The Winona Senior High School girls swimming and diving team went up against the top team in the section Thursday night at the WSHS pool, and while the result may not have gone the Winhawks’ way — Mankato West won 95-86 — coach Chris Mayer was pleased with the effort.

“I am not sure if they could work any harder,” Mayer said. “They have done two practices per day every day this week — 4,500 yards each day, equivalent to four miles of swimming, and are exhausted. All of this training, and these tough days, are helping the girls understand they can still race well tired, that they can push their bodies to do so much more, and are becoming a team that will be a dominant team in the future. I am very proud with how they performed and am looking forward to the next week of practice.”

The highlight of the night was Issara Schmidt breaking the team and pool record in diving with a final score of 270.40.

“What a great night for her, and probably a huge weight off her mentally,” Mayer said of his diver, who came close to breaking the record many times before.

Morgan Walker had 185.75 points, while Ashlyn Full had 122.70 to place fifth.

The meet began with a strong medley relay, as the Winona team of Anna MacLennan, Emily Robison, Carolyn Macon and Mary Hoffman placed second in 1:59.95.

Macon came back and won the 200 freestyle in 2:06.65. Anna-Lee Landers out touched a competitor at the wall to place third in 2:14.29.

Kaylee Niemeyer gave the defending section champion in the 200 individual medley a strong race in placing second in 2:31.76, just off her best time of the season. Grace Nelson took fourth in 2:45.07.

In the 50 freestyle, West went 1-2, while Emily Robison was third in 27.67 seconds and Ava Pike fourth in 28.09. Both were near personal bests.

Macon swam a personal best in the 100 butterfly, finishing second in 1:02.84.

In the 100 freestyle, Mary Hoffman, swimming with sore shoulders, was second in 1:00.07 and Pike was fourth in 1:02.79.

Anna-Lee Landers was third in the 500 freestyle in 6:02.61, while Kaylee Niemeyer was fourth in 6:07.53.

The 200 freestyle relay team of Carolyn Macon, Emily Robison, Kaylee Niemeyer and Ava Pike was second in 1:50.75.

In the 100 backstroke, Harper Wolner squeaked out a third-place finish, just out of second, in 1:08.76.

Robison went toe-to-toe with the defending section champ in the 100 breaststroke, finishing in 1:18.21.

In an exhibition relay to close the meet, the Winona team of Kaylee Niemeyer, Harper Wolner, Anna MacLennan and Anna-Lee Landers won in 4:17.19. The B team of Tara Ziegeweid, Ryka Parsi, Anna McCormick and Grace Nelson was second in 4:28.38.

The Winhawks return to action with a dual against Austin, then will travel to the University of Minnesota for the Maroon and Gold Invite.

“I think these girls are going to swim lights out,” Mayer said.


Northfield 3, Winona 0: The Winhawks battled against one of the Big 9’s best, but came up a bit short in a 25-23, 25-22, 25-17 loss.

Grace Rohde had 10 kills and two blocks, while Phoenix Matthees added six kills and four blocks. Emma Zeller had 17 assists.

Winona is back in action on Saturday at a tournament in Farmington.

Rain, rain go away

Severe storms and heavy rain that rolled through southeastern Minnesota affected the Winhawks sports schedule on Thursday night. The cross country team was set to participate in the Mayo Invitational, but that was postponed to Tuesday. The girls tennis team’s dual at Northfield was postponed to Sept. 23. The boys soccer game against Rochester John Marshall was rescheduled to Oct. 5, while the girls soccer game at John Marshall was moved to Sept. 18.

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