Divers sparkle in victory over Cathedral

Milaca’s divers put on a  brilliant performance as they helped lead Milaca’s girls swimming and diving team past St. Cloud Cathedral in a Granite Ridge Conference dual Thursday, Oct. 10, at Milaca.

Senior Sarah Forker won the diving with a personal-best score of 195.05. Junior BryAnna Paulson was second with a 190.00 score and junior Tara Airhart was third with a score 172.10.

Their efforts had the full attention of the Parents Night crowd.

“The divers get stronger every week and they challenge themselves with difficult dives in practice,” said diving coach Sarah Marte. “It’s an honor to coach such hard-working athletes.”

Forker, with a time of 27.09 seconds, also led a 1-2-3 finish by the Wolves in the 50-yard freestyle. Junior Rachel Airhart was second in 27.97 while junior Ashley Cassens placed third in 28.14.

Milaca opened the meet by winning the 200-yard individual medley as senior Leah Crain, Tara Airhart, Forker and Rachel Airhart posted a time of 2:08.40. The Wolves’ unit of Paulson, eighth-grader Erika Maalis, sophomore Becca Johnson and junior Hannah Johnson was third in 2:19.91.

In other events:

-Senior Ori Scherer placed third in the 200 freestyle in 2:24.11. Morgan Gerhardt of Cathedral was first in 2:13.83.

-Seventh-grader Chloe Hendrickson won the 200 individual medley in 2:36.00, with Emma Johnson finishing third in 2:59.22.

-Scherer won the 100 butterfly in 1:12.16, with Hendrickson placing third in 1:13.90.

-Cassens won the 100 freestyle in 1:02.72, with Hannah Johnson placing third in 1:04.30.

-Gerhardt led a 1-2-3 Crusader finish in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:46.13.

-Cassens, Rachel Airhart, Tara Airhart and Forker teamed up to win the 200 freestyle relay in 1:49.63. Seventh-grader Ellie Hartung, Hannah Johnson, seventh-grader Breanna Mehrwerth and Hendrickson placed second in 1:57.46.

-Crain placed second in the 100 backstroke in 1:15.40. Cathedral senior Loundy Silkman was first in 1:15.30.

-Tara Airhart won the 100 breaststroke in 1:21.48, with Maalis placing second in 1:23.12.

Milaca swam exhibition in the final event, the 400 freestyle relay.

“The meet was full of personal bests, especially from our veterans,” said Milaca co-head coach Jennifer Burroughs. “In addition, we had solid performances from our younger athletes.

“It was fun to win our last home dual on parents night and our final conference dual of the season.”

The Wolves will travel to the Granite Ridge Conference Championships Saturday, Oct. 26, at Sartell High School. The meet starts at 2 p.m.