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Swim team closes in on Sauk Centre

By John George sports@eot.com The performance of the Perham girls swim team last Thursday at the Staples-Motley Triangular was so impressive, they drew praise from an opposing coach. "The Sauk Centre coach wet out of his way to say how extremely ...

By John George

sports@eot.com

The performance of the Perham girls swim team last Thursday at the Staples-Motley Triangular was so impressive, they drew praise from an opposing coach.

"The Sauk Centre coach wet out of his way to say how extremely impressed he was with our team," Jacket skipper Sheri Ressler said.

This after Perham finished second to the Streeters at the S-M pool. Sauk Center finished with 139 points. Perham was next with 117, followed by the Cardinals with 65. At the same meet last year, Sauk Center scored 155 to Perham's 94.

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"We were in this one right to the end," Ressler said.

Perham had a total of five first place finishes, including two in the first three events. It started with the 200 medley relay team of Leah Richter and the Kratzke bunch, Jeanna, a senior, and cousins Abby (sophomore) with younger sister Kelsey, just a seventh grader.

Richter struck again in the third event as she won the 200 I.M. with a time of 2:35.81, a section qualifying time. She also qualified for Sections in the 50 free and 100 butterfly, events she won later in the meet.

Young Kelsey Kratzke would strike again later as well, winning the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:19.33, also a section qualifying time.

By the time Perham had a 1-2 finish in diving with Ashley Neimala and Brooke Mickelson, followed by a 1-2 finish in the 100 fly by Richter and Abby Kratzke, they had a 63-58 lead over the Streeters.

"To think we actually had a lead over them after losing by so much later was awesome," Ressler said.

Sauk Centre pulled away by winning each of the next four events, but Perham had shown they can now be considered a threat.

"Our depth makes such a difference," Ressler said. "We have more balance. We don't have to just throw girls in to fill events. We can allow the girls to specialize in events they like and are good in and swim fewer events so they can be rested for those events.

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"It helps to have an influx of good young swimmers," Ressler added.

Erika Conlin qualified for Sections in two events, the 200 free and the 500 free. She finished second in both at S-M. Jeanna Kratzke qualified in the 100 free and 100 breaststroke, Sara Formanek qualified in the 50 free, as did younger sister Kaila.

The Jackets will have a week off before returning to competition at the Bemidji Triangular on Sept. 11.

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