Decorah girls swim and dive team members returning with a letter include (front, l-r) Ella Hermeier, Ashley Elsbernd, Hannah Franzen, Emily Voyna, Kathleen Looney; (middle row) Alexis Hogan, Destiny Berns, Kiana Folkedahl, Mia Smedsrud, Cassie Moss, Danielle Lundvedt; (back row) Katherine Bruening, Emma Bachelder, Margaret Rhodes, Maddie Putnam, Jane Murphy, Alivia Bahr and Lauren Johnson. (Photo courtesy of Tami Bohr)
Decorah girls swim and dive team members returning with a letter include (front, l-r) Ella Hermeier, Ashley Elsbernd, Hannah Franzen, Emily Voyna, Kathleen Looney; (middle row) Alexis Hogan, Destiny Berns, Kiana Folkedahl, Mia Smedsrud, Cassie Moss, Danielle Lundvedt; (back row) Katherine Bruening, Emma Bachelder, Margaret Rhodes, Maddie Putnam, Jane Murphy, Alivia Bahr and Lauren Johnson. (Photo courtesy of Tami Bohr)

Adding 20 new swimmers and/or divers to the roster for the 2019 season has given Head Coach Allie Bachelder reason to smile. In her fourth season on the pool deck, Bachelder will be joined by Molly Holkesvik as her assistant.

“I’m simply excited to see what the girls will do as a team this year,” said A. Bachelder. “We have a lot of depth to our roster with some experienced swimmers. And a great group of senior leadership.”


A look back

Despite being a fairly young squad, the Viking swimmers found success in 2018, winning several dual meets, finishing second at the North Central Swim Conference championships. 

The season was capped off with seven events competing at state.

Junior Emma Bachelder competed individually, tying the school’s 50 freestyle record in 24.42 seconds in the prelims and breaking it in the finals in 24.30 seconds to finish ninth as the winner of the “B” final. In the 100 breaststroke, Bachelder finished ninth again, touching the wall in 1:07.03.

Senior Jessica Ling tallied 182.55 in the 1-meter diving competition to finish 21st in the field of 32.

Freshman Margaret Rhodes had the only other individual qualify in the 500 freestyle, ending her first high school season in 27th place in 5:28.37, in 27th place, yet three seconds faster than her state-qualifying time.

A trio of Decorah relays dove in against the competition at state. The 200 medley of Rhodes, Ella Hermeier, Emily Voyna and Meridian Snitker took 28th place in 1:57.41. Bachelder anchored the 200 free relay to a 21st finish with Voyna, Kiana Folkedahl and Snitker. The quartet stopped the clock in 1:43.22. The 400 free relay posted a 20th place finish in 3:46.12. Competing for the Vikings in the water were Voyna, Folkedahl, Rhodes and Bachelder.

At the conclusion of the 2018 season, the Vikings said goodbye to a trio of seniors — Sarina Gusman, Josie Johnson and Jessica Ling.


Ready for 2019

Eighteen members of the Decorah girls swim and dive team return with various levels of success and letters.

Topping the list is three-time state qualifier and senior Emma Bachelder. Joining her in making waves will be fellow seniors Destiny Berns, Katherine Bruening (state relay alternate), Danielle Lundvedt, Cassie Moss and Maddie Putnam. Juniors returning with a letter on their resumes are Kiana Folkedahl (state relay qualifier), Hannah Franzen, Jane Murphy, Mia Smedsrud (state alternate), Ella Hermeier (state relay qualifier) and Alexis Hogan. Six sophomores, including two previous state qualifiers, will be back as well. Leading the sophomore pack are Margaret Rhodes (state qualifier), Emily Voyna (state relay qualifier), Alivia Bohr, Ashley Elsbernd, Lauren Johnson and Kathleen Looney.

Others on the roster ready to dive into the 2019 season are seniors Maya Butikofer and Audrey Casterton; sophomores Grace Bachelder, Elly Christen, Mikiah Krieg and Samantha Reilly; and freshmen Julia Alberts, Rebecca Bruening, Grace Hoyland, Lily Iverson, Nadia Johnson, Rylee Kaper, Katerina Kovarik, Brinley Krivachek, Paige Lange, Maeley Nefzger, Kailyn O’Gara, Mya Redenius, Thea Schissel, Kalissa Schmelzer, Holly Schmitt, Paige Werner and Grace Stegan.


Two home meets

Swim fans will have two chances to see the Lady Vikes at home this season. Decorah will start the season versus Mason City at the Luther College Natatorium Thursday, Aug. 29, at 6 p.m. In the final dual before the postseason begins, the Vikings will host Vinton-Shellsburg Thursday, Oct. 10, at 5 p.m.