Three Panthers qualify for state meet


NICHOLE BARTZEN swims in Plymouth’s 400-yard freestyle relay at Saturday’s sectional meet. The relay finished fourth. – Photo by Barb Hunter NICHOLE BARTZEN swims in Plymouth’s 400-yard freestyle relay at Saturday’s sectional meet. The relay finished fourth. – Photo by Barb Hunter PLYMOUTH – Anna Theisen, Savannah Arneson and Sydney Kalk qualified for state to lead a strong showing by the Plymouth Panthers in the Division 2 girls swimming and diving sectional meet last weekend at the PHS pool.

Theisen, a senior, advanced to the state meet in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle races. Arneson, a junior, and Kalk, a freshman, qualified in the 11-dive competition. The diving was held Friday night and the swimming on Saturday afternoon.

The Panthers finished a strong third place with 283 points in a tough field. Two-time defending D-2 state champion Grafton captured first with 370, followed by Kohler/Sheboygan Lutheran/Sheboygan Falls with 300.

Kiel/Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah placed sixth in the 13-team meet with 186 points. Lauren Boos, a junior at EL-G, qualified for state in the 50 freestyle after placing sixth with a time of 25.20 seconds.


SAVANNAH ARNESON, Plymouth junior (right), focuses on a dive during Friday night’s sectional competition at the PHS pool. Arneson placed second and advanced to state. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley SAVANNAH ARNESON, Plymouth junior (right), focuses on a dive during Friday night’s sectional competition at the PHS pool. Arneson placed second and advanced to state. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley K/L/F qualified eight individual swims and all three relays for the state meet which will be held Friday at the UW-Madison Natatorium.

The first-place finishers in each event and the next-best 12 individuals and relays (not including sectional winners) from all of the D-2 sectionals qualified for state.

Theisen earned second in the 200 freestyle with a career-best 2 minutes, 0.91 seconds. She placed third in the 500 freestyle with a personalrecord 5:23.43. She dropped over 10 seconds in the 500 from her previous best.

Arneson captured second in the diving event with a career-best score of 382.20 points. Kalk earned third with a personal-record 371.15.

“I am immensely proud of what these young women did on Friday and Saturday. We finished third amongst some very tough teams. A great meet for us from start to finish,” said Panther head coach Clare Sedlacek.

“We had some amazing swims on the day but more importantly for me it was the amount of support the girls gave each other from the first event through the last that I will remember.

“The 500 freestyle was our best event of the night – placing three swimmers in the top six. Abby Nicholson shone again from the secondfastest heat – dropping almost 10 seconds and jumping from the seventh seed all the way to fifth. Keeley Kuru had another good swim, securing sixth.

“Anna Theisen had the best race of the day [for PHS] in this event. Her last 150 yards was the fastest of the top-three finishers,” said Sedlacek.

“I couldn’t have been more proud of what they did Friday night. That was the best those girls have ever dove,” said PHS diving coach Greg Heberlein about Arneson and Kalk.

“Sydney went from a best of 308 to the 371. She is quite a freshman. Savannah had a great meet.

“They had a great week of preparation. They are so coachable. Being at home on their own board and in their own pool was very important,” said Heberlein.

A sectional follow-up and state preview article will appear in Thursday’s sports section.


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