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DL team keeps building for future

Another season and yet a few more building blocks have been added to the Detroit Lakes girls' swimming and diving team's experience.

The team was the largest in number in the last eight years, since Laker head coach Carol McCarthy began coaching.

"We had 27 out, so it was literally another year of growth for us," McCarthy said.

The Lakers finished fifth overall at the Section 8-1A meet, which was a more than solid finish for the young squad.

The 2012 team was led by senior captains Ayla Erickson, Katie Larson and Miranda Olson.

"Even though swimming and diving can be somewhat of an individual-focused sport, the captains did an outstanding job at team building," McCarthy said. "Each of the captains had a personal best at the Section meet."

Erickson had been working hard all year to better her 100-backstroke time and she did it in the preliminaries, finishing 17th and just missing the finals' top 16.

Larson swam her two personal bests in the 200 freestyle (finishing 21st) and in the 500 freestyle, where she made it to finals and finished 13th.

Olson swam the 200 IM and the 500 freestyle at Sections, medaling in both events.

"Miranda is someone who has worked hard all season and her entire high school career," McCarthy said. "State wasn't in the cards for her, but that is not a reflection on what a great athlete she truly is. She could have finished in the top eight in every event."

Senior Dana Langworthy was a first-year swimmer who took off as a 50-freestyler and 100 breaststroker and a great contributor to relays, while junior Alyssa Anderson, also a first year swimmer, came in as a force in the 50 and 100 freestyle sprints.

Junior Katie "Peach" Arens had some big time drops in everything she swam.

"Her strokes have really become strong, with beautiful technique," McCarthy said. "She became one of the team's top breaststrokers and butterflyers, and next year we will be looking for her to continue with the momentum she created this season."

Junior Hannah Brady received an All-Conference Honorable Mention and finished in the top eight at Sections.

It was her final season with the Lakers, as her family has moved to the Frazee-Vergas School District.

Maddy Schiller was once again a Top-16 section finisher in the 50 freestyle and 100 backstroke.

"Rayna Barnett has been a good diver for us and was out much of the season with a concussion," the coach said.

Jennifer Bellware has been a constant mid-distance and distance freestyler on the team.

Kyley Foster finished 12th in the State diving meet, although she finished second at the section meet, and she was the only diver of the four representing Section 8-1A to advance to the state finals.

Sam Hanson is a solid freestyler who had to sit out much of her freshman year with a shoulder issue.

Grace Livermore has had an outstanding season.

She came into the season with some lofty goals, many of which she reached.

"Grace's strength is in the strokes," McCarthy said. "Her forté is backstroke, which she missed qualifying for state by two seconds and is two seconds away from the school record.

"She had some incredible time drops in the 200 IM at the Section meet, getting into the top eight. Grace has really emerged as a leader in the pool this year."

Erica Nelson, a second-year swimmer, was a great presence for DL in the 50 freestyle and the 100 breaststroke.

She contributed to the Section 200 freestyle relay and she finished the season with some great momentum to carry into the 2013 season.

"Jocelyn Skoda has been instrumental all season for us in the 50 and 100 freestyle sprint events," McCarthy said. "She contributed to the Section 200 freestyle relay.

"Mickey Von Niederhausern formerly dove and swam relays for us. This year she decided to focus on swimming. Focus she did, since she was one of our main butterfliers and a major contributor at meets in mostly every event she swam."

The lone freshman, Baehlee Ruchti, started with the team last year and swam only freestyle.

This year, Baehlee swam every event at least once and was one of the team's big time-droppers.

Eighth-grader Beth Friendshuh dropped a minute in her 500 freestyle and swam every event at least once this year, and McKenna Krengel is a young, versatile swimmer.

Clara Livermore broke out this year as a force in the 100 breaststroke. She took it all the way to Sections, where she finished in the top 16.

Mathia Olds had an outstanding first year of diving. She finished in the top four at the section meet and advanced to the state meet, where she finished 28th overall.

Sydney Prussia had a great year with her freestyle sprinting. She swam every event this year at least once, and created a great momentum for the coming years.

Anna Schumacher was a first-year swimmer who improved and dropped time nearly every meet.

Seventh-grader Emma Disse was a first-year diver who dove varsity the majority of the season.

Jade Morrison experimented with swimming and diving and contributed to a number of relays, while Abby Smith had a good first year, as she contributed in every event.

Addie Young was a first year swimmer who improved with each meet, swam every event at least once and shined as a 100 breaststroker for the team.

"The team has a lot of potential heading into the 2013 season," McCarthy said. "We have lots of experience and depth with most of our events and many of the swimmers are on the verge of the next level of time drops."

(Article written by Carol McCarthy.)