Packer swimmers make a splash

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 9, 2000

The waiting game is a frustrating one for Stacy Bjorlie.

Thursday, November 09, 2000

The waiting game is a frustrating one for Stacy Bjorlie.

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Wednesday, the Austin Packer eighth-grader swam times good enough to qualify her for a spot in the state meet. Swimmers can only qualify for state during Friday’s Section 1A championships at the Ellis Middle School pool at 7 p.m. So Bjorlie will her strong performance in the section preliminary rounds Wednesday will serve as a catalyst.

"I’ve been trying to improve every meet all season," Bjorlie said. "I’ll just have to come Friday and swim a little better."

Bjorlie has a chance to appear in four different events at the state tournament, as she qualified for the section finals 200 and 500 freestyle, and the 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay. The top two individuals in each event, plus anyone who beats the qualifying time, advance to the state meet on Nov. 20-22 in Minneapolis

In addition to Bjorlie, 12 Packers qualfied Wednesday at Ellis for Friday’s section finals. Meghan Walsh, who also qualified for the section finals in four events, said it helped that the Packers were swimming in their home pool.

"We know the walls and the starts," Walsh said, "so we can focus on swimming well."

Walsh is part of the Packers’ 200 medley relay team, along with Bjorlie, Lauren Goettsch and Elizabeth Goskesen that earned the top time in the preliminary round, swimming the race in 1 minute 57 seconds.

"We’re right where we want to be," Walsh said of the relay team. "We know the other teams were holding off a little, but we swam really well."

The Packers will be seeded second in the other two relays, the 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle.

Bjorlie, a member of the 400 relay team along with Goettsch, Walsh, and senior Sarah Heins, said the team knows it can swim even better than it Wednesday, when the four girls combined for a time of 3:51.91, bettering the state qualifying time by more than half of a second.

"We had some slow spots, but we’re hoping to go faster on Friday," Bjorlie said.

Other individual swimmers advancing to Friday’s finals for Austin include: Lindsay Lukes, Christina Srock, Amanda Martin, Tristen Kusterer, Lisa Champlin, and Nicole Novak.

In the diving competition, Austin’s Jori Baldus and Danielle Chapek both earned spots in Friday’s finals.

Chapek finished second in Wednesday’s preliminary rounds, with a score of 247.80, while Baldus placed 11th with a total of 175.85 points.