10/11/2012 10:20:00 AM 'Cats falter without diving
Thomi Lee broke a 25 year old St. Louis Park pool record in a loss to the Orioles.
By JEFF NORTON
When competitors can basically take away the Wildcat swimming and diving teams’ most dangerous weapons, things get tough for Chisago Lakes. The Wildcats lost two meets last week because they were at opposing schools that didn’t have diving boards. The ‘Cats feature two state-tournament quality divers and another that is strong, and when that gets taken away, CL has had a tough time overcoming. Chisago Lakes 95, Columbia Heights 73 Divers or not, it didn’t matter in Chisago Lakes victory over Columbia Heights.
The Wildcats rushed out to a 40-22 lead before the diving event did take place and with it, they took a 53-22 advantage. That lead swelled to over 50 after the quartet of Thomi Lee, Kim Colburn, Nicole Bean and Dani Berg finished in first place in the 200-yard relay. After that event moved the score to 95-42, Chisago Lakes switched to exhibition swimming, which made the meet closer than it appeared. The Wildcats got first place in all but three events, thoroughly dominating the overmatched and visiting Hylanders. St. Louis Park 54, Chisago Lakes 50 The Orioles were the first team to take advantage of a lack of diving when they hosted the Wildcats in their pool. It’s also only a five-lane pool, leaving every race basically a two-on-two scramble for points. St. Louis Park took their first big lead when they went one-two in the 200 individual medley.
That scored the event 7-1 and moved the lead to 18-8. Previous to that, however, CL’s Thomi Lee won the 200 freestyle in a time of 1:58.17, a new pool record at St. Louis Park that had stood for 25 years. However, things really started to go south for Chisago Lakes after the Orioles went one-two in the 200 freestyle relay. In a five-lane pool, relays are key and St. Louis Park took that one 9-1 and stretched their lead to 45-23 with only three events left. The meet was sealed by that tough stretch, but Chisago Lakes did make a go of it, going one-two in the 100 backstroke with Kayla Donahue and Kalli Olson taking the top two spots, and grabbing the first and fourth spots in the 400 free relay. St. Louis Park ended up winning 54-40. The diving points alone would’ve accounted for 13 points, and a bigger pool always favors the Wildcats, who have big numbers and a lot of depth on their squad. Robbinsdale Cooper 89, Chisago Lakes 81 This meet was directly affected by the lack of diving board. The pool was a seven-lane pool that Chisago Lakes is used to, but the Cooper pool still didn’t have a board. Chisago Lakes jumped out to an early lead. Donahue, Lee, Bean and Berg won the 200 medley relay and Lee, Bean and Hannah Emeott went one-three-five in the 200 free to grab an early 20-10 lead for Chisago.
The Hawks cut the lead to six in the next event and over the next four events, CL held either a six or four point lead. That all shifted when it came to the 200 free relay. The Hawk foursomes came in first and third, outscoring the ‘Cats 10-4 in the event and tying the meet at 62-62. Cooper’s Sarah Hoogenboom gave them the lead for good in the next even when she won the 100 backstroke. Donahue finished in second, but Cooper claimed the third and fourth spots to jump out to their own six point lead. After the team’s split the 100 breast stroke, it stood at 81-75 in favor of Cooper with only the 400 free relay to go. Head Coach Ed Wakefield figured he would have to mix his teams up a little bit because he needed first and second to win the meet, but it ended up backfiring as CL got second and third behind the top quartet from Cooper. The Hawks stretched their margin of victory to eight at 89-81.