Disqualification gives Edina 2A girls' swimming title

  • Article by: AARON PAITICHSPECIAL TO THE STAR TRIBUNE , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 20, 2012 - 5:07 PM

Minnetonka's apparent victory was overturned when it was ruled the Skippers used illegal entries on their relay teams.


Zoe Avestruz of Chanhassen won the finals heat of the Class 2A 100 yard Butterfly event.

Photo: Marlin Levison, Star Tribune

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Editor's note: Shortly before 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20, the Minnesota State High School League issued an e-mail stating the following: 

Following a thorough review of the 2012 State Girls' Swimming and Diving Meet's three relay events, it was determined that no Minnetonka swimmer violated the individual entry limitation rule. No Minnetonka swimmers exceeded that limitation (maximum four events and no more than two individual events).

The story below has been edited to reflect the additional information.

-- Paul Klauda, high school sports editor, Star Tribune



Edina captured its third consecutive Class 2A state swimming championship Saturday night, but it likely didn't happen the way the Hornets drew it up.

With Minnetonka holding a lofty lead down the stretch and initially claiming a victory by 44.5 points, officials ruled it used an illegal entry on the final 400-yard freestyle relay team, which nullified a first-place finish, 40 points and a Minnesota state meet record.

It still would have been enough to capture the state title, but more Skippers relay teams were challenged shortly after the first disqualification. The Minnesota State High School League found all three Minnetonka relay teams were guilty of illegal entry. The correct swimmers were not listed on the relay cards.

It plummeted the Skippers to fourth place overall while giving Edina another state title with a final score of 228. Wayzata finished second with 222 points. Eden Prairie claimed third at 220 and Minnetonka ended with 200.5, a 70-point drop from the initial final score.

Coach Dan Berve claimed responsibility for the 400-yard freestyle relay administrative error after the meet.

"That's my fault," Berve said. "I did not submit that one properly."

MSHSL tournament director Lisa Lissimore said Berve was fully cooperative and took full responsibility. All teams that were affected were notified shortly after the final ruling.

While the Hornets didn't boast immediate victory, they came out of the gate hard, breaking the state meet record in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:43.97 with Madeleine Eden, Olivia Anderson, Heather Laedtke and Rachel Wittmer.

Anderson won the 100-yard breaststroke with Heather Laedtke finishing fifth to give the Hornets a boost. Anderson added another victory in the 100-yard breaststroke with an automatic All-America time of 1:02.96. Yasmeen Almog finished second in 1-meter diving for Edina.

Amelia Schilling's victories did hold up for Minnetonka. The senior captain set a state meet record in the 500-yard freestyle with a 4:48.96 time. She also won the 200-yard freestyle with an automatic All-America time of 1:48.61.

Chanhassen sophomore sensation Kaia Grobe successfully defended her 50- and 100-yard freestyle titles. She clocked in at 23.06 and 49.97, respectively.

After finishing fourth last year, Maple Grove senior Lexi Tenenbaum captured the 1-meter diving title with a final score of 448.35.

Class 1A

Claire Walters wasn't a happy camper about having to move from Texas to Northfield right before her senior year of high school.

"I was about as upset as a teenage girl gets," said Walters, fighting back tears. "That's why I'm so emotional right now. I thought this was going to be the crappiest year of my life -- and it's absolutely not."

Winning the Class 1A girls' swimming and diving state championship on Saturday is a cherry on top of what has turned out to be a positive transition for Walters.

In dominating fashion, the Gators finished with 223 points, 48 more than defending champion Sartell-St. Stephen. It's Northfield's second state championship. The first came in 1998.

First-year head coach Deb Seitz, previously an assistant for six years, made a risky move on championship Saturday with a couple of last-minute changes to the 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays.

"It was a little nerve-racking, and the girls don't like change so much," Seitz said with a laugh. "We wanted to bring a little more heat to our sprint relay -- and they just brought it. They brought it."

Walters, newly inserted Grete Baker, Emily Lundstrom and Emily Anderson captured the 200 freestyle relay title in 1 minutes, 37.06 seconds, finishing ahead of a powerful Mankato West foursome.

Walters was the 200 freestyle champion in Texas in 4A last year, so she brought experience and star power to an already deep team that finished second at the state meet last year. She was touched out by Mankato West sophomore Chantal Nack in that event on Saturday and was visibly upset.

"But she can now say she's an individual and relay state champion in two different states," Seitz said. "Pretty cool."

Sophomore Bailey Dupay locked in her second-consecutive 1-meter diving championship, a huge boost to the Gators' overall point total.

Three records broken

Mankato West junior Danielle Nack, Chantal's sister, broke two state meet records in successfully defending two individual titles. Her 22.82 time in the 50 freestyle cracked her previous Class 1A record of 22.93 set last fall.

Nack's 52.41 in the 100 butterfly was enough to break the state meet record of 52.73 set by Olympian Rachel Bootsma in 2010 when she swam for Eden Prairie.

Albert Lea freshman Lindsey Horejsi set a new Minnesota state meet record in the 100 breaststroke at 1:00.16. She also finished third in the 50 freestyle.

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