Raptors send seven to StateEast Ridge girls swimming and diving team takes third in first-ever sectional meet.
By: Patrick Johnson, Woodbury Bulletin
Though in its first year of existence and sans a senior on its roster, the East Ridge girls swimming and diving team made some waves at its section meet.
The Raptors are sending seven swimmers and divers to the Class A State Girls Swimming and Diving Meet in nine events after finishing third overall in the 11-team Section 1A meet last week at Ellis Middle School in Austin.
East Ridge head coach Luke Weyandt said it has been, “more than an outstanding season.”
“A starter program with such success, not only in the pool, but as teammates, one would think this East Ridge swimming and diving program has been around for years,” Weyandt said.
As a team, East Ridge finished in third place with 266 points, behind first-place Northfield (397) and runner-up Red Wing (334.5).
East Ridge swimmers Alyssa Kong, Melanie Rabino, Rachel Treadway and Meredith Ubel each qualified for state in two individual events while divers Jenna Karrow and Bailee Meyer reached state in diving.
Ubel, Rabino and Kong, along with Kaeleigh Wilson, also earned a trip to State in the 200-yard freestyle relay, while Kong, Rabino, Treadway and Ubel teamed up to qualify for state in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Ubel, an eighth-grader, and Treadway, a sophomore, each qualified for state in the 100 butterfly with times of 1:01.14 and 1:01.28, respectively.
Treadway also reached state with a time of 2:16.41 in the 200 IM, while Ubel qualified for State in the 50-yard freestyle as well with a time of 24.60.
Rabino, a sophomore, and Kong, a junior, will each swim in the 200-yard freestyle at State after swimming to times of 1:59.11 and 2:00.76, respectively, at sections.
Rabino also earned a spot in the state’s 500 freestyle race with a time of 5:30.17 in sections, while Kong will also swim the 100 freestyle at State after qualifying with a time of 55.11 at sections.
For the relay teams, Kong, Rabino, Treadway and Ubel qualified for State in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:45.36, while Ubel Rabino, Kong and Wilson — a junior — made state in the 200-yard freestyle with a 1:42.80 time.
In the diving competition East Ridge freshman Jenna Karrow and junior Bailee Meyer earned trips to State with scores of 396.95 and 378.10, respectively.
Karrow's score was a personal best and she went on to be named Section Diver of the Year.
“The girls are the best. They work hard in practice plus they are all great students, diving coach Natalie Bonfig said. “They make the coaches look good.”
Bonfig was also awarded the Section Diving Coach of the Year honor.
“We were fortunate to be able to practice with the Woodbury diving team this year and have created a family of divers,” she said. “All of the girls practice every day next to one of their biggest competitors and they all get along well. The coaching award is just the icing on the cake.”
The diving preliminaries will kick-off this year’s state meet at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center on Thursday, Nov. 19 at noon. Swimming preliminaries will be held at noon on Friday, Nov. 20, with swimming and diving finals beginning at noon on Saturday, Nov. 21.