Jojo Jorgenson has moved around a bunch. After living in Minnetonka for nine years when she was younger, her family returned for her senior year of high school.

Jorgenson, a University of Southern California swim recruit, wasn't planning on swimming for the Skippers this fall. That was until her closest friend in the pool convinced her.

"We moved to Michigan for my freshman, sophomore and junior years and we moved back this summer. I wasn't going to swim high school but Abby (Kapeller) talked me into it," said Jorgenson, who swam club with the Aquajets last summer living with her grandparents.

After Jorgenson, Kapeller and teammates Addie Diaz and Penelope Helm broke a program, a pool, and a Section 2AA record in the final event of the section meet Nov. 8 at Eden Prairie Community Center, safe to say everyone's excited to have her on the team.

Jorgenson, the 100- and 200-yard freestyle champion, adding two relay titles as well, was named co-Section 2AA Swimmer of the Year along with Kapeller.

"Abby and I grew up together. We've known each other since we were like six. Our grandmas are really close. I knew a couple of other girls, but really it was Abby," Jorgenson said.

A bit awkward joining as a senior especially when Kapeller was yet training for future U.S. Olympic Trials when the first week of practices took place for Minnetonka.

"I just showed up and I didn't really know anybody. I had my sister to really hang out with. I began to spread out more, get to know them all really well. They're all super nice. It turned out to be really good," Jorgenson said.

Minnetonka won its fifth consecutive section title and seventh in eight years. In the process of scoring 604 points, the Skippers set eight pool records, five Section 2AA records, and two varsity records.

Minnetonka qualified 25 of 35 section swims and two divers for the Class 2A State Meet on Nov. 14-16 at the Jean Freeman Aquatic Center at the University of Minnesota.

Jorgenson led a trio of Skippers in the 200-yard freestyle, winning in 1:51.21. Diaz and Helm followed in 1:51.96 and 1:52.17.

Jorgenson (51.42), Regan Miller (51.98) and Nadia Helm (52.90) were first, second and sixth, all state qualifiers, in the 100-yard freestyle.

But it was that final race, the 400-yard freestyle relay, that had the pool a buzz. Minnetonka's time of 3:25.75 a whole seven seconds faster than any other team this season.

Jorgenson swam an anchor leg run of 50.90 with Kapeller (51.20), Diaz (51.86) and Penelope Helm (51.79) leading to a dominating performance.

"I was really surprised to see that number, but I think we were all out to 24s (over the first 50 yards), so you could tell we wanted it. But that time was something I don't think anyone expected this week," Jorgenson said.

"I'm really proud, but I know we'll be even faster next week. Abby and me just started tapering Thursday so I know the best is yet to come," she added.

Kapeller set a pair of pool and section records in the 50-yard freestyle (22.85) and 100-yard backstroke (54.25).

Kapeller opened the meet in the 200-yard medley relay, leading the team of Quinci Wheeler, Kat Sisombath and Miller to a pool record in 1:43.57.

Jorgenson, Miller, Nadia Helm, and Rachel Shelstad captured a section and pool record in the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:34.96.

"I swam for Blake in eighth grade, and that was single-A, so it wasn't obviously as big as this, but being with the team, seeing all of these great performances, it's definitely something I'm happy I did," Jorgenson said.

Minnetonka will have a swimmer in all 11 state events including four in the backstroke race. Joining Kapeller are Sisombath (58.01) and Maggie Rhodes (58.31) and Ellie Muench (58.71) coming out of the consolation finals.

Penelope Helm set a section and pool record in the 500-yard freestyle in 5:00.74, the fastest time in state. She was joined at the top of the podium by Diaz (5:02.73) and Maija Kangas (5:03.67).

Kangas and senior Ashley Frankwitz were state qualifiers in the 200 individual medley in fourth and seventh place, times of 2:08.43 and 2:10.08.

Miller (23.55), Helm (24.21) and Shelstad (24.23) gave Minnetonka four of the top finishers in the 50-yard freestyle along with Kapeller.

Audrey Soetanto and Frankwitz hit the wall in 57.92 and 58.50 for third and fifth places in the 100-yard butterfly, both state qualifiers. Wheeler added a third-place time in 1:05.43 in the 100-yard breaststroke.

Minnetonka will also have two first-time state divers in Natalie Smith (311.95 points) and Rachel Patton (307.75), second and fourth in the standings.

State diving preliminaries are on the first day with the swimming preliminaries on Day Two.


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