McKenzie Luetmer gives the thumbs-up sign after arriving at the site of the State Swimming Meet last week on the UM campus.

McKenzie Luetmer closed out a great season of swimming and diving for the Minnewaska-Morris Gators by competing at the State Class A Swimming Meet, Thursday through Saturday at the University of Minnesota campus in the Twin Cities.

Luetmer, a senior, placed second at the Section 6A Meet to earn the state berth. During the 50-yard freestyle Class A state prelims, Thursday, Luetmer raced to a time of 25.86, which fell short of qualifying for the finals.

“McKenzie had a wonderful season and is a very impressive athlete,” head coach Sam Oellien said.  “It has been an honor to be one of her coaches.  Thanks to the school and community for all the great support they’ve shown our team all season.”

The Gators, coached by Oellien, Kathy Walker, Ruth Schaefer, Summer Spence and Shannon Dougherty, will lose eight seniors to graduation from this year’s team — Makarian Schott from Morris Area High School, and Miranda Longtin, McKenzie Luetmer, Serena Mellgren, Leslie Murken, Hannah Poshek, Avery Svec and Makena Thoen from Minnewaska Area High School.

“It was a great state meet and it is such a fun meet to be apart of as a coach,” coach Oellien said.  “Our section is very well-represented at state so there were a lot of good races to watch.”

State Meet results

McKenzie Luetmer closed out her high school swimming career in the 50-yard freestyle swimming race at the Class A State Meet, Thursday.

Luetmer was one of 26 qualifiers and she swam a time of 25.86 in the prelims, which placed her 25th overall.  The top 16 swimmers (plus two alternates) from the prelims qualified for the finals, Saturday.

Luetmer swam a time of 25.98 at the true-team sectional meet, 25.55 at the WCC Meet and 25.02 at the Section 6A Meet to place second and earn her trip to state.  A time of 25.02 would have given her the 16th and final berth in the finals.

The top time in the prelims was 23.27, set by an eighth-grader from Monticello, while another eighth-grader from Mahtomedi was tied for fourth with a time of 24.4.

In the finals, Biegler won the state title with a time of 23.14 and she also won the 100-yard freestyle in 51.28.

In the Class AA prelims, all 25 swimmers swam under 25 seconds.

Luetmer was a leader for the Gators this season in the 50 and 100-yard freestyle events, along with competing mostly on the 200 and 400 yard freestyle relays.

Carly Bixby, of Blake, won the 100 butterfly (54.53) and 100 backstroke (54.81) at state, while Ella Passe, of Visitation, won the 200 freestyle (1:51.38) and 500 freestyle (5:00.44) and Visitation also dominated the meet with 397 points compared to 194.5 for runner-up Delano.

Melrose Area, the Section 6A champion, was eighth overall with 86 points, while Alexandria was 18th with 36 and Sauk Centre 24th with 24 points.

Melrose’ Hallie Drossel won the state title in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:03.73 to win by three-hundredth of a second.

•  The Gators went 5-3 in dual meets this season and 3-2 in conference meets.  Victories came over Litchfield, Montevideo twice, Holdingford and Perham-Dent.

The Gators also finished sixth of nine teams at the section true-team meet, third of five teams at the WCC Meet and sixth of nine schools at the Section 6A Meet.

•  In high school swimming events, there are 3 relays (200 medley, 200 freestyle, and 400 freestyle), as well as 8 individual events (50, 100, 200, and 500 freestyle, 200 individual medley, and 100 breaststroke, 100 fly, and 100 backstroke), and a diving competition which consists six dives during a dual meet and 11 dives at invitationals.

at State Class Swimming and Diving Meet

Team scoring:

(1) Visitation 397  (2) Delano 194.5  (3) Mound-Westonka-HF 168  (4) Orono 122.5  (5) Blake School 113  (6) Breck School 108 . . . (8) Melrose Area 86  (18) Alexandria 36  (24) Sauk Centre 24

Individual results (First place and top 20 for Gators):

200 medley relay:  (1) Mound-Westonka-HF 1:47.42

200 freestyle:  (1) Ella Passe, Visitation 1:51.38

200 individual medley:  (1) Anna Farley, Visitation 2:05.55

50 freestyle:  (1) Adalynn Biegler, Monticello 23.14  (2) Jaylyn Storm, Mound Westonka 23.85

Diving:  (1) Avery Lommel, Delano 380.65

100 butterfly:  (1) Carly Bixby, Blake 54.53

100 freestyle:  (1) Adalynn Biegler, Monticello 51.28

500 freestyle:  (1) Ella Passe, Visitation 5:00.44

200 freestyle relay:  (1) Visitation 1:37.01

100 backstroke:  (1) Carly Bixby, Blake 54.81

100 breaststroke:  (1) Hallie Drossel, Melrose 1:03.73

400 freestyle relay:  (1) Visitation 3:30.37