Packer relay team steps up in loss

Published 11:13 pm Thursday, October 6, 2011

Austin's Lila Johnson swims the 200 yard freestyle during a dual with Winona Thursday night at Ellis Middle School. - Eric Johnson/

The Austin girls swimming and diving team had a tough matchup in their last home dual of the season.

Winona came out fast and was looking to sweep all 12 events, but the Packers stepped up in a relay during a 99-85 loss to the Winhawks on senior night in Ellis Middle School Thursday.

Austin's Emily McAlister swims the butterfly portion of the 200 IM Thursday against Winona at Ellis Middle School. - Eric Johnson/

Just like most of the races on the night, Winona jumped out to an early lead in the 200-yard freestyle relay, but as freshman Mikayla Finney prepared for the second leg, she had a lot of motivation to give her squad a boost.

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“I wanted to catch up so badly. I really wanted to win one,” she said. “The coaches bribed me. They told me if I swam fast, I’d get a cupcake and I really wanted a cupcake.”

Finney pulled even and Merideth Fritz kept pace as well before junior Helen Heimark took over in the last leg and pulled away late to give Austin a win in the event by .09 of a second.

“It was really nice to show what we’re capable of,” Heimark said. “Just because you’re ahead for three-fourths of the race doesn’t mean we won’t catch you in the end. Those are the races we love, where it comes down to the last 15 yards against the person next to you.”

Heather Johnson swam the first leg of the 200-yard freestyle relay.

Austin's Heather Johnson swims the breastroke portion of the 200 IM Thursday night against Winona at Ellis Middle School. - Eric Johnson/

Heimark finished second in the 200-yard freestyle and the 500-yard freestyle.

“These are the types of meet that we want to have before the section meet,” she said. “It’s really nice to have races that come down to the end instead of having a big gap one way or the other.”

Finney took second in the 50-yard freestyle and she’s starting to adjust to going against fast swimmers on a regular basis.

“It’s pretty scary and I get super nervous sometimes, but its getting better,” she said.

Emily McAlister took second in the 200-yard individual medley, and the 100-yard butterfly for Austin.


200-medley relay: Lindsey Halsey, Heather Johnson, Emily McAlister, Lauren Edwards (second, 2:06.05); Maddie Kinney, Sam Maloney, Hannah Schuemmler, Lindsey McAlister (fourth, 2:15.61)

200-freestyle: Helen Heimark (second, 2:05.81); Rachel Vos (third, 2:18.25); Lila Johnson (sixth, 2:22.20)

200-individual medley: Emily McAlister (second, 2:29.87); Maddie Kinney (fourth, 2:34.36); Merideth Fritz (fifth, 2:37.43)

50-freestyle: Mikayla Finney (second, 26.98) Heather Johnson (fourth, 27.61); Lauren Edwards (fifth, 27.84)

Diving: Corey Bailey (third, 158.90); Autumn Laury (fifth, 151.45); Michelle Erdahl (sixth, 137.05)

100-butterfly: Emily McAlister (second, 1:06.95); Merideth Fritz (fourth, 1:11.11); Hannah Schuemmler (sixth, 1:18.67)

100-freestyle: Mikayla Finney (second, 59.15); Lindsey Halsey (third, 59.79); Lindsey McAlister (fifth, 1:01.78)

500-freestyle: Helen Heimark (second, 5:41.11); Rachel Vos (third, 6:02.80); Lila Johnson (fifth, 6:21.20)

200-freestyle relay: Heather Johnson, Mikayla Finney, Merideth Fritz, Helen Heimark (first, 1:47.20); Courtney Bogle, Hannah Schuemmler, Megan Brown, Lauren Edwards (third, 1:54.39)

100-backstroke: Maddie Kinney (second, 1:09.80); Lindsey Halsey (third, 1:09.97); Lindsey McAlister (fifth, 1:15.35)

100-breaststroke: Heather Johnson (third, 1:23.52); Samantha Maloney (fifth, 1:25.78); Jessi Bednar (sixth, 1:28.35)

400-freestyle relay (exhibition): Helen Heimark, Merideth Fritz, Lindsey Halsey, Mikayla Finney (first, 4:01.35); Lauren Edwards, Emily McAlister, Maddie Kinney, Lindsey McAlister (second, 4:08.66)