The Marshall swimming and diving team opened up its season with a fifth-place finish at the Hutchinson Invitational on Saturday. The Tigers finished with 245 total points, well behind host Hutchinson, which took first place with 421 points.
Also at the meet were five other teams that participated in the 2011 Class A state meet. Mankato West took second with 360 points, edging out Blake and Breck. Blake wound up in third place with 337 points, while Breck took fourth with 300 points. Dassel-Cokato finished just behind Marshall, taking sixth place with 236 points. Litchfield, also a state participant last season, took seventh with a score of 215.
The Tigers, who failed to win a single event, were led in the pool by McKenzie and Kylie Vermeire.
McKenzie took second in two events and third in another. Her time of 2 minutes, 16.83 seconds earned her second place in the 200 individual medley; an event in which Abby Surprenant also earned points for Marshall, finishing in 11th place (2:29.44). Kylie Vermeire picked up her second-place finish in the 200 freestyle, swimming in 2:02.66. She also placed third in the 500 freestyle - an event she won a medal in at the 2011 state meet - with a time of 5:25.94.
The invitational proved to be a strong showing for all of Marshall's 2011 state qualifiers.
The Vermeires were also part of Marshall's two relays. Along with Surprenant and Ashley Dunn, Marshall took third in the 200 freestyle relay (1:44.85). Cassaundra Krogen subbed in for Surprenant during Marshall's second-place 400 freestyle relay (3:51.18).
McKenzie and Dunn finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 100 butterfly (1:04.04; 1:04.11). Dunn and Surprenant placed fourth and fifth, as well, in the 100 backstroke (1:06.50; 1:06.67).
With the fifth-place finish against some of the state's top teams in the books, Marshall will now prepare for a meet in Mound-Westonka on Thursday.
Team Scores: 1. Hutchinson 421; 2. Mankato West 360; 3. Blake 337; 4. Breck School 300; 5. Marshall 245; 6. Dassel-Cokato 236; 7. Litchfield 215; 8. Waconia 164; 9. Mankato East/Loyola 47.
MARSHALL TOP FINISHERS
200 Medley Relay: 8. Abby Surprenant, Abby Blanchette, Blythe Bell, Cassaundra Krogen 2:04.21.
200 Freestyle: 2. Kylie Vermeire 2:02.66.
200 Individual Medley: 2. McKenzie Vermeire 2:16.83; 11. Surprenant 2:29.44.
50 Freestyle: 14. Laura Mitlyng 27.93.
100 Butterfly: 4. M. Vermeire 1:04.04; 5. Ashley Dunn 1:04.11.
100 Freestyle: 14. Krogen 1:02.27.
500 Freestyle: 3. K. Vermeire 5:25.94; 8. Bell 6:04.47.
200 Freestyle Relay: 3. M. Vermeire, Surprenant, Dunn, K. Vermeire 1:44.85.
100 Backstroke: 4. Dunn 1:06.50; 5. Surprenant 1:06.67.
100 Breaststroke: 6. Blanchette 1:18.69.
400 Freestyle Relay: 2. M. Vermeire, Krogen, Dunn, K. Vermeire 3:51.18.