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The Perham-NY Mills 200-medley relay team of (L-R) Sam Salathe, Natalie Murphy, Bailey Meyer and Kelsey Kratzke qualified for the state meet. Kratzke qualified in the 100-breastroke, as well. Photo by Briam Basham/DL Newspapers.

Yellowjacket swimmers headed to state meet

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Individuals from the Perham-New York Mills girls swimming team are the third squad from the area to make an appearance at the state level.

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Kelsey Kratzke returns to the University of Minnesota's Aquatics Center for the third time. Kratzke qualified in the 100-breastroke.

Her time of 1:09.14 was third best at sections, where only the top two qualify, unless the swimmer finishes under the state qualifying time of 1:10.78. Her time was one of 14 school records broken at the Section 8A meet.

At the state meet in this event, Junior Kathryn Ostrom, of St. Louis Park, returns to defend her 100-Yard Breaststroke title. She swam 1:05.58 in prelims and 1:05.53 to win.

The 200-yard medley team of three seniors: Bailey Meyer, Kratzke, Sam Salathe and freshman Natalie Murphy qualified in the same manner.

Their time of 1:55.29 was a new school record, good for third place and under the state qualifying time of 1:55.51. The time was better than the school record set in preliminaries of 1:57.78.

Only the winning relay team is sent to state from the section outside of qualifying times. Fergus Falls' 200-medley team qualified with a time of 1:54.09.

Monticello's Anna Jensen, Kieran Bender, Caley Oquist and Amanda Paulson swam 1:48.50 in prelims and 1:46.68 in the finals to take the 200-medley state championship in 2010.

Other members joining the four as part of the state team are Jill Burns, Beth Ingebrand, Lexi Richter, Rylie Rothmeyer, Kyra Arneri and manager Shelby Seifert.

"I could not be prouder of these record breaking, history making girls," Head Coach Sheri Ressler said.

Ressler was also awarded at the meet by being named the Section 8A Coach of the Year.

The Yellowjackets finished third out of 10 teams. Bemidji won the meet scoring 426.5 points. Park Rapids was second with 400 points. Perham-New York Mills totaled 329.

Four other records were set during preliminaries and broken the following day in the finals.

Murphy set a new mark in the 100-freestyle of 56.85, finishing fifth. Salathe was sixth just behind in 57.74. Murphy's prior mark from prelims was 57.02.

The 200-free relay team of Murphy, Kratzke, Rothmeyer and Salathe set their two records: 1:46.38, third in prelims, and 1:46.25, the new mark in third during the finals.

Meyer put up two records in the 100-backstroke. Her time of 1:07.25, third in the finals, topped her earlier mark of 1:07.50, third in prelims.

The fifth record to be broken twice was done by Murphy, Rothmeyer, Arneri and Salathe in the 400-free relay. The quartet put up 3:52.44, second in prelims, and bested the time with 3:51.50, good for third in the finals.

Arneri set a new standard in the 100-butterfly during prelims in a time of 1:05.03 finishing third. She was fourth in the finals.

Rothmeyer put more records in the books in the 200 and 500-freestyle with times of 2:05.27 and 5:34.17 respectively.

"We have broken every record this year except diving and the 50-freestyle," Ressler said.

The state swimming and diving meet will be held Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 17-19 at the University of Minnesota. Class A swimming preliminaries will begin at noon on Friday, Nov. 18. Diving takes up the Friday, Nov. 17 schedule. Finals will be held at noon Saturday, Nov. 19 in the U of M Aquatics Center.

Ticket sales begin at 10:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Cost is $8 for adults or students-all seats are reserved.

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Robert Williams
Robert has been the Sports Editor for the Focus since 2010 covering multiple state and national championship teams and is a mainstay at state tournaments each season covering the successful, athletic programs of Perham and New York Mills High Schools.
(218) 346-5900 x223
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