Diver Paulson wins berth to state meet

Junior BryAnna Paulson will be representing Milaca at the Class A State Swimming and Diving Championships next week at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis.

Paulson placed fourth in diving at the Section 5A Championships Saturday at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School in Sauk Rapids. The top four finishers in diving at the section meet gain berths to the state meet.

Paulson, who was sixth at the section meet last year, posted a score of 321.25 points. Sophomore Taylor Boraas of Monticello won the diving event with a score of 356.60 while senior Jackie Braun of Sauk Rapids-Rice was second at 344.35 and junior Samantha Sell of Sauk Rapids-Rice was third with a score of 323.65.

“BryAnna has been very consistent all season,” said Milaca Co-Head Coach Jennie Burroughs. “She is able to stay focused and doesn’t get rattled when she is competing.

“BryAnna is an amazing athlete and the team is rooting for her to do well.”

The Class A diving preliminaries are Monday, Nov. 18, at noon. The finals are Wednesday, Nov. 20, at noon.

Senior Sarah Forker and junior Tara Airhart also advanced to the diving finals, with Forker placing ninth with a score of 282.30 and Airhart placing 13th with a score of 255.55.

The Wolves also advanced to the championship finals in three other events.

•The team of junior Ashley Cassens, Rachel Airhart, Tara Airhart and Forker placed fourth in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:45.65. Sauk Rapids-Rice was first in 1:42.45 and Big Lake was second in 1:43.23.

•The team of senior Leah Crain, Tara Airhart, senior Ori Scherer and Rachel Airhart placed eighth in the 200-yard medley in 2:10.81. Monticello was first in 1:52.49 and Sauk Rapids was second in 1:55.87.

•Forker placed seventh in the 50-yard freestyle in 26.40 seconds. Foley ninth-grader Kasey Milstroh was first in 24.67 while sophomore Larissa Kleen of Sauk Rapids-Rice placed second in 25.14.

The top two placers in the swimming events advanced to the state meet, along with those who posted a state-qualifying time.

Several Wolves entrants reached the consolation finals.

-Scherer was 10th in the 100 butterfly, with seventh-grader Chloe Hendrickson placing 16th.

-Hendrickson was 12th in the 200 individual medley.

-Rachel Airhart was 13th in the 50 freestyle while Cassens was 15th.

-Tara Airhart was 13th in the 100 breaststroke.

-Cassens was 16th in the 100 freestyle.

Milaca finished eighth in the team standings with 116 points.

Monticello retained its Section 5A title with 439 points while Big Lake was second at 389, Granite Ridge Conference champion Foley was third at 289 and Sauk Rapids was fourth in 269. Proctor-Hermantown placed fifth with 177 points, Becker was sixth at 175, Princeton was seventh at 129, Cloquet-Esko-Carlton was ninth at 79, Ogilvie-Mora was 10th at 41 and Zimmerman was 11th with 32 points.

“As usual, it was a very strong Section 5A Meet,” said Burroughs. “We were proud of all of our girls, with many of them qualifying for the finals.

“Our 400 freestyle relay team was disqualified in the preliminaries and that had an impact on our final score.”