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East Ridge girls swimming & diving: Raptors fall to Stillwater in first meet

The East Ridge girls swimming and diving team opened up the 2013 season last week with the first dual meet of the season against the long-time powerhouse, the Stillwater Ponies. East Ridge lost the meet 101-80.

“We are focusing on swimming fast at the end of the season, we weren’t preparing to swim fast versus Stillwater,” East Ridge head coach Billy Cuevas said. 

However, he added that his team “swam much faster than we expected,” and “had several very competitive races.” 

Examples given by Cuevas were the 100 butterfly and the 200 freestyle. 

The Raptors opened the meet with a second place finish in the 200 medley relay by the team of Haley Dahl, Taylor Blatchford, Taylor Johnson and Brianna Schmitt. The team earned a time of 1 minute, 57.24 seconds. The first individual event of the meet, the 200 freestyle, saw East Ridge’s first of two individual wins of the meet. Both wins were by East Ridge senior Meredith Ubel. Ubel won the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:58.43; and later the 100 freestyle with a time of 55.36. The 200 individual medley and the 100 butterfly were two events in which East Ridge took both second and third place. Kayla Maatta and Blatchford placed second and third place respectively in the 200 individual medley; Johnson and Maatta respectively in the 100 butterfly. 

The East Ridge divers also had a strong performance at the meet, despite being a team of only two. Olivia Burleigh led the way, earning second place with a score of 163.60 points. The meet was East Ridge’s second and newest diver, Cassie Kahrer’s first meet, and she earned fifth place with a score of 115 points. 

The second half of the meet included two more second place finishes by relay teams, and two top three individual finishes. The 200 freestyle relay team of Ubel, Schmitt, Lindsey Lewis, and Maddy Peters earned second with a time of 1:45.24. Johnson earned third place in the 500 freestyle, and Blatchford earned second in the 100 breaststroke. Johnson, Lewis, Peters, and Ubel ended the meet with a second place finish for East Ridge in the 400 freestyle relay. 

Cuevas also described the training the team has been going through as “three weeks of very tough, intensive training,” which made the meet all the more impressive from his viewpoint.

“We were able to swim very competitively against one of the more elite teams in the state, and have several girls swim personal best times,” he said. 

East Ridge will participate in its second dual meet of the season on Thursday, Sept. 5, against SEC foe White Bear Lake.

—Emily Benson