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Hannah Denzer leaps off the starting block to begin the 500 yard swim. (Ben Camp/Southernminn.com)

After claiming a second place team finish in the Section 1A swim and dive championships, the St. Peter trio of Hannah Denzer, Olivia Denzer and Laura Klatt made the trip to the Twin Cities to compete individually in the Class A state meet. The three-day event was witness to the best swim and dive athletes in the state of Minnesota, and the Saints girls represented St. Peter with pride.

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Hannah Denzer warms up prior to the 200 yard freestyle. (Ben Camp/Southernminn.com)

“All the girls were excited to participate in the state tournament and compete with the best athletes in their events,” said St. Peter head coach Mary Lager. “The whole experience was eye-opening and the athletic talent throughout the State is really incredible.”

“It’s so fun to be here with so many different people and teams from all over the whole state,” added Hannah Denzer.

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Laura Klatt (left) stands with St. Peter diving coach Abby Moore at the State Championship. (Photo Courtesy Mary Lager)

The competition began Thursday with the diving preliminaries and semifinals. Klatt battled in the competition but did not advance past the preliminary round, finishing 24th with a score of 132.50. The score was 6.60 points and just four places behind the cut line for the semifinals, with the top 20 advancing.

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The Denzer’s stand together at the State Championship. From left to right; Hannah Denzer, Jennifer Denzer and Olivia Denzer. (Photo courtesy of Mary Lager)

Friday afternoon saw the open of the swimming preliminary races, and the first St. Peter swimmer to compete was Hannah Denzer in the 200-yard freestyle. She qualified to compete on the final day of the meet with a time of 1 minute, 58.98 seconds to finish 16th and snag the final qualifying spot for the consolation final.

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Olivia Denzer makes her way through the pool in the 200 yard freestyle. (Ben Camp/Southernminn.com)

The next heat had St. Peter’s Olivia Denzer competing, and she recorded a time of 2:04.24 to claim 18th place, but she did not qualify to advance to the second day.

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Olivia Denzer races towards the finish line. (Ben Camp/Southernminn.com)

“I knew even if I didn’t make it into the championship or consolation heat that I had made it here, which is already a lot more than a lot of kids get to experience,” Olivia said after her race. “I’m excited to see how everyone else does, and I’m really grateful to have this experience with my sister in my last year.”

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Hannah Denzer glides through the water during the MSHSL State Championship (Ben Camp/Southernminn.com)

Hannah Denzer returned to pool to compete in the 500-yard freestyle race, where she recorded a time of 5:24.78 to finish 16th, once again snaring the final lane in the consolation final.

“It’s great to final in both of my events in my first trip to state,” Hannah said. “I do wish my times were a little faster, but I am hoping to improve them tomorrow.”

With a pair of races in consolation finals on Saturday, Hannah Denzer was aiming to improve her times from preliminaries. While she didn’t lower her time in the 200-yard freestyle, she did improve her place by finishing 13th at 2:00.40.

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Hannah Denzer pushes through the water. (Ben Camp/Southernminn.com)

She did, however, cut off 3.14 seconds in the 500-yard freestyle finals to record a time of 5:21.64, claiming a 12th place finish, four spots ahead of her preliminary standing.

With the conclusion of the state meet, the 2021 girls swim and dive season came to a close with St. Peter having put together an impressive season highlighted by the trio at the state meet and the team’s runner-up finish in the section.

Reach Reporter Ben Camp at 931-8566 or follow him on Twitter @SPHvalleysports. © Copyright 2021 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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