Girls Swim and Dive Win State Championship
The girls swim and dive team brought home the school’s second state championship of the 2022-23 school year scoring 257 points to top Parkway West (225 points) and Cape Central (224 points) in the MSHSAA Class 1 Swim and Dive State Meet.
Saturday morning got off to a good start for the Cats during the dive portion of the meet. Westminster entered three divers: seniors Sara Schloss and Kate Wessels and Sophomore Anna Bernhardt. Sara and Anna both medaled last year for the Cats and made the final cut of 16 divers to score points for the team. Anna finished in 13th place to score four points. Sara’s final dive of the meet was one of her most difficult dives measured by the degree of difficulty, and she came through in the clutch situation to score 37.95 points, earning her a 4th place finish. Anna finished with 309.65 points, and Sarah with 334.10 points.
Following the Friday night preliminary races, it was pretty clear that the team state championship would come down to a competition between Westminster, Parkway West, and Cape Central. Not factoring in diving, Westminster held a 25 point edge if all swimmers finished in the same place for the final races when points were earned. Central’s strengths came from their relays and diving, while Parkway West’s lineup was front-loaded, earning points in the early races and relays. Even with two divers scoring points on Saturday morning, it was anticipated that Westminster would trail most of the meet until the final three races.
Although there were some minor changes in finishes, the meet went according to plan. Central held the lead after the morning diving competition but did not have a relay team for the day’s first event, the 200 Medley Relay. Westminster finished 2nd in that relay to take the early lead before Parkway’s depth in the freestyle events catapulted them into the lead. Despite state championship performances by Sydney Schoeck in the 200 Individual Medley and Hannah Renaud in the 100 Butterly, the Cats were in third place through event 9 of the 12-event meet, following the 200 Free Relay trailing Parkway West by 9 and Cape Central by 7. That flipped in the next event as the Wildcats had four scoring swimmers in the 100 Backstroke while neither Parkway nor Central had a qualifier. Sydney Schoeck added another individual state championship, while Ella Wolf, Gigi DeMaggio, and Lucy Christian scored points to put the team up by 28 points. Janna Moellenhoff pushed the lead to 34 points in the 100 Breaststroke, so only a disaster such as disqualification in the final relay event would keep the championship trophy from Westminster’s possession. The relay team smartly played it safe, finishing in 3rd to secure the title. The team scored a total of 257 points to distance themselves from second place Parkway West by 32 points.
During the Friday night preliminaries, Sydney Schoeck broke the MSHSAA Class 1 record in the 100 Individual Medley with a time of 2:01.61. Sydney finished with two individual state championships and a 2nd and 3rd place finish in the relays, contributing 40 points to the team score. She was named the most outstanding swimmer of the meet for her accomplishments.