Merrill’s Winter sets new school records, pool records, makes All Conference, and qualifies for State

Girls Varsity Swim Team is headed to State to cheer on Winter in individual events and Winter, Miles, Jirovec, and Sommer in 200 Yard Medley Relay


Wisconsin Rapids Conference meet
The Merrill Girls Varsity Swim Team traveled to Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022, for a Varsity Conference Meet. The Lady Jays took third place overall in the Wisconsin Valley Conference (WVC) by 10 points, Head Coach Kristie Winter said.
“These girls came together tonight with amazing results!” she said. “Beating both Wausau East and Marshfield who had both just inched ahead of us during the dual meet season.”
“Every single swimmer on the team had a part in this success!” Winter said. “So proud of this team and their FOCUS on each other.”
Merrill had some great top swims at this event including Bailee Sommer. Megan Miles, Olivia Pajtash, and Amber Winter who got All Conference Honorable Mention in the 400 Yard Relay; Senior Amber Winter who got 2nd Team All Conference in the 200 Yard IM with a time of 2:13.14; and Amber Winter who also got 1st Team All Conference and set a new school record in the 100 Yard Breaststroke with a time of 1:06.66.
Varsity Conference Meet Team Rankings

  1. Stevens Point 559
  2. DC Everest 455
  3. Merrill 283
  4. Marshfield 272
  5. Wausau East 240
  6. Wausau West 180
  7. Wisconsin Rapids 163
Taking second place in the 200 Yard Medley, from bottom to top, Addison Jirovec, Amber Winter, Megan Miles, and Bailee Sommer. Joseph Frederick photo.

WIAA Division 2 Sectionals
On Saturday, Nov. 5, Merrill hosted the WIAA Division 2 Sectional at Prairie River Middle School with 14 teams competing.
Merrill Girls took first through fourth place in each of the following events at the Sectional Meet:
Event 2: 200 Yard Medley Relay – Second place: The team of Megan Miles, Amber Winter, Addison Jirovec, and Bailee Sommer with a time of 1:56.18.
Event 4: 200 Yard IM – First place: Amber Winter with a time of 2:14.17.
Event 8: 500 Yard Freestyle – Fourth place: Olivia Pajtash with a time of 5:42.15.
Event 10: 100 Yard Backstroke – Third place: Megan Miles with a time of 1:05.78.
Event 11: 100 Yard Breaststroke – First place: Amber Winter with a time of 1:06.03.
Event 12: 400 Yard Freestyle Relay – Fourth place: The team of Bailee Sommer, Megan Miles, Olivia Pajtash, and Amber Winter with a time of 3:59.66.

Amber Winter swimming the 100 Yard Breaststroke. Joseph Frederick photo.

Division 2 Sectional Team Rankings

  1. Rhinelander 337
  2. Wausau East 241
  3. Rice Lake 226
  4. Medford 211
  5. Merrill 209
  6. Ladysmith Co-op 188
  7. Wittenberg-Birnamwood 158
  8. Tomahawk 136
  9. Colby/Abbotsford 123
  10. Black River Falls Co-op 108
  11. Antigo 85
  12. Menomonie 72
  13. Mosinee 54
  14. Lakeland Union 3
At the top of the podium, Amber Winter takes first place in the 200 Yard IM. Joseph Frederick photo.

Merrill Girls are going to State
Having placed first in two events, Amber Winter advanced to State in the 200 Yard IM and the 100 Yard Breaststroke. Amber also set a new pool record with her time in the 200 Yard IM and set both a new pool record and a new school record with her time in the 100 Yard Breaststroke.
Actual finish times from all four Sectional events were used to determine other Swimmers going to State. “The next top 12 times from across the four Sectionals will finish out the field,” Winter said.
Based on those times, the team of Megan Miles, Amber Winter, Addison Jirovec, and Bailee Sommer also advanced to State to compete in the 200 Yard Medley Relay.
“This will be Amber’s fourth trip to State representing Merrill and Bailee’s second,” Winter said.
“I’m so excited we were able to qualify a relay for State,” she said. “We have such a young and hard working team this year. It will be great to get them down to Waukesha to see the excitement that State brings. The entire team will be traveling down to watch.”
The team leaves Merrill High School on Friday, Nov. 11, at 10:00 a.m. “with a Police and Fire Department escort if people would like to come and wish us well,” Winter added.
“The meet will be live streamed on the NFHS network. Swimming starts at 5:30 p.m.”
The WIAA State Girls Swimming and Diving Championships will be streamed live on the WIAA.TV portal of the NFHS Network. To view requires a subscription, and cost is $11.99 per month. To subscribe, log-on to and click on the subscription link. Archived streams of the events will be available on demand on the NFHS Network 72 hours after the tournament.

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