ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

PREP SWIMMING: Green Wave's Svendson big contributor in Central co-op

When Katie Svendson graduates from East Grand Forks Senior High next spring, she'll leave her mark in athletics in the pool and across the river. Svendson is the latest Green Wave athlete who has been a big contributor to the Grand Forks Central ...

Katie Svendson

When Katie Svendson graduates from East Grand Forks Senior High next spring, she'll leave her mark in athletics in the pool and across the river.

Svendson is the latest Green Wave athlete who has been a big contributor to the Grand Forks Central girls swim team, with which Senior High is a co-op partner. The senior is defending North Dakota state champion in the 500 freestyle and, on Saturday, remained undefeated in the event this season by winning at the UND Fall Fest meet.

"In a way, you wish your school had its own team, that you could say you're swimming for your school," said Svendson, who also placed third in the 200 freestyle at the 2012 state meet.

"But I like swimming with Central. The team is more successful than if we had our own team at Senior High. And I like swimming against North Dakota teams. From club to high school, you swim against those teams. Everybody gets to know each other."

East Grand Forks Senior High makes a big impact for the Knights.

ADVERTISEMENT

This season, Alexis Ljunggren, Shaelyn Mosher, Taylor Holweger and Grace Rhen also are East Grand Forks athletes on the Central team. In the past, the team has received big contributions from EGF athletes such as 10-time state champion Hannah Whitehead, state relay champion Alex Eades, all-stater Rachel Svendson and state top-eight finisher Ali Kroll.

Ljunggren, just an eighth-grader, was third in the 500 at the state meet last season. Svendson and Ljunggren are the top point producers for the Knights this season.

"East Grand Forks has been a huge contributor to Central's swimming success through the years," Grand Forks coach Bryan Walls said. "One outstanding swimmer can make a huge difference. Having two like we have now, that's really big.

"We're hoping to crack the top five (in the team race) at state. I don't know if we'd be in the top 10 without them."

Svendson and Ljunggren finished 1-2 in the 500 at the Fall Fest, each setting season-best times. Svendson had a time of 5:14.47, putting her well ahead of her pace a year ago when Svendson's best time entering state was a 5:15.8 she recorded in the EDC meet at the end of the regular season.

Whitehead holds the school record in the 500 with a 4:55.41. "Katie has a shot at it," Walls said. "She's fast, and she has Alexis pushing her every day."

The 500 is an event of pride in the Grand Forks program. Grand Forks swimmers have won the event at state every year except one since 2003.

"That's an important event to us," Svendson said. "We've won so many 500 races at state. You want to keep that tradition going."

ADVERTISEMENT

Svendson was the lone Grand Forks winner at the Fall Fest. She also was third in the 200 individual medley. Ljunggren was second in the 500 and third in the 200 freestyle as they led Grand Forks competitors in the meet.

Minot won the team title with 334 points to runner-up Hutchinson's 313. Central was seventh (141.5) and Red River 11th (64).

Related Topics: PREP SPORTS
What To Read Next
Featuring prep basketball results from across the region, boys and girls hockey scores, men's and women's tennis results, and much more!
Featuring area prep sports cancellations and postponements, local boys and girls basketball results, N.D. girls wrestling second edition coaches' poll and much more!
Featuring the prep honor roll, area college basketball conference standings, N.D. Class A and B prep basketball polls, and much more!
Featuring boys and girls hockey results from throughout the region, area prep basketball scores, boys swimming and diving results, and much more!