Agates finish strong at sections, three qualify for state
By: Tammy Francois, Lake County News Chronicle
Since Aug. 16, the Agate girls swimming and diving team has covered approximately 225 water miles in practices. That’s 1,188,000 feet, or 396,000 yards — the distance from Two Harbors to Detroit Lakes.
All that hard work has paid off. The girls finished their second season undefeated and will send two swimmers and a diver to the state meet this weekend. Leann Fynboh finished second at the section meet and qualified for state in the 50 freestyle event. Only one one-hundredth of a second separated Fynboh from the first place swimmer, said coach Heather Mayfield.
Fynboh, a sophomore, said that it was her goal to go to state this year and she attributes her success in the pool to “determination and hard practices. I’ve also been doing a lot of weight lifting.” She said she’s has had a strategy for strengthening her can-do attitude, too.
“I hung motivational posters in my bathroom and that reminded me of my goal,” she added.
Joining Fynboh at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center for the state meet will be Marina Schreiner, a freshman. Schreiner placed second at the section meet in the 500 freestyle — 20 laps of the pool. Schreiner said her qualification for state was a surprise.
“I never thought I’d actually go to state,” she said.
“I told you you could,” reminded Mayfield with a smile.
“Yes, but I thought you were crazy,” joked Schreiner, who, on a more serious note, said that she was more determined this year than last. Mayfield agreed.
“I also really wanted the sweatshirt,” Schreiner added.
Chelsea Kolkin, freshman and the team’s qualifying diver for the state tournament concurred with Schreiner, “if you get the state sweatshirt, you’ve made it.”
Kolkin said no one expected her to make it to state because she was in sixth place going into the finals at sections, “but I nailed the last three dives and ended up in third place … the top four go to state,” she said.
Kolkin said she didn’t know she had placed third until Mayfield signaled to her by holding up three fingers.
“That’s when it hit me and I started to cry because I never thought I’d make it,” she recalled.
Kolkin was not the only Agate who shed some tears. Fynboh said she was dry-eyed until she saw her parents and then she got teary.
“I got into the stands and saw my parents crying, then I started crying,” she said, “I’ve never seen my dad cry, but they were so happy for me.”
For the rest of the Agates swim and dive team the season is over, but a reminder of their success hangs on the wall near the pool. In large blue, hand-painted numerals is 20-0 — the record the team has racked up over two years.
Mayfield said that many of her team stopped by the pool to say hello and chat for a minute, although they weren’t suiting- up for practice.
“I get a little separation anxiety at the end of the year,” said Mayfield,” I really miss them over the summer. They’re all really great girls.”
Most of the girls on the young team will be returning next year, but they will be losing senior captains Tori Highmark and Kiersten Haaversen to graduation in the spring. In spite of shoulder injuries, both Highmark and Haaversen swam well and finished strong, Mayfield said.
Watch the News-Chronicle website for an update about the Agate girls at the state meet.
“I’m proud of all of them,” said Mayfield, “just making it to state and getting this far is a big accomplishment.”
Section Meet results
200 Medley Relay 5th place Mara Christensen, Julia McDonald, Tori Highmark, Kiersten Haaversen
200 Free 3rd plce Mara Boulanger, 9th place Allie Mayfield
200 IM 9th place Marina Schreiner, 12th place Tori Highmark
50 Free 2nd place Leann Fynboh, 14th place Kiersten Haaversen
Diving 3rd place Chelsea Kolkin, 13th place Kari Haaversen, 14th place Julia McDonald, 15th place Mara Christensen
100 Fly 3rd place Mara Boulanger, 11th place Tori Highmark, 12th place Kiersten Haaversen, 15th place Alicia Torgersen
100 Free 3rd place Leann Fynboh
500 Free 2nd place Marina Schreiner, 4th place Allie Mayfield
200 Free Relay 3rd place Mara Boulanger, Julia McDonald, Leann Fynboh, Marina Schreiner
100 Back 16th place Mara Christensen
100 Breaststroke 5th place Julia McDonald
400 Free Relay 3rd Marina Schreiner, Kiersten Haaversen, Leann Fynboh, Mara Boulanger