Swimmer Gena Jorgenson wins 2 events, sets new personal records at Futures Championship

Aberdeen Swim Club members Halle Kuck, Anna Schmidt, Gena Jorgenson, Lilly Grebner and Joe Grebner each competed at the Futures Championship in Minneapolis this summer.

Gena Jorgenson knew she was swimming strong at the Futures Tournament at the end of July, but even her wins came as a surprise.

Jorgenson placed first in both the 800-meter (9 minutes 5.51 seconds) and 1500-meter freestyle (17:18.44) and third in the 400-meter freestyle (4:25.75). She also took fourth-place in the 400-meter individual medley (5:03.05), seventh in the 200-meter freestyle (2:06.83); and 10th in the 200-meter backstroke (2:20.67).

The individual medley combines the use of four different strokes: freestyle, butterfly, backstroke and breast stroke.

Her finishes earned her 90 points toward a team total of 110 points. The other 20 points came from a sixth place finish by Lilly Grebner in the 200-meter individual medley.

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That 110 points gave the Aberdeen Swim Club women's team a ninth-place team finish and the entire team a 16th-place finish.

Between this tournament and the state competition, Aberdeen Swim Club Coach Neil Romney said, Jorgenson set new personal and state records in each of her freestyle events. She also had a new personal best in her individual medley event at Futures.

Romney also marveled at Jorgenson's strong showing less than a week after competing at the state tournament.

Gena Jorgenson placed first in two events at the Futures Championship.

The Futures Championship in Minneapolis was July 27-30 at the University of Minnesota and the state meet was the weekend prior.

Jorgenson was one of six Aberdeen Swim Club members who qualified for the Futures Championship. The other swimmers were Lilly and Joe Grebner, Halle Kuck, Anna Schmidt and Alexia Hoven. While Hoven qualified, she did not compete due to a knee injury.

Kuck and Schmidt qualified in relay events, but Aberdeen didn't compete in relay at futures as Kuck was sick. Romney said.

Qualifying for the Futures Championship is a feat

Romney said swimmers must have a qualifying time that's in the top 3% of swimmers in the United States.

"It's very difficult to qualify," Romney said.

Five Futures Championships were scheduled this year in Minneapolis, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and California. Swimmers compete in the championship in their region.

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It's even tougher for a swimmer to bring a championship-level performance at back-to-back competitions, he said.

Jorgenson said practices in between competitions weren't as intense to allow for the rest needed.

"Between state and Futures, we kind of relaxed a little bit," she said.

Jorgenson has qualified for Futures in the past

This was Jorgenson's third year qualifying for Futures, she said, and she had her best showing. This fall she plans to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and compete on the college swimming team. Some of her future teammates were in Minneapolis competing.

"Last year, my highest showing was fifth," she said.

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Jorgenson said she was familiar with many of the swimmers she went up against at Futures.

"Most of the time I just go in and swim for me," she said. "I would not have thought I would have placed first, but I guess... I just felt good swimming the races."

She also said the rest of the team swam well at Futures.

"I would say overall as a whole team I think we did really well," she said. "They all placed a lot higher in the events than they came with. We were all really happy with our swims."

This article originally appeared on Aberdeen News: Gena Jorgenson sets new personal swim records at Futures Championship