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Girls Swimming and Diving: East Ridge is headed to True Team state

The East Ridge girls swimming and diving team is headed back to the Class 2A True Team state meet for the second straight season.

The Raptors advanced to true team state last season and ended up placing sixth out of 12 schools. This year they will get another shot after winning the Section 3AA True Team meet on Saturday.

The Raptors did not have a single individual finish first in any of their events on Saturday. Head coach Kathy Madden said depth was a big factor in the Raptors’ winning the true team section meet.

“We felt pretty good going into the meet knowing that we are not only a deep team, but we are super young,” Madden said. “We just felt like the girls were ready to stand up to the task of beating two really good teams from Rosemount and Eagan.”

The Raptors were able to win the meet without diver Olivia Burleigh, who has been a qualifier for the Class 2A state meet in each of the past three seasons. Madden said she was out after injuring her eardrum recently.

“We’d like to have her back and healthy, but obviously the ultimate goal is sections at the end of the year,” Madden said.

Madden credited Elizabeth Mortenson for having an outstanding performance for East Ridge. Mortenson swam the 200 and 500-yard freestyle races.

“She had best times in both by a considerable amount, and just swam really, really well,” Madden said.

Mortenson finished sixth in the 200 freestyle with a time of 2 minutes and 3.64 seconds. She also placed sixth in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:30.13.

East Ridge had one relay team and one individual place second in their events on Saturday. The East Ridge 200 freestyle relay team of Kyra Bachman, Robbie Witikko, Gretchen Olson and Kolbe Bachman finished second with a time of 1:44.38.

East Ridge had three swimmers finish second through fourth in the 100 breaststroke. Chloe Wangensteen took second (1:10.78), followed by Gretchen Olson in third (1:14.60) and Ali Smith in fourth (1:15.55).

Third place finishers from East Ridge included Grace Rauker in the 500 freestyle (5:26.10) and the 200 freestyle (2:03.20), Wangensteen in the 200 individual medley (2:20.79) and Paige Smoley in the 100 backstroke (1:02.94).

The 200 individual medley team of Smoley, Wangensteen, Callie Kunz and Witikko placed third with a time of 1:57.42. The 400 freestyle relay team of Kunz, Kyra Bachman, Rauker and Kolbe Bachman also took third with a time of 3:47.73.

The True Team state meet will start at 6 p.m. on Saturday at the University of Minnesota.

Blaze Fugina

Blaze Fugina is the sports editor of the Woodbury and South Washington County Bulletin newspapers. Previously, Blaze worked as a sports editor for the Pierce County Herald and a sports reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.

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