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Otters Swim Team Finishes Winter Season with Swimmer of the Year State Award and Record-Setting Performances

By YWCA of Minneapolis
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The YWCA of Minneapolis’ Otters Swim Team finished off their winter season in March with a series of record-setting performances. After bringing more qualified postseason participants to the first two postseason meets than any previous year, the Otters won their Class A Region and moved on to the state championships.

At the Senior State Championships March 13-15 in Minneapolis, team records were broken in five relays by Britta Roe, Madeline Peak, Lizzy Garcia-Creighton, Madeleine Rondestvedt, Annika Roe, and Jenny Zander. Two boys relays with Tyler Metz, Liam Wulfman, Tony Tolins, and Kaj Erickson, also broke team records.

From March 19-22 in Rochester, the Otters ended their postseason with the Age Group State Championships. Almost 30 swimmers represented the YWCA of Minneapolis, and the season ended with a complete rewriting of every record in the 11-12 boys and girls age groups, all the 13-14 relay records, and several top 8 finals and top 16 consolation finishes. Swimmers Peyton D’Emanuele, Carolyn Garcia-Creighton, Olivia Walton, Madelyn Dieffenbach, Maisie Dodge, and Luke Johnson, all competed for top 16 places in evening finals, and Ava Cole and Naomi Walthour joined them in making top 8 relays.

For the first time in their history, the Otters finished the season with a state champion, with Peyton D’Emanuele coming from behind to win the 100 yard butterfly in finals. Peyton’s top three finishes in the 50 fly, 100 fly, and 50 free, are all going to be considered for top 100 times in her age group nationally.

Over the weekend of April 18-19, Minnesota Swimming held its awards banquet for the 2014-2015 season. For the Otters swim team, this was the most successful year of competition to date, with more all-state individual and relay performances than ever before, and the team’s first-ever state champion swimmer. At the awards banquet, that swimmer, Peyton D’Emanuele, was featured as a finalist for the Swimmer of the Year award. Ahead of swimmers with more national-level experience and more years of training, Peyton won the award! The Otters have never won statewide awards of this caliber in this sport, and our coaches, swimmers, and parents are incredibly proud of this award!

We are also proud to announce that 17-year-old Otter Natalie Sims competed in the Can-Am Paralympic Championships in Toronto, Canada in March. Natalie placed in the top 8 in all her events, and medaled in the 100 meter freestyle for the US. She now waits to find out whether she has been selected to represent Team USA at one of two major international meets this summer.