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Northeast Range/Ely jumps in at home pool

by Tom Coombe

After opening the 2023 season on the road, Northeast Range/Ely competed in its own water the last two meets.

Visiting Rock Ridge wasn’t about to allow the Nighthawks to seize on its home-pool advantage, jumping to a big early lead and cruising  50-31 in high school girls swimming action at Babbitt.

The Wolverines’ Mia Stark, Paige Robillard, Amelia Kober and Anya Schuchard all racked up individual wins early in the contest as the visitors built a commanding 37-9 edge.

By the time NRE had its first individual victory - Tuuli Koivisto in the 500 freestyle - Rock Ridge was on its way to victory.

Late in the contest,  NRE picked up the win as Rock Ridge swimmers entered only as exhibition in the 100 backstroke and 400 freestyle relay.

The Nighthawks’ Sabrah Hart (1:29.82) won the backstroke event while Hart teamed with Koivisto, Alli Krekelberg and Emilia Swenson to win the 400 freestyle relay in 5:22.72.

Via DeBeltz placed second in the 200 freestyle (2:23.14) and joined Koivisto, Anna Larson and Alyssa Ice on a runner-up 200 medley relay (2:19.23) foursome.

In the 200 freestyle relay, it was Ice, Larson, DeBeltz and Swenson who combined to take second (2:01.05).

Individual thirds went to NRE’s Koivisto (200 individual medley), Ice (50 freestyle, 100 freestyle) and DeBeltz (100 breaststroke).

NRE pulled out a 45-37 win in the junior varsity meet.

First-place finishes went to Ivy Ohlhauser (200 freestyle), Maddie Johnson (100 individual medley), Moon Vetos-Keen (50 butterfly), Isla Carlson (300 freestyle) and Jorden Borchert (100 breaststroke).

Carlson, Johnson, Ohlhauser and Brynn Larson combined to win the 200 medley relay in the JV ranks, while Johnson, Lindsay Israel, Larson and Ohlhauser won the 200 freestyle relay.

• Mesabi East pulled out a 52-40 win over the Nighthawks in the Sept. 7 home opener for NRE.

DeBeltz captured a pair of individual firsts, winning the 100 breakstroke in 1:25.43 in a race that was decided by less than a tenth of a second.   She won the 200 freestyle (2:21.75) as well.

Koivisto and Hart gave the Nighthawks a one-two finish in the 100 backstroke, while Koivisto teamed with Krekelberg, Hart and Swenson to take the 400 freestyle relay.

Individual second-place showings went to Larson (100 butterfly), Ice (100 freestyle) and Swenson (500 freestyle).

In relay action, the Nighthawks’ Koivisto, DeBeltz, Larson and Ice formed a second-place 200 medley relay quartet

Grace Flynn, Borchert, Vetos-Keen and Carlson were second in the 400 freestyle relay.

The Nighthawks were at Duluth Denfeld Thursday and take part in Saturday's Hibbing Invitational.

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