Stellar night for Avestruz, Horejsi while Wayzata wins Minnesota girls high school’s AA state title

Zoe Avestruz broke two state records and rattled two others for Chanhassen, but it was Wayzata that picked up the Minnesota Girls High School state titles in Class AA.

Wayzata won two of the first three events, including a runaway 200 IM win from junior Madison Preiss to take the title. Edina took second behind a pair of state records from sophomore Rachel Wittmer.

Meanwhile in Class A (for the state’s smaller schools), Visitation won the team title with Class A state records from Abbie Dolan. A pair of all-time state records went down to Albert Lea breaststroker Lindsey Horejsi, who won three events.

Full results:

Class AA

Zoe Avestruz, a senior at Chanhassen and future Minnesota Golden Gopher, was electric every time she hit the water, going after state records in all of her swims.

Most notable, and probably most impressive, was one of the records she missed. Avestruz went 51.98 to win the 100 backstroke, coming within a half second of the state record set by future Olympian and NCAA champ Rachel Bootsma. Avestruz was also five tenths off the national high school record set a couple seasons ago by Olivia Smoliga.

Avestruz was six tenths off another Bootsma record in the 100 fly. Her 53.36 won by almost a second and a half and got close to the 52.73 Class AA record set by Bootma four years ago. The overall state record belongs to Danielle Nack, who will be one of Avestruz’s teammates at Minnesota next year.

Second in both of those races was Lakeville North 7th-grader Regan Smith, who broke 11-12 National Age Group records in both swims.

Avestruz’s record actually came leading off the 400 free relay. After lowering the state record to 49.24 after prelims, Avestruz took two more hundredths off by going 49.22 in the final.

In that race, her Chanhassen team smashed their own state record, giving Avestruz a two-for-one in records. The team of Avestruz, Rowan Hodgins, Kylie Dahlgren and Kaia Grobe went 3:22.37 to chop three seconds off the record the team set a year earlier. That team was impressive across the board – Grobe, a senior and Minnesota Gopher commit alongside Avestruz, split 49.57 on the anchor leg. Hodgins, a freshman, was 51.74 and Dahlgren, a future Missouri Tiger, was 51.84.

Also having a great night was Edina sophomore Rachel Wittmer, who won three titles and was part of two state records of her own.

Wittmer used a rocket of a start to beat out Grobe for the 50 free title. Wittmer was 22.62, breaking the 22.73 state record set by future Notre Dame swimmer Hannah Bowen.

Wittmer also anchored the winning 200 free relay, where she and her Hornets teammates defended their state title and took two more tenths off their own state record. The full team returned from a year ago: Wittmer, her older sister Emma, Texas commit Olivia Anderson and senior Amelia Anderson.

Rachel Wittmer was 22.97 on the anchor leg as the team went 1:33.80. Emma Wittmer had the second-fastest split, leading off in 23.50.

Rachel Wittmer also won the 100 free in 49.82, once again topping Chanhassen’s Grobe.

Despite all those records for Edina and Chanhassen, it was Wayzata that took the team crown. The Trojans won the opening 200 medley relay, riding a huge 28.14 breaststroke split from junior Madison Preiss. Wayzata was 1:42.30, with the relay also featuring Carly Quast, Alexis Schaaf and Colleen Donlin. That foursome beat out Avestruz and Chanhassen for the title by a few tenths.

Preiss would come back to pace the 200 IM, running up a big lead in the fly and pretty much ending the race by the breaststroke leg. Preiss was 2:01.50 for Wayzata’s only individual win of the meet.

Edina’s Olivia Anderson was able to beat Preiss for the 100 breast win. Although Anderson, a member of the well-known Aquajets club and a future Texas Longhorn, seemed to pull away by the 50-mark, Preiss came up with a huge final pullout to make it a race to the finish. Anderson got her hand on the wall first, though, going 1:01.47 to Preiss’s 1:01.78.

Robbinsdale Armstrong’s Courtney Evensen showed great patience in the 200 free, swimming in the middle of the pack early but closing hard to take the win in 1:49.22. Evensen is set to join Dahlgren at Missouri next season. She held off yet another Minnesota commit, Maple Grove’s Erin Buck, for the win.

In the 500 free, Evensen came up just short, putting together a furious comeback, but ultimately falling to Rochester Mayo senior Kallyn Barkey. Barkey, an Arizona state commit, made her move in the middle of the race and kept just enough in the tank to hold off Evensen at the wall, going 4:55.34 to Evensen’s 4:56.11.

Stillwater’s Liz Click won 1-meter diving with a score of 463.25.

Top 5 Teams

  1. Wayzata – 337
  2. Edina – 281
  3. Minnetonka – 192
  4. Chanhassen – 186
  5. Rochester Mayo – 140

Class A

In the small-school division, it was Albert Lea’s junior breaststroker Lindsey Horejsi who stole the show, breaking two all-time state records and one Class A state mark.

Horejsi won the 200 IM and 100 breast individually, cracking state records in both. Her 100 breast was easily the most impressive, as Horejsi went 59.61 to break the record in prelims, then 59.56 to re-break it in the final. That leaves Horejsi about a second off of Breeja Larson‘s NAG record of 58.51, and Horejsi has nearly two full years left to go after the record as she just turned 17 this fall.

Horejsi also broke the all-time state 200 IM record, going 1:59.77. That wiped former Auburn and Missouri breaststroker Abby Duncan off the record books.

Before all that, Horejsi swam breaststroke on Albert Lea’s 200 medley relay, which broke the Class A state record. Horejsi was a screaming 27.02 on her leg. Joining her on the team were Bailey Sandon, Ahnika Jenson and Anna Andersen.

Andersen went on to win the 50 free for Albert Lea with a time of 23.65.

The other record-breaking team was Visitation, who won the meet with flying colors. Abbie Dolan, also a junior, was the key piece. Dolan broke the Class A 100 free record with her 49.60, beating Albert Lea’s Andersen. Dolan also helped Visitation break the A state 200 free relay record, anchoring in 22.70 as the team went 1:35.52. Also on the relay were Emily Connors, Lorelei Gaertner and Katrina Schneeman.

Gaertner and Dolan returned to help win the 400 free relay in 3:30.82 alongside Grace Snyder and Bergin Brown.

Minnesota Gopher commit Chantal Nack also won twice. The Mankato West senior went 1:50.91 to win the 200 free, and also put up a 55.72 to take the 100 backstroke.

The 100 fly went to Breck junior Bre Thorne (55.88). Delano freshman Jordyn Wentzel won the 500 free (5:08.78) and Megan White out of the Blake School took the 1-meter diving crown with 415.70 points.

Top 5 Teams

  1. Visitation – 309
  2. Sartell – 180
  3. Albert Lea – 172
  4. Breck – 151
  5. Mankato West – 142

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Paul Smith
9 years ago

I wanted to say that Zoe Avestruz is a great girl and a fitting champion. A class act that will be a tremendous asset to the Gophers. Also, it’s been a lot of fun over the last 6 years watching so many of the names mentioned above rise through the age-group ranks. So much talent and such great attitudes and sportsmanship.

bobo gigi
9 years ago

Impressive night of fast swimming in Minnesota!
Zoe Avestruz, as expected, with a competition suit and more rest, was much faster than last week. Great accomplishment for her to go under 52 in the 100 back.
Very good 22.62 for the sophomore Rachel Wittmer in the 50 free.
Lindsey Horejsi very consistent in the 100 breast. 59.61 in the prelims and 59.56 in the final. She was in 1.00.21 last year at the same meet and went 59.75 at the US junior short course championships a few weeks later. Perhaps a 58 in 4 weeks in Federal Way?
And of course the young champion Regan Smith with 3 more NAG records bringing her total of NAG… Read more »

bobo gigi
Reply to  bobo gigi
9 years ago

English correction. “bringing her total of NAG records broken to 7 in 10 days!”

Reply to  bobo gigi
9 years ago

I predict that you are wrong about the longevity of Regan Smith’s 100 back NAG. I predict it will be broken very soon, by…Regan Smith! (who I believe has a few more months as a 12-year old).

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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