Redwood Falls native Emma Beavers recently qualified for the Minnesota Age Group State Swimming championships to be held March 22-25 in Rochester.

The local Redwood Valley seventh-grader and daughter of Matt and Sara Beavers of Redwood Falls, took part in the Minnesota Regional championships March 9-11 in Hutchinson as part of the Southwest Swim Club out of Marshall.

With more than 450 swimmers competing, she finished second in the 50 meter breast stroke (35.98), fifth in the 100 meter breast stroke (1:19.44) and seventh in the 200 meter breast stroke (2:55.33).

She also competed in the 50 meter freestyle (20.19) finishing 13th, the 100 meter freestyle (1:05.39) and the 100 IM (1:13.90).

Beavers – who was able to join the high school team in Marshall thanks to a pairing agreement between Redwood Valley and Marshall last July – began her swimming career in 2014 as part of the local Girls Scout swim team that competed during the summer in Redwood Falls.

Three years ago, she found an outlet for her desire to pursue the sport in the Southwest Swim Club and began practicing with the team.

Over the past three years she has seen her skill level grow as she learns more about the dynamics of the sport and what it takes to be competitive. Most recently the pairing agreement allowed her to compete at the high school level with the team beginning this fall (swimming is a fall sport in Minnesota).

She competed on both varsity and junior varsity during the season, securing a spot on varsity in the breaststroke and was the anchor leg of the 200 medley relay as the breaststroke leg.

In September she took part in the University of Minnesota meet and was part of the Section team, placing 17th in the 100 meter breaststroke where she took 10 seconds off of her previous best time (1:18.46).

“It’s been a great experience for her,” Sara Beavers said, “She’s met some new friends in the process and has gained the support of the parents, coaches and teammates. It has helped her build up her confidence as she continues to grow and improve.”

The Minnesota Age Group championships get under way Thursday, March 22 in Rochester at the Rochester Recreation Center.