a pleasure to have the opportunity to race against them," she said. "Overall, I'm really happy about being on the podium. I set really high expectations for myself all season. And, even though I didn't meet my expectations for today, I'm still pleased about the finish. It was a really good feeling to go out like this."
Highlight: Brainerd's Jessica Reese finished sixth in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 107.91.
Junior Samantha Smith, making her first appearance at state, had a disappointing final round of diving Saturday after qualifying eighth through the semifinals.
Her final score of 282.95 was good for 14th place, denying her and Warriors diving coach Mary Streiff the podium finish they had envisioned after day one.
Streiff said the finish was lower than she had expected.
"Our hopes were that she could finish eighth or move up. She was just a point and a half behind the seventh-place qualifier," Streiff said. "We knew she didn't have a lot of difficult dives left today so it was difficult to make up points.
"Her second dive didn't go in the way she wanted it to. The somersault stalled a bit in the air, which caused an over-twist. Those things happen For her to come down and make the cut the first time was impressive and it gave her a chance to see what it's all about."
Brainerd's 200 free relay team of junior Destiney Schindele, sophomore Sarah Dens, senior Jodi Larson and Reese, which qualified 10th Friday, finished 10th overall Saturday with a time of 1:39.79.
The relay set a school record Friday with a time of 1:39.66.
Anderson said the relay swam about as well as could be expected.
"I thought they swam well. We were right there again today," he said. "There's just no margin for error down here. You've got to hit your exchanges, you've got to hit your turns and everything has got to be perfect."
The Warriors' 200 medley relay of freshman Siri Smith, Reese, Schindele and Larson, which qualified 15th in Friday's prelims, finished 12th overall at 1:52.43.
Little Falls eighth
in 200 free relay
The Little Falls Flyers girls' team qualified two relays and an individual for the second day of competition in the 1A state championships Saturday.
In the 200 freestyle relay, the team of eighth-grader Whitney Weisz, sophomore Megan Voss, junior Molly Binger and sophomore Brittany Then finished eighth in the finals, giving them a podium finish.
In the 100 freestyle, Binger tied for 12th with a time of 55.17.
The 400 freestyle relay of Then, senior Melissa Kempenich, Weisz, and Binger finished 15th.
Class 2A results
100 breaststroke: 1-Abby Duncan (Champlin Park) 1:05.61, 6-Reese (Brainerd) 1:07.91
1-meter diving: 1-Laura Ryan (Elk River) 452.65 points, 14-Samantha Smith (Brainerd) 282.95
200 freestyle relay: 1-Wayzata 1:36.59; 9-Edina 1:38.57, 10-Brainerd (Schindele, Sarah Dens, Larson, Reese) 1:39.79.
200 medley relay: 1-Edina 1:47:50; 9-Lakeville South 1:50.33; 12-Brainerd (Siri Smith, Jessica Reese, Destiney Schindele, Jodi Larson) 1:52:43.
Class 1A results
100 freestyle: 1-Meghan Weiss (Visitation) 51.38; 9-Megan Rieland (Sauk Centre) 54.70, 12-Molly Binger (Little Falls) 55.17.
200 freestyle relay: 1-Visitation 1:38.94; 8-Little Falls (Whitney Weisz, Megan Voss, Molly Binger, Brittany Then) 1:42.05.
400 freestyle relay: 1-Visitation 3:36.13; 9-Sartell; 15-Little Falls (Then, Melissa Kempenich, Weisz, Binger) 3:49.45.
TY RUSHMEYER, sports writer, may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5865.
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