Small, but hard working team makes up the Montgomery-Lonsdale/New Prague Swim and Dive Team

When the Montgomery-Lonsdale/New Prague Swim Team hits the lanes this year, each swimmer will need to carry her own weight in all their respective competition.

Joshua Franz who has been coaching the M-L/NP Swim Team marks his sixth year teaching girls to swim and compete to the best of their ability.

The team’s overall record of 1-9 last year and 0-6 in the Missota Conference was left a little to be desired, but Franz said this year’s team includes a very strong group of sophomores lead by some very strong senior leadership.

“This is one of the hardest working teams I have had the chance to coach,” Franz said.

Of all the areas he is concerned about, Franz said the team’s small numbers may pose as the biggest obstacle.

“We have small numbers, the smallest team I have had so far,” he said. “We have many younger swimmers who will have the opportunities to swim varsity. The outlook is unclear, and the small numbers may pose a challenge.”

Brightest performers

While the team is small in number, Franz said it is also made up of some strong athletes.

Record holder Brittani Bohlke returns as a junior this year. She will swim in the breast stroke and the 50 free competitions. Bohlke broke the third school record in the 100 breast stroke last year with her time of 1:18.25.

Heidi Kick, a senior, is one of the team’s two divers, and is serving as its captain this year. Kick’s sister, Hannah, who graduated in May, was the first of the Redbirds to break a school record last year with her 100 dives and a total score of 320.5. Heidi followed with 205 points. In addition to diving, Heidi will also compete in the backstroke competition.

The team’s second diver, Amber Mahowald will also be competing for a top spot in the conference and sections.

Biggest challenges and

toughest competitors

In fact, the entire Missota Conference will be tough. In the seven years since swimming was split into two conferences, the Class A champion has come from the Missota Conference six times. Red Wing won three titles (2000, 2001 and 2002), Hutchinson two (1997 and 2003) and Northfield one (1998).

With Le Center no longer part of the cooperative team, Montgomery-Lonsdale/New Prague drops from Class AA to Class A this season. they will compete in Section 1A, with Albert Lea, Austin, Farmington, Mankato East/Loyola, Mankato West, Minnesota State Academy For The Blind, Northfield, Red Wing, St. Peter, and Waseca. the Section meet will be Nov. 8 and 10 in Austin.

When Le Center dropped from the cooperative between Montgomery-Lonsdale and New Prague schools, the team was also dropped to Class A by the Minnesota State High School League because section assignments are determined by school enrollments and activity classifications.

The schools they will compete against will be Albert Lea High School, Austin High School, Farmington High School, Mankato West High School, Minnesota State Academy For The Blind, Red Wing High School, Saint Peter High School and Waseca High School.

The biggest challenge for the Montgomery-Lonsdale/New Prague Redbird Swim and Dive Team will be when they face Hutchinson.

Last year at the state swim meet, Hutchinson set five new records in the Class A competition, winning its second title accumulating nearly 60 more points than defending champion Red Wing.

Red Wing, also tough competition for the Redbirds, is the three-time defending champion who finished third at the state event.

Competing with Hutchinson will be tough for the Redbirds. Hutchinson swimmers won two of the three relays, and set a new Class A meet record of 1:49.54 in the 200-yard medley relay.

Posing a challenge in the section meets will be teams from Lakeville, Prior Lake and Faribault.

The roster for the MLNP Swim Team is:

Seniors

Hannah Schlindwein NP

Britt Anderson NP* captain

Heidi Kick NP* captain

Brittany Baer NP* captain

Taylor Gengel NP

Jillian Morgan M-L

Vanessa Zins M-L

Amber Mahowald NP

Juniors

Brittani Bohlke NP

Lindsay Jirik NP

Sophomores

Jenna Baer NP

Erin Hammes NP

Natalie Anderson NP

Emily Johnson NP

Katie Trewartha NP

Freshman

Molly Cook NP

Alicia Jirik NP

Allison Johnston M-L

Anna Katz NP

Franny Zins M-L

Eighth grade

Kelly Atwater NP

Abbie Karger NP

Amber Mullen NP

Samantha Schulz NP

Seventh grade

Kristin Carr NP

Amanda Wadekamper NP

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