On Saturday, Nov. 3, the East Ridge girls swimming and diving team's junior varsity team had its season-ending meet - the JV Suburban East Conference meet, held at Stillwater Junior High School. East Ridge placed second out of five teams with a total of 399 points. Stillwater won the meet with 668 points, and Mounds View, Woodbury, and Hastings placed third, fourth and fifth respectively.
"It was the final meet of the year for our JV squad. They came into the meet with a lot of energy and enthusiasm," East Ridge head coach Billy Cuevas said. "With the varsity team coming to cheer and for support, many girls came out swimming much faster than they have all year. The second-place finish is a big deal with our team's youth. It shows that we are going to be a contender for years to come. It's an exciting time for our program."
The meet was the last chance the JV swimmers had to improve on their times this season, something many Raptors were able to do. East Ridge swimmers who earned season best times were: Kelsey Pflieger (200-yard freestyle and 500 freestyle), Cassidy Minarik (200-yard freestyle), Katie Penvose (200-yard Individual Medley), Erin Plourde (50 freestyle and 100 freestyle), Kayla Jambor (50 freestyle), Allison Bugel (50 freestyle and 100-yard breaststroke), Caitlin Pace (50 freestyle and 100 freestyle), Molly Hamer (50 freestyle), Ireland Griffin (50 freestyle and 100 freestyle), Sophia Carpentier (50 freestyle and 100 breaststroke), Emily Benson (50 freestyle and 100 butterfly), Shelby Defrang (50 freestyle and 100 freestyle), Sanjana Pandya (50 freestyle), Annika Remier (100 freestyle and 100 backstroke), Stephanie McKeen (100 freestyle), Nicky Peters (100 freestyle), Sarah Kroening (100 freestyle), Kayla Steen ( 100 freestyle), Emily Kiefat (100 backstroke), Kamilah Amen (500-yard freestyle) and Maddy Carpentier (50-yard freestyle and 100-yard breaststroke). Carpentier's finish in the 100-yard breaststroke earned her the final spot on the Raptors' section roster, according to Cuevas. In addition, Lynnae Boe also earned a personal-best time in the 500 freestyle, dropping 13 seconds off her previous best, to nab East Ridge's best placement (second place) in the meet.
The final individual event of the meet - the 100-yard breaststroke- had one exciting heat for the Raptors. East Ridge had five swimmers, out of a possible eight, in the heat and all five of them swam personal-best times. The five swimmers were Minarik, Penvose, Maddy Carpentier, Hamer and Sara Press.
While the season is over for the JV swimmers, the varsity swimmers still have the section and state meets ahead. The Section 3AA meet will be held Wednesday, Nov. 7 and Friday Nov. 9 at Richfield Middle School. Both of the East Ridge Divers will also participate in the section meet, with the diving competition held on Thursday, Nov. 8, at Cottage Grove Middle School. Any of the girls that qualify will advance to the Class AA state meet the following week at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
"It is going to be a dog fight for the section championship between Woodbury, Rosemount and East Ridge," Cuevas said. "Any of these teams can take the victory and it could come down to the final event."