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Raptors' program off to a good start

So far, so good for the East Ridge boys swimming and diving team as the Raptors topped their district neighbors in both the Suburban East Conference Relays and the Woodbury Invitational last week.

"It was fun to watch as the guys interacted with their former teammates from Woodbury and Park," coach Luke Weyandt said.

The Raptors coach was impressed with how his team already had the look of a well-seasoned squad.

"(We) really came together for some solid, successful swims -- really looked like a team and program that had been around for a couple years," he said.

The Raptors recorded 66 points to finish behind host Stillwater and both Cretin-Derham Hall and Mounds View in the SEC Relays on Thursday, Dec. 10.

The squad's 400-yard medley relay team of Jacob Matenaer, Matt Koken, Sam Sholz and Justin Kong placed second with a time of 4 minutes, 7.02 seconds, with the 200-yard butterfly foursome of Matenaer, Scholz, Koken and Nate Rabideaux taking third in 1:48.99.

Two days later, the East Ridge 200-yard medley relay team of Matenaer, Koken, Kong and Austin Davidson became the first Raptors swimmers to win an event with a first-place finish of 1:46.37 in the opening race of the Woodbury Invite.

Matenaer then became the team's first individual victor, winning the 200-yard individual medley in 2:10.10, ahead of Davidson in second with a 2:11.75 result.

Koken then topped the field in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 55.49 seconds, before Matenaer won the 100-yard freestyle in 51.54.

Koken, who then took second in the 500-yard freestyle (5:02.96), joined Matenaer, Kong and Davidson in winning the 400-yard freestyle relay in 3:30.18.

The 400 victory -- the last event of the Invite, helped the Raptors leapfrog Woodbury in the final standings to take third over the Royals by three points, 205-202. Stillwater won the meet.