Knuth earns third state medal


TAYLOR KNUTH, Plymouth senior, focuses on a dive during state competition Friday in Madison. Knuth earned a sixth-place medal. — Photo by Craig Hoffman, Tri-County News TAYLOR KNUTH, Plymouth senior, focuses on a dive during state competition Friday in Madison. Knuth earned a sixth-place medal. — Photo by Craig Hoffman, Tri-County News MADISON – Senior Taylor Knuth of Plymouth captured a sixth-place medal in diving at the Division 2 girls state swimming and diving meet Friday at the UWMadison Natatorium.

It marked the third straight year that Knuth has won a state diving medal as a top-six finisher. She earned fourth last year and third as a sophomore. Knuth was a state diver all four years in high school.

Knuth, the No. 2 seed going into the state event (based on sectional scores), scored 308.15 points for 11 dives. Also competing in diving for the Panthers was senior Haley Olsen who took 12th with 272.55.

Olsen moved up two places from last season when she finished 14th in her state debut. Knuth scored 13 team points and Olsen contributed five. Freshman Ginger Lingard of Madison Edgewood, the No. 1 seed, won the diving title with an outstanding score of 451.10.


HALEY OLSEN of Plymouth prepares for a dive in Friday’s state meet. Olsen finished 12th, two places higher than last year. — Photo by Craig Hoffman, Tri- County News HALEY OLSEN of Plymouth prepares for a dive in Friday’s state meet. Olsen finished 12th, two places higher than last year. — Photo by Craig Hoffman, Tri- County News The Panthers competed in two swimming events. Junior Maddie Strutz finished eighth in the 100-yard freestyle with a career-best time of 54.89 seconds. Strutz was on the 400 freestyle relay team which placed 11th in a season-best 3 minutes, 43.60 seconds. The other relay members were seniors Delaney Olsen and Meghan Roelse and sophomore Anna Theisen.

Strutz scored 11 team points in the 100, and the 400 relay tallied 12. Olsen and Roelse posted personal best times in their relay legs.

Junior Samantha Senczyszyn of Grafton won the 100 in 50.89. Grafton was the 400 relay winner, anchored by Senczyszyn.

Grafton, which won the sectional meet at Plymouth, earned the state championship with 286 points. DeForest finished second with 202. PHS placed 18th in the 32-team meet with 41.

Knuth got off to a slow start in the preliminaries where she ranked just 11th through five dives but bounced back strong over the final six dives.

“Taylor had a foot injury on her first dive which caused her to have a bad first round,” said PHS diving coach Greg Heberlein who was one of the D-2 state diving judges.

“She was able to adjust and pulled things together on her final six dives and was able to pass the four or five divers that were ahead of her to finish sixth. I am very proud of her resolve.

“Haley dove very well but the scores were much lower than what we saw at sectionals,” said Heberlein. “I was very pleased with their preparation and their overall finishes.” Panther head coach Mike Slagle was very pleased with the swimmers.

“It’s always nice to take some drops [in times]. I was very happy, especially when you do your best performances,” said Slagle.

“The rest and getting down the finer points [going into state] helped a lot.

“Maddie had a great swim [in the 100 freestyle]. She was focused and she had a good race all the way through,” said Slagle.

“The 400 relay was a nice race for the girls, especially for the seniors ending up. All of the girls swam well.

“Taylor didn’t place as high as she wanted to but had a wonderful season. She rebounded well after the preliminaries. Haley did very well and was pretty steady,” said Slagle.

PLYMOUTH STATE RESULTS

Diving – 6. Taylor Knuth, 308.15; 12. Haley Olsen, 271.55.

100 freestyle – 8. Maddie Strutz, 54.89.

400 freestyle relay – 11. Delaney Olsen, Anna Theisen, Strutz, Meghan Roelse, 3:43.60.


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