Mounds View girls make first big splash of the season

photos submitted by Krisandrea Ballas-Rylander The Mounds View High School girls swim and dive team kicked off its 2017 season Aug. 24 in Stillwater, coming in a strong second place overall.

The Mounds View High School girls swim and dive team kicked off its 2017 season Aug. 24. Conference relays, held at Stillwater Middle School, revealed many of the school’s talented A, B, and C squad athletes.  

Head coach Stephan Brauer and assistant coach Chris Yauch commented on the team’s depth, namely the developing B and C squad athletes, and the exciting first effort demonstrated by all three squads. 

The size of the team — some 70 athletes including 25 rookies — presents a challenge, but has also proven to be an asset in past years. Captains Hannah Aitkin, Chella LaMere, Megan McFarling and Ellie Wessberg lead the group this year.

Highlights from the relays included a fourth-place finish by the 400-meter freestyle relay team of Megan West, Sylvia Elias, Serena Chan and Bridget Bohan. In the 200-meter freestyle relay, Mounds View took first, third and seventh places. LaMere, Zoe Rylander, Ali Misialek and Aitkin handily beat Stillwater’s A team that evening for first.

Wessberg, Annie Moen, Laney Schwieters and Sara Wilkowske made up the strong B squad. Mounds View also took first place in the 200-meter butterfly relay, with Aitkin, Rylander, Chan and Misialek besting second-place Stillwater by nearly five seconds.  

Competitive splits by Kamela Tran, Kira McCallum and 10 other teammates were seen during the 800-meter freestyle relay.  

Eighth-graders Eleanor Lynch and Olivia Schuette showcased all four strokes well in the 400-yard 4x100 medley relay. 

Vets Mary Vranyes, Chan, Kaja Holtz, Rachel Ganske, Lauren Austin and Mya Wood looked poised as their C squad surpassed Roseville’s A squad, as well as the Cretin-Derham Hall and the White Bear Lake B squads.  

Mounds View’s West, Vranyes, Nora Waffensmith and Madeline Blasingame backstroked their way to second place, and the B and C squads came in fifth and seventh.

The relays showed improvement in Bohan, Corinna Schell, Natalie Jahnsen, Austin, Wilkowske, Zoe Fallgarter and Lauren Denning’s swimming. Rookie Daisy Bai helped the C squad finish just one second behind Roseville’s A squad.  

LaMere, Elias, Vranyes and West finished third in the 200-yard breaststroke relay while Schwieters, Ganske, Sienna Wood, Anna Montgomery, Haley Montgomery, Shell, Katelyn Welle and Ellie Hauth-Schmid exhibited their breaststroke talents as well. 

The night wrapped up with Aitkin, Rylander, LaMere and Misialek finishing second in the 400-meter freestyle relay behind Stillwater, with the B squad of Moen, Waffensmith, Mackenzie Groth and Kaja Holtz taking fifth. 

Jahnsen, Meghan McFarling, Lauren Lian and Sydney Pham, coming in seventh, exemplified Mounds View’s depth. 

The Mounds View divers have yet to make their debut as head coach John Carpe prepares this year’s young dive team for a challenging and exciting season. 

Optimism remains high as Mounds View clinched second place overall behind Stillwater, knowing that they will have to be focused in these early weeks as they face rivals East Ridge and Cretin-Derham Hall, who came in third and fourth places, respectively.  


—submitted by Krisandrea Ballas-Rylander


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