November 20, 2003 at 2:29 p.m.

Greene, Wildcats make a splash at state tournament

Greene, Wildcats make a splash at state tournament
Greene, Wildcats make a splash at state tournament

Erica Greene didn’t care where she finished at last week’s state swimming and diving tournament at the University of Minnesota, just as long as it wasn’t 13. The last two years, Greene has finished 13 at state. This past summer at the National Olympic Qualifying meet, yep, you guessed it.....13. In this case, the fourth time turned out to be the charm by avoiding the number 13, and instead, finishing fourth at state, giving Greene her first state medal.

“I just wanted to get 13,” smiled Greene. “I didn’t expect to do that well.”

Her diving coach, Lisa Willhite did. Greene was third overall heading in to her final three dives last Saturday. Despite moving down one spot, the sophomore showcased her ability by wowing the crowd on her last dive, securing a fourth place finish.

“Her goal was to medal but I was thinking third or fourth all along,” remarked Willhite. “She was running first after three dives, so she was right in there. She really dove well.”

Standing on the awards podium, Greene showcased a smile that stretched from the Twin Cities all the way back to Lindstrom. For good reason. After all, she’ll be back. The three divers in front of her and the one behind her will not.

“That last thing I said to her was that there was three seniors in front of her and one senior behind her. Next year, she’ll be the favorite. The goal next year is a state championship.”

“Lisa said that to me, I really didn’t realize that. I don’t feel a lot of pressure right now but when next year comes around, I’m sure I’ll feel alot,” laughed Greene.

Great things will be expected of Lauren Trudeau as well next year. The sophomore got a taste of the state diving tournament as well last week, he first trip to the big show. Trudeau’s journey began in on Wednesday in the preliminaries, hoping to advance to the semifinals. However, she fell short, missing the cut by six points, placing her 26. The top 20 divers moved on.

“Lauren hit the board on her second dive, she barely clipped her toes,” said Willhite. “There was some nerves there. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what she was thinking. She was almost too relaxed at the beginning. She’s so hard to get a read on, you just never know. One thing I do know is that she wants to come back and she will.”

Chisago Lakes swimmers break more records at state

Lindsey Koch and Allie Jones wanted to go out with a bang last week at the state swimming and diving meet. Actually, bang might not sum it up. Explosion might be a better term. The pair made the water boil.

Consider this. Individually, Koch swam four times. She broke three school record. On the other side, Jones was a perfect two for two. Two events, two school records.

“They swam great,” said Ed Wakefield. “Everyone did. They just swam awesome. Allie was seeded 21st in the backstroke and she made it to the finals. Individually, Lindsey broke three records in four swims. Wow!”

Maybe Lisa Willhite summed it up best.

“It’s not a bad way for them to end their career, hah.”

The action got started last Friday with the preliminaries. Joining Koch and Jones was Laura Chelberg (100 yard butterfly) and Erin Cunningham, who along with Koch, Jones, and Chelberg, make up the 400 yard freestyle relay. Everyone’s goal was simple....make the finals. Only the top 16 advance.

Koch made sure of that the instant she hit the pool, swimming a personal best and school record in the 200 yard freestyle, coming in with a time of 2:03.78, a full three seconds better than her section final time. The feat put her 11, placing her in the “B” final on Saturday.

She wasn’t done.

Koch pulled off a repeat performance in the 500 yard freestyle, swimming the event in 5:34.91, putting her 13 overall, more than enough to advance to Saturday. Like in the 200, it was another school record for the senior, this time shaving off an amazing six seconds from her section time.

“She tapered well, she just did everything right,” said Wakefield. “She got phsyched up at the right time but not too hot to the point where it hurt her. Allie did the same thing.”

She did the same thing and saw the same results. Seeded near the bottom of the pack in the 100 yard backstroke, Jones moved swiftly through the water, finishing 15 overall, 28-tenths of a second in front of the cut. She too had a date for the finals on Saturday. Oh, and by the way, she too did it with a school record swim.

Koch and Jones were in, however, Chelberg and the 400 freestyle relay did not make the cut. Both failed to qualify for the finals.

Once last Saturday rolled around, Ed Wakefield was content. He already saw three school records fall, and knowing that neither Jones nor Koch could medal (only top 8 can medal), there was nothing left to accomplish right?

Koch answered that question right away. Fresh off her school record swim on Friday in the 200 freestyle, Koch did it again, shaving 76-tenths of a second off her previous mark, touching the wall with a time of 2:03.02. Just as impressive, Koch won the “B” final, giving her ninth place overall. Even though the top eight swimmers get medals, a ninth place finish was alright with her.

“It’s hard but I looked at the times above me and they were all faster than I was anyway,” mentioned Koch. “I was really surprised with my 2:03 in the 200, It’s nice to finish my career that way.”

After Koch made more waves by finishing 13 in the 500 freestyle, it was Allie Jones turn.

Seeded 15 heading into the “B” finals, Jones finished 15, breaking another school record in the process. Her final run of her high school career was 1:04.39, 12-tenths of a second better than her mark in the preliminaries. Another race, another


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