Thea Oman won twice and Elizabeth Erdman brought home a first place as Crookston took third in the triangular.

    One week after a triangular in Fosston, the Pirates found themselves back again for another go-around this time against Fosston-Bagley and Perham-New York Mills. Crookston took the top two spots in seven different events, but came out at the end in third place.

    Despite finishing third out of three, Head Coach Marley Melbye accepts her roster of seven cannot put up the same points as deeper teams, but instead, emphasizes the importance of improving from meet to meet.

    “I think this season, we’re really hitting the individual successes and celebrating small successes,” Melbye said. “We’re trying to focus on our splits: how did these splits compare to the meet before? We’re shifting our focus from previous years to how do we improve individual successes. The girls are buying into that.”

    A 200 yard medley relay led off the event and the Crookston team of Thea Oman (Sr.), Madison Hoiland (Fr.), Elizabeth Erdman (Jr.) and Claire Oman (Fr.) placed second out of seven with a time of 2:11.21. Thea Oman, Hoiland and Erdman picked up Fallon Johnson (8th Grade) for the 200 yard freestyle relay and the group added another silver in 1:55.14.

    Melbye feels comfortable with the top three swimmers in her relays and anticipates a competition within the team to fill the fourth spot.

    “Our relays were looking really strong today,” Melbye said. “We have the core three with Madison, Elizabeth and Thea. That fourth place is kind of up in the air. We have three or four girls who are all within a second so hopefully those three continue to be super hungry for that spot and we can see their growth.”

    Thea Oman did her part as an individual and won the 200 yard freestyle doing so in 2:11.41. Oman then tried her hand in the 100 yard backstroke for the first time in a few years and discovered success as she snagged first in 1:10.02.

    Putting Oman in the backstroke race served as a strategic attempt by Melbye to restructure the way Oman swims.

    “Today, we threw her in the 100 backstroke, which I haven’t seen her swim since eighth grade, to get practice in that tempo of stroke," Melbye said. "She goes out strong and burns herself out so we tried to hold her back in the beginning. She was happy with the time, but as we continue to change that pacing, she’ll keep improving on that. I could put her in any of the races and she’d be very successful.”

    The individual performances continued with Erdman who claimed a gold of her own in the 200 yard individual medley with a time of 2:37.39 and later took second in the 100 yard butterfly at 1:13.01.

    The best performance in an individual race for Hoiland came in the 100 yard breaststroke where the freshman swam a time of 1:22.03 to place second. Hoiland also came in fourth for the 100 yard freestyle at 1:05.86.

    Other Pirate performances include: Fallon Johnson (500 yard freestyle, fourth place, 6:49.57 and 50 yard freestyle, seventh place, 32.70), Claire Oman (200 yard individual medley, fifth place, 2:58.53 and 500 yard freestyle, fifth place, 7:04.66), Mackenzie Aamoth (8th Grade) (50 yard freestyle, fifth place, 31.80 and 100 yard backstroke, fifth place, 1:20.64) and Victoria Proulx (So.) (100 yard butterfly, seventh place, 1:36.84 and 100 yard freestyle, eighth place, 1:21.51).

    The Pirates, with three competitions under their belt, will swim at home for the first time in 2018 in the Crookston Pirate Booster Invitational on Thursday, September 13. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Crookston Public Pool.

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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