Panthers finish fourth in sectionals, advance three events to state meet

MEGHAN ROELSE, Plymouth senior, swims the 200-yard freestyle in Saturday’s sectional meet. Roelse finished fifth with a season-best time. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley MEGHAN ROELSE, Plymouth senior, swims the 200-yard freestyle in Saturday’s sectional meet. Roelse finished fifth with a season-best time. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley PLYMOUTH – Senior Taylor Knuth won the diving title to lead the Plymouth Panthers to a strong fourth-place finish in last weekend’s Division 2 girls sectional swimming and diving meet at the PHS pool.

The Panthers qualified three events, including three individuals, for state, led by Knuth who scored a career-high 412.20 points. Knuth has finished fourth and third, respectively, in the past two D-2 state meets.

PHS has another diver who advanced to state in senior Haley Olsen who placed ninth with 290.15. Olsen also competed at state last year.

Plymouth’s other state qualifiers include junior Maddie Strutz in the 100-yard freestyle with a fourth-place finish in 55.31 seconds and the 400 freestyle relay which took third in a season-best 3 minutes, 45.35 seconds. The relay consists of seniors Delaney Olsen and Meghan Roelse, Strutz and sophomore Anna Theisen.

The winners of each sectional event automatically qualify for the state meet along with the top-12 performances from all sectionals (excluding the winners). The state meet will be held Friday at the UW-Madison Natatorium.

Grafton won the sectional meet with 416 points and PHS scored 226. The diving was held Friday night and the swimming, Saturday afternoon.

“We did fantastic. We had a good number of career-bests,” said Panther head coach Mike Slagle.

Slagle wasn’t disappointed that his team didn’t qualify more events for state.

“You can’t control what others are doing around the state [in sectionals]. We did the best we could and that’s all you can ask for,” he said.

“We had a good sectional. It was a strong field overall.”

The following PHS swimmers had career-best times: Theisen in the 200 and freestyles; Roelse, 100 and 200 freestyles; Maddy Schmitt, Maggie McConnaha and Emily Brown in the 100 breaststroke; Amy Holec, 100 backstroke; and Delaney Olsen in the 50 and all three of her relay legs.

Slagle said he is happy to get two divers to state.

“Taylor is very happy. She was very consistent all night – staying around scores of 6 an 7 from each diving judge on each dive,” said PHS diving coach Greg Heberlein.

“Haley had a rough night but pulled it together after her sixth dive. The mark of a great athlete is that she doesn’t give up when all seems lost.

“Savannah and Rachel did very well on Friday also,” Heberlein added.


Diving – 1. Taylor Knuth, 412.20; 9. Haley Olsen, 290.15; 11. Savannah Arneson, 273.90; 12. Rachel Romps, 271.35.

200 freestyle – 5. Meghan Roelse, 2:05.39; 7. Anna Theisen, 2:07.84.

50 freestyle – 6. Delaney Olsen, 25.48; 11. Nichole Bartzen, 26.81.

100 butterfly – 10. Kayla Lentz, 1:07.40; 13. Jeni Birenbaum, 1:12.34.

100 freestyle – 4. Maddie Strutz, 55.31; 7. Roelse, 57.14.

500 freestyle – 7. Theisen, 5:38.13.

200 freestyle relay – 4. D. Olsen, Bartzen, Strutz, Roelse, 1:42.64.

100 backstroke – 11. Amy Holec, 1:08.77; 12. Jacqueline Snow, 1:09.02.

100 breaststroke – 9. Maddy Schmitt, 1:15.89 12. Maggie McConnaha, 1:17.52; 13 Emily Brown, 1:21.15.

400 freestyle relay – 3. D. Olsen, Theisen, Strutz, Roelse, 3:45.35.

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