Kasey Roberts emerged from the pool at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center two weeks ago having done something no one in St. Michael-Albertville High School blue and gold had ever done on that stage.
Dripping with success, Roberts had earned an All-American Automatic status with her time in the 200-yard indvidual medley. More importantly, she nabbed her first-ever state championship, with an eye-popping time of 2 minutes, 2.63 seconds.
"It's a pinnacle to a season of hard work," said head coach Tom Guillou. "Just doing all that it takes to achieve her goals. She's dedicated."
Roberts qualified for state in the 100-yard breaststroke as well, and came away with an All-American time, this time settling for silver. It was a nearly 3-second improvement over her sixth place finish in 2011.
The Knights' Jessie Metz placed ninth in the diving pool, just missing the podium (top eight) and all-State status. She improved greatly, Guillou said, after finishing just seventh in the section meet in 2011.
"To get here, she did all she could to get on that podium. So it was heartbreaking for her not to make it," Guillou added. "But she did so well. I know it will only motivate her to do great things next season."
Sophmore Lexi Heil helped lead two relay teams at state. Heil, senior Katie Schmitz, Carly Roberts and Taylor Pehrson took 16th in the 200 medley relay. Carly Roberts, Hiel Pehrson and Kasey Roberts took 16th in the 200 freestyle relay as well, as the Knights placed 15th overall in the AA meet, up from 22 lat year.
"We had six kids score at state this year, up from just one last year. Five of them, minus Katie, will be back in 2013, so w'er expecting a lot next season," Guillou said.
The Knights went unbeaten in dual action vs. Mississippi 8 teams, sweeping Buffalo and Monticello for the first time in school history and earning the conference championship.
In both True Team and MSHSL section meets, they were second place, behind Maple Grove.