Since joining the Big Rivers Conference in 1989, River Falls had never beaten Eau Claire Memorial in girls’ swimming and diving. Until last Thursday night.
The Wildcats won 10 of 12 events, taking three of the top four spots in two of them, to earn their first-ever victory over the Old Abes by a score of 100-86. Eau Claire Memorial has won 24 BRC championships in the last 30 years, but the Wildcats weren’t intimidated Thursday night.
“We knew coming into this meet we were going to see some great competition from Eau Claire Memorial,” River Falls diving coach Kym Anderson said. “The girls worked hard for this win and I am very proud of them.”
The Wildcat divers played a key role in the team victory with three Cats placing in the top four. Madison Berg won the competition with a season-best score of 245.4 and Isabel Seyffer was third with a season-best 226.3 and Eva Mikla taking fourth with a score of 214.65. All three are juniors.
“Our juniors again proved how talented they are,” Anderson said. “The girls have been working hard and put in some new dives and it paid off.”
Senior Sydney Fleming, sophomore Jane Briese, and freshman Ellery Ottem won two individual swimming events each and had a hand in pair of relay wins.
Briese led three Wildcats in the top four in the 200 yard freestyle with a first place time of 2 minutes, 8.46 seconds. Senior Sam Troyer took second in 2:10.45 and sophomore Sadie Ottem was fourth in 2:19.99. Briese also won the 100 butterfly in 1:04.55.
Fleming took the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:21.35 and won the 100 backstroke in 1:03.59, while Ellery Ottem won the 50 freestyle in 24.71 seconds and the 100 breaststroke in 1:10.02.
River Falls had two of the top three finishers in the 500 freestyle, with Troyer taking first in 5:47.9 and freshman Mackenna Anderson third in 6:14.91, while Sadie Ottem was the top Wildcat finisher in the 100 freestyle with a third place time of 1:01.72.
The Cats also won two of the three relays, with Fleming, Ellery Ottem, Briese and Isabelle Greenwood combining for a first place time of 1:59.42 in the 200 medley relay, and Briese, Teagan Stavinoha, Greenwood and Ellery Ottem winning the 200 free relay in 1:49.21. In the 400 freestyle relay, Sadie Ottem, Anderson, Troyer and Fleming took second in 4:09.75.
The Wildcats will visit Chisago Lakes for a non-conference meet Tuesday, Oct. 22 before preparing for the BRC Championships Saturday, Nov. 2, in Hudson.