East Ridge girls swimming & diving: Raptors send nine to stateBased on finishes at the Section 3AA championship meet, the East Ridge girls swimming and diving team will be sending nine girls – five competitors and four alternates – to the 2012 Class AA State Swimming and Diving Meet this week.
By: Emily Benson, Woodbury Bulletin
Last season, East Ridge sent two competitors to the state meet, taking fifth as a team in the Section 3AA meet. This year, however, the Raptors stepped up their game.
Based on finishes at the Section 3AA championship meet, the East Ridge girls swimming and diving team will be sending nine girls – five competitors and four alternates – to the 2012 Class AA State Swimming and Diving Meet this week.
Last season, East Ridge diver Jenna Karrow and 2012 graduate Rachel Treadway were the lone Raptors to qualify for the state meet. Karrow, a senior who won the state championship in 2010 and finished second in 2011, sat out this season with a back injury. Last year as a team, East Ridge finished in fifth place in the section meet.
This year, however, East Ridge finished in second place as a team with 361.5 points – ahead of third-place Woodbury (333 points). Rosemount was able to defended its Section 3AA team championship title with 499.5 points.
In all, 19 Raptors swimmers competed in the Section 3AA preliminary round on Wednesday, Nov. 7, at Richfield Middle School, 16 of whom earned the right to compete in the finals events on Friday. Both of the East Ridge divers competed in Thursday’s diving competition as well.
How swimmers finish in the finals meet determines if they earn a place in the state swim meet or not. The top two finishers in every event, along with any swimmer who “makes the cut”, by swimming a Class AA state-qualifying time, earns a place in the meet. By these standards, four East Ridge swimmers and one diver qualified for the state meet this year.
East Ridge junior Meredith Ubel led the way for the Raptors at the Section 3AA meet and will be swimming three events at state: The 50-yard freestyle, the 100-yard butterfly, and the 400-yard freestyle relay. In addition, junior Lindsey Lewis will be swimming the 500-yard freestyle and the 400-yard freestyle relay; and juniors Taylor Johnson and Maddy Peters will also be swimming on the 400-yard freestyle relay team. Haley Dahl, Molly Patt Horan, Sara Press, and Brianna Schmitt will be the alternates for the 400 freestyle relay team. East Ridge junior diver Olivia Burleigh will also be competing in the diving portion of the state meet.
The Raptors had all but four of their preliminary races qualify for the finals meet, and had at least one swimmer finish in the top eight for finals in every event except the 100 breaststroke. In the first race of the Section 3AA finals, the 200-yard medley relay team of Haley Dahl, Johnson, Ubel, and Brianna Schmitt earned fifth place with a time of 1 minute, 53.66 seconds. In the 200-yard individual medley, Johnson set a new school record with a time of 2:12.79. In the 50-yard freestyle, East Ridge had three swimmers finish in the top eight – Schmitt placed eighth, Kelly Burnham finished seventh, and Ubel placed second. The previous night, divers Allyson Weiss placed 12th and Olivia Burleigh placed fourth in the diving competition. The Raptors also had three swimmers finish in the top eight in the 100 butterfly, Kayla Maatta placed seventh, Johnson placed third, and Ubel won the event—setting a new school record with a time of 59.10, and earning the only first-place finish of the Section 3AA meet for East Ridge. Lewis also set a new school record, in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:13.93, which earned her a second-place finish in the event. The East Ridge 200 freestyle relay team of Peters, Schmitt, Lewis, and Burnham placed sixth; and the meet ended with the 400 freestyle relay team of Peters, Lewis, Johnson, and Ubel placing second and setting a new school record with a time of 3:39.38.
The Class AA State meet will be held this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis. Swimming preliminaries will be on Friday, and swimming finals will be on Saturday. Diving preliminaries will be on Thursday night, and diving finals will also be on Saturday. The competitions start at 6 p.m. each night.