RED WING — Participating in its second meet of the week, the Red Wing girls' swimming and diving team notched its second victory of the season against Faribault on Thursday. The Wingers edged the Falcons, 99-81.
The Wingers continued to try and find the right combination in its 200-yard medley relay team. Teegan Beyers, Sammy Kriese and Cecelia DeJong have remained a constant but finding the right person for that final spot has been a goal for head coach Mikayla Beuch early this season.
Emma Hoppman received the first crack at the spot in Red Wing's first two meets, while Kennedy Carlson had her chance to claim the spot on Thursday. The combination was good enough for first place against Faribault with a time of one minute, 57.30 seconds. To this point, times for the event have fluctuated within three seconds but none have yet come close to last year's state meet time of 1:49.31.
"We are still working on putting the pieces together," Beuch wrote in an email. "We have our three returning varsity athletes and there is a gap to fill so we are taking our time trying to make that happen. I am still waiting for someone to show me why that's their spot."
Other notable Red Wing performances: Beyers finished first in the 200 freestyle (2:07.55) and second in the 100 backstroke (1:05.84), DeJong finished first in the 100 butterfly (1:02.14) and second in the 200 individual medley (2:26.22), Kriese finished first in the 50 freestyle (27.26) and 100 breaststroke (1:12.69), Carlson finished second in the 100 butterfly (1:10.88), Hoppman finished second in the 100 freestyle (1:01.90), and Madison Beyers finished second in the 500 freestyle (6:15.65). The 200 freestyle relay team of DeJong, Kriese, Carlson and Teegan Beyers also finished first (1:47.65).
A look at the season ahead
With all swim meets virtual this year, Beuch said there were challenges and opportunities in the setup.
From a competition standpoint, she won't know the results of each event until after Red Wing has completed its events. The competing teams have until the end of the meet day to share the results of each event with each other.
For the coaching staff, that means they won't be able to make strategic decisions on who will be in each race in an attempt to gather the most points. It'll all be speculation on the best combinations for the events.
Counter to that challenge is the opportunity the coaching staff has to play around with its lineup in ways it otherwise wouldn't have.
"We are looking at each meet individually but also looking at that long-term goal we always have," Beuch said. "This is going to create a really safe environment to experiment with different events."
The Wingers won't be working from scratch to fill out a lineup, however. Returning are state qualifiers from last year DeJong, Kriese and Teegan Beyers.
Events to keep an eye on this year are DeJong in the 100 butterfly, Teegan Beyers in the 50 freestyle and the 200 medley relay. Red Wing participated in all three events at the state meet last year and return most if not all of that production. Improvement in most of those events is expected this year.
"We got nine dual meets at our pool, that’s nine opportunities to maybe knock some pool records off the board," Beuch said. "We have more chances to break school records than we’ve ever had before."
Wingers fall to Century
Relays and sprints make up eight of the 12 events during a high school swim meet. Red Wing performed admirably in those eight events, winning five of them. It was the middle and long distance events that gave the Wingers fits on Tuesday against Rochester Century.
Of the 61 points available in the diving and middle- and long-distance events, Red Wing only scored 10. That deficit proved too much to overcome in the resulting 99-79 loss to the Panthers.
Two of the top swimmers for Red Wing were Teegan Beyers and Sammy Kriese.
Beyers finished first in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 25.90 seconds and the 100 backstroke in one minute, 5.98 seconds. She was also part of two second-place relays teams. The 200 medley relay team of Beyers, Kriese, Cecelia DeJong and Emma Hoppman finished runner-up (1:57.34), as did the 200 freestyle relay team featuring the same quartet (1:48.53).
Other first-place finishes for Red Wing were: Kriese in the 100 backstroke (1:13.74), the 400 freestyle relay of Madison Beyers, Kennedy Carlson, Annika Wardle and Sarah Kolby (4:25.91), and DeJong in the 100 butterfly (1:01.42).
All meets are set to begin at 5 p.m. and will be held virtually at Twin Bluff Middle School.
- Tuesday, Sept. 8 vs. Austin
- Thursday, Sept. 10 vs. Rochester Mayo
- Tuesday, Sept. 15 vs. Mankato West
- Thursday, Sept. 24 vs. Rochester John Marshall
- Thursday, Oct. 1 vs. Northfield
- Thursday, Oct. 8 vs. Winona