The River Falls High School swim and dive team competed in and won its first meet of the season, a 99-82 victory at home against a visiting Holmen team on Thursday, Aug. 26. The first meet of the …
The River Falls High School swim and dive team competed in and won its first meet of the season, a 99-82 victory at home against a visiting Holmen team on Thursday, Aug. 26.
The first meet of the year, which was also the home opener for RFHS, was a meet against Holmen in which RFHS won 10 of the 12 total events, including all three of the relay events. According to swim and dive coach Caitlin Brudzinski, one of her swimmers tied a longstanding River Falls High School swimming record.
“After almost three weeks of early morning practice, the athletes were excited to race,” Brudzinski said. “One of the main highlights included Ellery Ottem tying the school record in the 100 breaststroke.”
Other results from the season-opening meet include the girls’ 200-yard medley relay, an event that River Falls won by approximately one second. The team of Sadie Ottem, Ellery Ottem, Jane Briese, and Stephanie Derks finished with a total time of 2:00.47. Holmen’s team of Brynn Lkeiner, Ava Wickstrom, Lily Churchill, and Halie Eiken finished with a time of 2:01.82.
In the girls 100-yard butterfly event, Briese of RFHS pulled away late in the event, defeating Churchill of Holmen High School by approximately five seconds. Briese’s final time was 1:02.58. Churchill’s final time was 1:07.44.
Winning 10 of 12 events in the first meet of the year served as a confidence boost for the Wildcats swim and dive team as they prepared for the Saturday evening, Aug. 28, Eau Claire Memorial Relay Meet.
The road meet in Eau Claire consisted of teams throughout the state participating in the series of events. Brudzinski noted the size of the field and highlights of the meet.
“It was a smaller meet, but the competition was fast, with teams from the Madison area coming up to join Hudson, Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire Memorial, and ourselves,” Brudzinski said. “It was a fun meet and the athletes enjoyed competing in the unusual relays.”
Notable results include the team of MacKenna Anderson, Annie Ottem, Jane Briese, and Ellery Ottem placing second in the 800 free relay. In the 300-butterfly event, the relay of Briese, Stephanie Derks, and Ellery Ottem also placed second.
Brudzinski’s team will have its third meet of the season on Thursday, Sept. 9, on the road against Eau Claire Memorial. That meet is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. The Wildcats’ series of road meets ends on Thursday, Sept. 23, when RFHS has its next home meet against Hudson, which is scheduled to get underway at 6:30 p.m.