MINNEAPOLIS Both McKenzie and Kylie Vermeire advanced to the championship heats in individual swims while representing the Marshall Tigers swimming team at the state meet Friday at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
McKenzie Vermeire, a senior, qualified with the eighth-best time in both the 200-yard individual medley as well as the 100-yard backstroke with times of 2 minutes, 12 seconds and 1:00.29, respectively. Vermeire's time in the 100-yard backstroke bested Monticello's Anna Jensen by four one-hundredths of a second for the final spot in the finals.
"It's my last year, so I'm excited to be placed in the top eight in my individual events," Vermeire said. "I would have liked it to be the 400-yard freestyle relay, but we just fell a little bit short. But I'm ready to go in tomorrow and just give it my all in my last state meet."
Photo by Travis Andries
Marshall’s McKenzie Vermeire dives into the pool for her leg of the 400-yard relay during preliminaries at the Class A state swim meet at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis. The team of McKenzie Vermeire, Abby Surprenant, Ashley Dunn and Kylie Vermeire made the consolation finals of the evetn after finishing ninth in the prelims on Friday.
After placing fifth overall in 2011 in the 400-yard freestyle relay, the Tigers missed out on a spot in the championship heat this year by one place and seven tenths of a second, finishing ninth with a time of 3:42.48. The relay team of McKenzie Vermeire, her younger sister, Kylie Vermeire, Abby Surprenant and Ashley Dunn will compete in the consolation heat today. The Tigers' other relay, the 200-yard freestyle will not swim at all today after placing 20th in preliminaries.
Dunn also swam in the 100-yard backstroke, but will not compete on Saturday after placing 23rd. Surprenant and Dunn will have just one race on Saturday, in sharp contrast to Friday when it seemed as though the Tiger swimmers were seldom out of the pool.
"I think it'll be nice just to be able to focus on that one race," Surprenant said.
MARSHALL TOP FINISHERS
200 Freestyle: 9. Kylie Vermeire 1:57.50
200 Individual Medley: 8. McKenzie Vermeire 2:12.12
500 Freestyle: 6. K. Vermeire 5:16:14
200 Freestyle Relay: 20. M. Vermeire, Abby Surprenant, Ashley Dunn, K. Vermeire 1:43.34
100 Backstroke: 8. M. Vermeire 1:00.29, 23. Dunn 1:03.22
400 Freestyle Relay: 9. M. Vermeire, Surprenant, Dunn, K. Vermeire 3:42.48
Dunn added, "Focusing on that one race is easier than trying to focus on three."
The Tiger with the most time in the water was Kylie Vermeire, who swam 850 yards in her four events. She will swim in the championship heat of the 500-yard freestyle on Saturday after placing sixth in the preliminary heats of the event with a time of 5:16.14. Moments after her long-distance swim, Vermeire was back on the blocks waiting for her turn as the anchor of Marshall's 200 freestyle relay team.
"I've been doing it for a couple years now, so it's gotten a little bit easier. But it's still really tough swimming the 500 and going right into the 200 free relay," Vermeire said. "But I think it's important to have team events, so I was excited to be on the relay."
She will have another swim with her team in the 400 freestyle relay today, while she will also swim in the consolation heat of the 200 freestyle after taking ninth on Friday with a time of 1:57.50. Vermeire's time in the 200 was just a half-second slower than eighth-place finisher Cassie Jahn of Big Lake.
Though they were hoping to replicate the team success of a year ago, when Marshall placed sixth overall, the Tigers and their head coach, Nicole Peterson, are pleased with a majority of their times from the preliminaries.
"We had some personal bests today, which is really good to see," Peterson said. "I know that we probably would have liked to do a little bit better. We struggled in some events today, though I think that will hopefully give us some extra motivation heading into tomorrow. We definitely have some room to improve, so I'm excited and looking forward to that."