East Ridge boys swimming and diving: Raptors a force to be reckoned withThe East Ridge boys swim and dive team celebrated a substantial victory over reigning Suburban East Conference Mounds View, establishing itself as a force to be reckoned with in this season.
By: Breeanna Jent, South Washington County Bulletin
Amidst boisterous cheers from the crowd on Thursday, Dec. 15, the East Ridge boys swim and dive team celebrated a substantial victory over reigning Suburban East Conference Mounds View, establishing itself as a force to be reckoned with in this season.
The Raptors (1-0; 1-0 SEC) won the meet 58-43 over the Mounds View, which was undefeated in the conference last winter.
New Raptors head coach Steve Webb coached the Mounds View’s girls swim and dive team in previous years. He knew going into Thursday night’s meet that the Mustangs (0-1; 0-1 SEC) were a strong team to go up against, having placed fifth in the state last season.
“To come in and beat the defending undefeated conference champs is a great accomplishment for our team,” Webb said. “It was good to start off with a big win.”
In the meet’s 12 events the Raptors took first place in 10. Senior swimmers Austin Davidson, Nathan Rabideaux and Matthew Koken helped the Raptors win all three relay events with the help of senior Justin Kong, sophomore Samuel Scholz and freshman Kent Rabideaux.
Koken placed first in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly events with respective times of 22.69 seconds and 53.20 seconds, both of which are new school-record times. Kong’s 24.06 time placed him in second in the 50-yard freestyle event and Nate Rabideaux came in third place in the 100-yard butterfly event with a time of 57.92.
Davidson took first place in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:04.15 and first place in the 100-yard backstroke at 55.87. Kent Rabideaux placed second in the 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard breaststroke events and took third place in the 200-yard IM.
Scholz took first place in the 100-yard freestyle event with a time of 52.08, second place in the 200 yard freestyle at 1 minute, 54.80 seconds and third in the 100-yard breaststroke event with his time of 1:10.11.
In the 500-yard freestyle, freshman Garrett Verhoeven placed first with his time of 5:11.63, followed closely by freshman Pierce Firebaugh, who came in second in the event at 5:20.45.
In the diving event, sophomore Max Samuelson placed first for East Ridge with his winning score of 160.65.
Webb stated that the Raptors are “starting to believe that we are one of the best teams in the state this year,” and he hopes that their win against Mounds View will give them the momentum they need to continue to pull in the wins this season.
Thursday night’s contest “set up a meet that will decide the conference champion next week… and I know our guys are excited for it,” Webb added.
East Ridge went up against SEC power Stillwater (1-0-2; 1-0-1 SEC) on Tuesday, after the Bulletin went to print. Webb expected the meet against Stillwater, another top conference team, to be a tight race, with quick swimmers in every event for both schools.