Head coach Barb Folsom told the Chanhassen swimming team she wanted to go for all three relays to state. The girls weren't so sure.
Insane. No way. Thoughts that came to their minds. There may have been even a flat out "no."
After coming down from the podium following the 400-yard freestyle relay at the Class AA State Meet on Nov. 16 at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center at the University of Minnesota, Storm swimmers Daisy Lang, Sophia Becker, Zoe Thoma, and Sophie Macy, all agreed.
Coach was right.
"Barb looked at us and said, 'I think you can,' and we did," Chanhassen sophomore Zoe Thoma said.
Chanhassen was sixth in the 200-yard medley relay, fifth in the 200-yard freestyle relay and eighth in the 400-yard freestyle relay. The first time in program history to podium in all three races.
"It's amazing. It's so much fun to be on these relays because it's a team. We worked so hard together for this," Storm junior Daisy Lang said. "It's fun to see all of this hard work from throughout the season pay off."
It was the first championship qualification in the 200-yard freestyle relay for the Storm program. Chanhassen was 12th in 2015 and 2018.
Lang, and seniors Sophia Becker and Chloe Zeller returned from last year's state 200 freestyle relay. Joining this year was state newcomer Thoma.
"Relays are so special. You're a part of a team of four and whatever you do you're contributing to that final time. If we do well, it's all of us. If we don't do as well, it's all of us, too. It doesn't just take one swimmer, it takes four," Thoma said.
Becker had the fastest leg for Chanhassen in 24.10 seconds. Thoma (25.24), Lang (24.55) and Zeller (24.28) added to the time of 1:38.17. The Storm were eighth into the anchor leg, Zeller rallying past two swimmers, tying Lakeville North for fifth place.
"I never thought I'd be fast enough to be on a relay, let alone be fifth place at state, so it really means a lot to me to be a part of that," Becker said of the 200 relay. "Ultimately I got to spend my last races with my best friends. It's hard to beat that. ... I couldn't have done it without you guys."
Becker (53.84), Thoma (54.59), Lang (54.10) were joined by Macy (53.33) in the 400-yard freestyle relay, a final time of 3:35.86. Chanhassen swam a 3:33.37 in the preliminaries.
Chanhassen started the meet with a medley relay time of 1:48.47. Eighth a year ago, the Storm team of junior Abby Gronholz, Macy, Becker, and Zeller bested their 2018 time by a second and a half.
It was the fourth state medal for Zeller, part of the 2017 medley relay team as well.
"Everything was new for us this season. From practices to drylands to our diet. We went through the season and we had to understand that change was a good thing," said Lang of swimming with Folsom, the new coach of the Storm. "I think this proves change is a good thing. We're happy with the results this season."
"Not only was the change a physical one, but it's an entirely new attitude. I think Barb and Adam are some of the best things to happen to this team," Macy said. "They changed our mindset. They changed how we race. They changed how we interact with one another. They've made it such a positive environment. That's what made this team really special."
Macy shook the hand of Sydney Rogness of Stillwater Area before the start of the 200 individual medley race. Wishing her the best.
The Chanhassen junior hit the pool with a goal of a state championship. She exited happy for those in front of her. Happy for her swim competitors who just happened to be friends, too.
Seeded tied for second through the preliminaries, a career-best 2:04.70, Macy was sixth in the individual medley, a race that combines four strokes, in 2:05.92. Macy was fifth in the race as a freshman.
Macy was in second through the backstroke and butterfly, the fastest second split in 30.49 seconds.
Macy set a career-best sixth place in the 100-yard breaststroke, hitting the wall in 1:04.97. She was eighth in the event in 2018.
"It's a grind, but one I'd do over and over again. This is something I love to do. These are the people I love to be with. I wouldn't trade it for the world," Macy said.
MOVING ON UP
Fifteenth as a team in 2018, Chanhassen was sixth in 2019, finishing behind Lake Conference schools Edina (344), Minnetonka (305), Eden Prairie (205), and Wayzata (189) as well as Stillwater (140.5).
The Storm totaled 111 points.
Twenty-third in 2018, sophomore Kalina Fuglie earned her first consolation final appearance in the 500-yard freestyle, finishing 14th in 5:09.20. Her preliminary time was 5:06.61.
Gronholz moved up three positions in the 100-yard backstroke to 13th place in 57.82, just two-tenths off her preliminary time.
Zeller, competing at state for the fourth consecutive season in the 100-yard breaststroke, had her best finish since 2017 in 14th in 1:07.82.
Section 2AA diving champion Alyssa Konz, making her second consecutive appearance at state, was 25th, finishing with a score of 132.80 over five dives. It was only the second competition of the season for the sophomore, who was injured through the regular season.