SECTION 3 GIRLS SWIMMING: Vermeire, Dunn headed back to state meet

WILLMAR – Marshall juniors Kylie Vermeire and Ashley Dunn are headed back to the MSHSL Class A Girls Swimming and Diving State Championships.

Vermeire won the 500 freestyle and was the runner up in the 200 freestyle and Dunn placed fifth in the 100 butterfly to earn state berths during the final round of the Section 3 Championships on Saturday at Willmar High School.

Vermeire shaved more than 8 seconds off her 500 preliminary time by winning the event in 5 minutes, 16.5 seconds during the section finals Saturday. In two previous state championship appearances in the 500, she placed sixth in 5:15.08 in 2011 and fifth in 5:14.26 in 2012.

Vermeire is already ahead of her 2012 pace in the 200. She swam second with a 1:57.33 in the section finals Saturday. A year ago, Vermeire placed 10th in the state during the 200 in 1:57.50.

For the first time, Dunn will be swimming at the state championships in an individual event. She clocked a 1:03.25 to earn a state berth and end up fifth in 100 butterfly in the section finals Saturday. Dunn’s previous state meet experience comes from being a member of Marshall’s 200 and freestyle relay teams in 2011 and the Tigers’ 400 freestyle relay team in 2012.

No other MHS swimmers, divers or relay teams qualified for this season’s state championships.

The Tigers had several qualifiers in other section final events:

– 200 medlay relay (Ashley Schotzko, Kelsey Appel, Sameh Hedlin, Kelsey Pieschke), 11th in 2:15.84.

– 200 individual medley (Abby Blanchette), 12th in 2:24.11.

– Diving (Kami Love), 10th with 227 points.

– 500 freestyle (Blythe Bell), 11th in 5:44.31.

– 200 freestyle (Abby Blanchette, Elizabeth Roseland, Ashley Dunn, Kylie Vermeire), sixth in 1:45.36.

– 100 backstroke (Ashley Dunn), fifth in 1:03.25.

– 400 freestyle relay (Abby Blanchette, Elizabeth Roseland, Ashley Dunn, Kylie Vermeire), sixth in 3:49.64.

Hutchinson won the Section 3 team championship by scoring 364 points, followed by Orono (305), Chaska (270), Dassel-Cokato (239), Waconia (213), Willmar (167), Litchfield (152), Marshall (147), Mound Westonka (126); Holy Family (111) and Montevideo (85).