Crookston went 0-2 in the triangular, but came away with multiple top-three finishes.

    The Pirates made their way to Fosston for their second competition of 2018, a triangular featuring Fosston-Bagley and Thief River Falls. Crookston placed first in four of the races, but ended the day 0-2 (64-30 against TRF, 58-36 against Fosston-Bagley) with the triangular counting as two duals for each team.

    “With this being the first normal event meet, the girls did alright,” Head Coach Marley Melbye said. “It’s a good kicking off point. We’ve got things we need to work on, we’ve got endurance that we need to build, but all in all, a lot of good, teachable moments that we can improve on.”

    Crookston started off the meet well when their 200 yard medley relay of Thea Oman (Sr.), Madison Hoiland (Fr.), Elizabeth Erdman (Jr.) and Claire Oman (8th) took gold with a time of 2:10.22. The time edged out a Fosston-Bagley squad by 1.11 seconds.

    Thea Oman earned her second first-place showing of the day in the next event, the 200 yard freestyle, doing so in 2:10.82. Oman also served in the 400 yard freestyle relay along with Hoiland, Mackenzie Aamoth (Fr.) and Erdman where the Pirates placed third (4:21.70).

    “Thea Oman has had a great 200 freestyle,” Melbye said. “Last year, at this point, she was at a 2:15 and today, she swam a 2:10. So she’s getting considerably better at this point.”

    In individual events, Hoiland took first and second in the 100 yard breaststroke and the 200 yard individual medley respectively. Hoiland swam a time of 1:22.35 to win the breaststroke by over five seconds and finished the 200 IM in 2:44.58.

    According to Melbye, Hoiland started rough, but made proper adjustments to finish with a quality time.

    “[Madison] Hoiland had a wonderful 100 breaststroke,” Melbye said. “She had a difficult start, but was able to recover strong and put up a great time for her. She had a solid tempo and good pacing throughout the whole race.”

    Similar to Hoiland, Erdman also brought home a gold and a silver. Erdman won the 100 yard butterfly with a time of 1:12.94 and took on the 500 yard freestyle and completed the race in 6:18.05 for second.

    Erdman was swimming in the butterfly for the first time in a couple years and Melbye sees room for growth, but commended Erdman on the job she did.

    “Elizabeth Erdman did the 100 [butter]fly and she hasn’t done that for probably two years,” Melbye said. “She had some things that we need to work on, but all in all, looked solid in it. I’m excited to see what she’ll be able to do moving forward.”

    Eighth grader Fallon Johnson added a top three finish to the Pirates collection placing third in the 200 yard freestyle. Johnson swam it in 2:35.66 to beat out fourth place by 3.38 seconds.

    The bronze finish caught Melbye’s attention and earned Johnson major praise from her coach.

    “Fallon Johnson had a great meet with her two events,” Melbye said. “She is kind of my shock of the season. She’s really looking strong this year and has improved greatly. She cut nearly eight seconds in her 200 freestyle from her best time last year and to be at meet number one and to do that is pretty great.”

    Other Pirates placings and times include: Victoria Proulx (50 yard freestyle, sixth place, 33.55 and 100 yard butterfly, seventh place, 1:43.28), Claire Oman (200 yard IM, sixth place, 2:59.86 and 500 yard freestyle, sixth place, 7:13.48), Mackenzie Aamoth (100 yard freestyle, seventh place, 1:11.60 and 100 yard backstroke, fifth place, 1:20.57) and Fallon Johnson (100 yard freestyle, sixth place, 1:10.62).

    In exactly one week, the Pirates will find themselves in the same spot when they compete in another triangular in Fosston with Fosston-Bagley and Perham. The meet is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m.

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For feedback or questions, contact the Times at (218) 281-2730, Nolan Beilstein at (940) 372-8175 or by email at nbeilstein@crookstontimes.com