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home : sports : sports
October 27, 2020

9/18/2020 10:44:00 AM
Schedule shuffling just another challenge for CL swim team

Changes in schedule have been a nuisance, but the Chisago Lakes boys swimming and diving team earned a nice win over the Becker Bulldogs.

The meet was originally scheduled for Thursday, September 10 but was adjusted to Friday, September 11 because it has been hard to find referees willing to work the indoor swim meets.

That also happened when the ‘Cats were supposed to travel to Big Lake to take on the Hornets and they couldn’t find a referee.

So that was postponed until October.

“It was a great meet nonetheless,” Head Coach Ellen Heath said. “It’s been quite the transition year and our emphasis has been on conference meets week to week. It changed our training strategy a bit but it was a good response.”

Ellie Undem, Bella Aldrich, Emily Fiorella and Haley Overgaard started the meet strong with a first place finish in the 200 medley relay, and then the first places cascaded into place after that.

Undem took a small break between races, but won the 200 freestyle by four one-hundredths of a second at 2:17.28.
Fiorella kept it rolling with a win in the 200 individual medley, with another ultra close finish. She finished the race in 2:38.29 and Becker’s Laila Cook came in second with a time of 2:38.33.

Lydia LaFean then got in on the action, winning the 50 freestyle in another close race, capping off four straight first place finishes by CL.

Soon after, Joely Peterson finished second in the 100 butterfly and Undem got second in the 500 freestyle. 

In between those two results was another win by Fiorella. She edged out LaFean in the 100 freestyle as the teammates finished one-two in the event.

By that time, Chisago Lakes had taken a sizeable lead at 71-55, and the 200 freestyle relay essentially sealed the meet. Fiorella, Madyson Perry, Overgaard and Undem won the event with a time of 1:57.79, and Meride Annala-Hakes, Peterson, LaFean and Amy Fiorella came in second with a time of 1:59.08. That added 10 points to CL’s lead, giving them a nearly insurmountable lead.

That was a good thing too, because Becker did dominate the 100 breaststroke event with first, second and fourth place finishes.

But, LaFean, Peterson, Perry and Overgaard rebuilt the lead in the final event, gaining a win in the 400 freestyle relay, ending the meet in a 104-82 victory for Chisago Lakes.

Prior to the swim meet start, the ‘Cats already had a 10-6 lead. Due to COVID-19 rules this year, divers are starting their event at 5 p.m. and then there is an hour break before swimming starts.

Hattie Opdahl won the diving event with 201.45. Claudia Stipe came in third with a 179.20. Opdahl didn’t score over 200 until mid-October last year, so she’s in great position this season.

“There were some really good races against Becker.  We’ve always stressed attention to detail.  The 200 free and 200IM races were won by Undem and Emily Fiorella by mere hundredths of seconds,” Heath explained.

She also noted that LaFean’s win in the 50 freestyle was a personal best. “It was a great start and finish for her. That is such a short race that those little details matter,” Heath said.

“Some of our younger athletes are really stepping up.  Eighth grader Madyson Perry dropped a lot of time and is swimming a lot of varsity.  Amy Fiorella is sprinting fast and is swimming some varsity events.  Both are only in their second year (8th graders) and holding their own against older swimmers,” Heath continued.

“It’s been a whirlwind season so far. Last minute MSHSL says we can have the sport but lots of restrictions added for safety,” Heath said.  “It’s been a rush to change styles to meet the requirements and change coaching styles we've used.  But the athletes are fantastic and it is so great to be able to have a season!”

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