Tuesday evening, the Pirates girls’ swim team hosted a Section 8A meet against the Park Rapids Panthers at the Crookston Community Pool. Despite the team’s efforts, the meet ended with a 133-46 loss for the Pirates.

    The Pirates’ performed well, regardless of the ending score. Madison Hoiland took the lead of the team with a first place victory in the 50-meter freestyle with a time of 30:84. Hoiland beat the second place swimmer from Park Rapids, Amelia Bagstad, by just over three seconds. Naomi Olson performed well in this heat as well with a time of 41:42.

    Hoiland also took first in the 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 1:27:45. Once again, she won with a three second lead.

    Kicking off the event with the 200-meter medley relay, the four-person team came in second at 2:32:48, three seconds from victory. The relay team was composed of Mackenzie Aamoth, Madison Hoiland, Naomi Olson, and Fallon Johnson.

    The 400-meter freestyle relay was another close race to the finish, the Pirates four seconds behind first place. The relay team was composed of Fallon Johnson, Claire Oman, Mackenzie Aamoth, and Madison Hoiland. Hoiland ended the heat with the fastest times of the relay team.

    Coach Marley Melbye expressed her pride in her team’s relay performance. “They’ve cut five seconds from our last home meet in the 400-meter,” Melbye says. “They’re working hard and are adapting well.”

    Aamoth also took second in the 100-meter butterfly event with a time of 1:31:48, racing for first with Park Rapids’ Claire Voight. They spent most of the heat neck-and-neck, Aamoth falling behind by a mere .38 seconds from first. She also took third in the 100-meter backstroke with a time of 1:26:93, which Melbye again remarked on the time cut of four seconds just since the last meet and the practice that went into this advancement.

    Fallon Johnson took second in the 400-meter freestyle with a time of 5:41:66, as well as third in the 200-meter freestyle with a time of 2:48:20. Melbye praised Johnson for her improvement and openness to learning, cutting her previous time in the 400-meter by five seconds in a very short timeframe. She also noted Johnson’s progress in long distance competition.

    Claire Oman swam away from the night with third place in the 200-meter individual medley, her time of 3:16:37 placing her just three seconds behind second.

    With the progression of the season, Melbye said the team has shown improvement in endurance, but there’s always still work to be done. She particularly mentioned practice focusing on discipline and overcoming their mental blocks to focus on the time. “Sometimes the girls get distracted,” Melbye says, “but I know they can succeed if they can think about that time.”

    Coach Melbye especially was proud of their mentality during the meet. A large aspect of the team is acting as a family unit, lifting one another up and respecting others, on the team or off. She invoked their motto, “Succeed together, fail together,” as the girls can only win when they support one another, and that they did. They were always cheering one another on, even the other team when someone needed encouragement, showing the real sportsmanship of the team.

    The Pirates will be traveling to their next meet on Tuesday, September 24 for the Warroad-Roseau Invitational, starting at 5:30 p.m.