Thursday offered the Falcons one last time in their home pool.
Both teams mixed around their lineups as Faribault (2-6-1, 2-4-1 Big 9) dropped its final home meet to Class A No. 7 Northfield (6-0, 6-0 Big 9) by a 97-84 final on senior night.
Knowing Thursday would be a tall task against the unbeaten Gators, Fuller tried out different swimmers in different events.
For example, senior Mikayla Savig and sophomore Grace Rechtizgel flip-flopped events.
“We kind of kidded Grace for a long time that we needed to put her in the breaststroke,” said Faribault coach Charlie Fuller. “She swam for Northfield in the summer for club. So I asked the Northfield girls, ‘Would you want to see Grace swim the breaststroke? And they said ‘Oh yeah yeah’ and she’s not a breaststroker. So the other day I went over to her and said ‘Listen, since you’re swimming the breaststroke, I’m going to put Mikayla in the backstroke.’ Mikayla’s our breaststroker. It was kind of fun.”
Faribault won five of 12 events on the night and the last two events were swam as exhibition.
Sophomore Verity-Wray Raabolle won the 100 butterfly at 1 minute, 2.2 seconds for a two-second win and the 50 freestyle at 25.97 to edge Northfield’s Alice Zhang by two-tenths of a second.
Sophomore Abby Larson also won twice. She cruised to nearly a nine-second win in the 200 freestyle (2:01.67) and by over 1.5 seconds in the 100 freestyle (55.48).
Wray-Raabolle and Larson were bookends for the winning 200 freestyle relay with Rechtzigel and Ava Nelson in between. They swam in 1:46.11 with Larson’s 25.65 split leading the way. They won by .9 seconds.
Faribault honored five seniors Thursday during the meet: Morgan Albers, Emma Louis, Makkia McCusker, Mikayla Savig and Hannah Sullivan.
“Like every season, now I’m doing it for two seasons (boys and girls swim and dive), it’s tough to see them go,” Fuller said. “These kids, some of them have been with the team for six years. You grow to know them and work with them all the time. It’s tough to say goodbye. You wish you didn’t have to. You have to move on.
“It’s a good group. We don’t have any problems. They’re just good kids. That’s why it’s fun to work with them, but you get a little melancholy, especially after that last meet.”
The Falcons close the regular season 6 p.m. Tuesday at Albert Lea (1-8, 0-7 Big 9). They’ll be without Wray-Raabolle for the night.
“Albert Lea doesn’t have any divers, which is good for us, but we’ll still need to swim well, too. It’ll be fun,” Fuller said. “I think we can still beat them, but we’ll find out. That’s not the main thing. Are we still progressing and doing what we need to do? If we do that, then I’m good with it.”
Northfield 97, Faribault 84
Faribault top-three results
200-yard medley relay: 2. Verity-Wray-Raabolle, Kayla Kenow, Grace Rechtzigel, Mikayla Savig 2:00.95
200 freestyle: 1. Abby Larson 2:01.67
50 freestyle: 1. Wray-Raabolle 25.97, 3. Savig 27.32
1-meter diving: 2. Mara Bauer 158.2, 3. Hannah Sullivan 153.5
100 butterfly: 1. Wray-Raabolle 1:02.2
100 freestyle: 1. Larson 55.48
500 freestyle: 3. Morgan Albers 6:15.93
200 freestyle relay: 1. Wray-Raabolle, Rechtizgel, Ava Nelson, Larson 1:46.11
100 breaststroke (exhibition): 3. Kenow 1:19.18
400 freestyle relay (exhibition): 3. Nelson, Savig, Rechtzigel, Larson 4:06.35