It was a big night for East Ridge, Woodbury and Park as the three schools competed in the finals of the section meet on Friday night.
Even though Eagan won the section meet, East Ridge had a couple swimmers qualify for the state meet next week. Woodbury and Park might not have had swimmers reach state, but they are happy looking forward to the 2019 season and the experience each coach will have heading into the offseason.
The Raptors finished the section meet in second place with 340 points, which was behind Eagan's 446 points. East Ridge will have Callie Kunz and Elli Moss represent the Raptors at the state meet next week as both of them qualified in at least one event.
Kunz finished in third place at the 200-yard freestyle, but her time of 1:55.17 allowed her to automatically qualify with the state swimming standard times. The standard time for the 200-yard freestyle was 1:55.33, so Kunz was 0.16 seconds faster to reach qualification.
She also placed second in the 500-yard freestyle and the second place spot allowed her to automatically qualify regardless of time. Kunz' s time of 5:08.02 would have been about five seconds faster than the standard time needed.
Moss will be competing in the 100-yard backstroke for East Ridge at state as she placed second in the finals to automatically qualify. She swam the race in 59.60 seconds and will head to the state meet next week to swim one last time this season.
Besides those two swimmers heading to state, East Ridge had some other good finishes to end the season. Kolbe Bachman and Moss finished seventh and eighth in the 200-yard freestyle.
"We have some great young talent coming up," said head coach Kathy Madden. "The future looks bright for this program."
Chloe Wangensteen finished seventh in the 200-yard IM with a time of 2:14.54, while Robbie Witikko completed the 50-yard freestyle in fifth place with a time of 25.20 seconds.
Witikko also teamed up with Lauren Garrity in the 100-yard butterfly to finish fourth and seventh respectively. Bachman also finished the 100-yard freestyle in sixth place with a time of 55.30 seconds.
Besides Kunz in the 500-yard freestyle, East Ridge had Lily Van der Sman and Daphne Smoley place fifth and eighth respectively. Along with Moss finishing second in the 100-yard backstroke, Paige Smoley placed sixth.
Chloe Wangensteen also placed seventh in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:08.94.
The Royals finished in seventh place as a team, but head coach Liz Rodgers was happy to see some of the results for Woodbury on Friday night.
Quincie Klein finished in 11th place in the 200-yard freestyle as well as she placed seventh in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 55.65 seconds.
Sadie Sroga was also a key Royal swimming on Friday night and she placed 13th overall in the 200-yard freestyle. She also finished sixth in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:25.25.
Lastly, Abby Doyle had a strong swim in the 500-yard freestyle as she placed 13th with a time of 5:39.66.
Even though none of the swimmers reached the state meet, the Royals will cheer on Caitlyn Greenwalt and Gabby Mauder as the two divers will compete at state next week.
The Wolfpack finished eighth as a team, but had Tiana Cachuela as the sole swimmer on Friday competing for a spot at state.
Cachuela swam in the 100-yard butterfly and placed seventh with a time of 1:01.03. She also swam in the 100-yard backstroke as she placed 16th with a time of 1:06.07.
The state meet will begin on Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. as the two Woodbury divers will compete in the preliminaries. Then, the two East Ridge swimmers will swim on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 6 p.m. for the swimming preliminaries. Finally, the swimming and diving finals will take place on Friday, Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. to determine state champions. All of these events will take place at the Jean F. Freeman Aquatics Center at the University of Minnesota.
After the swimmers had their night in the pool on Wednesday, the divers took their opportunity in the pool for a chance to make it to state.
Thursday night consisted of 29 divers performing five dives each. After those five dives, the field went to 20 divers with each of them doing another three more dives. Finally, the 20 divers became 16 divers in the finals and they each did three more dives for a total of 11 dives on the night.
Woodbury, East Ridge and Park had at least a couple divers each to represent its schools. Here's how things unfolded at the section diving meet.
The Royals had freshman Caitlyn Greenwalt, seventh grader Gabby Mauder and junior Audrey Hong represent Woodbury on Thursday night.
Hong was cut in the first round as she finished in 24th place overall with a score of 101.80. Greenwalt and Mauder made it to the finals and, eventually, earned second and fourth place respectively. That meant both divers would be advancing to the state championship next week at the University of Minnesota.
Greenwalt finished second overall with a score of 345.45 and Mauder finished fourth overall with a score of 340.95. Both of these girls were working hard in the offseason at their club swimming programs and carried that momentum into the regular season.
Woodbury dive coach Sherry Gross was excited to see these two girls reach the state championship and said they've been working each week to improve little by little and it's shown at the end of the season.
"I'm really excited to have Gabby with me next week for the state meet," Greenwalt said. "It'll be a really fun time and I just can't wait."
The Raptors had four divers participate on Thursday night, but none of them were able to earn top four honors and reach the state championship.
Freshman Brynn Miroslavich finished in 12th place overall with a score of 270.85. Eighth grader Alexis Auld finished 18th overall right in front of teammate and freshman Tiffany Hoang who finished 19th overall.
Auld completed the night with a score of 178.70, while Hoang had a score of 168.65. Eighth grader Emma Lulich was the final Raptor and she finished 26th overall with a score of 97.70.
All four of these divers are young and will continue to grow, while in their high schools years.
The Wolfpack had two divers participate on Thursday night as sophomore Kennedy Blaschko and senior Cacy Allen represented Park.
Allen finished the evening 29th overall with a score of 83.45. Blaschko reached the finals portion of Thursday night's meet and ended in 16th place with a score of 241.05.
Blaschko will be back next season to try and improve on her placement from this current season.
The state diving preliminaries for Greenwalt and Mauder for Woodbury will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. at Jean F Freeman Aquatics Center at the University of Minnesota. If the two divers get past the preliminary round, they would compete in the state diving finals at the same location on Friday, Nov. 16 at 6 p.m.
The section finals are set and the focus now is on the relay teams and individuals fighting their way to the top for a chance to continue the season at the state meet.
East Ridge, Park and Woodbury competed in the section preliminaries on Wednesday for a chance to compete again on Friday.
The top eight relay teams in each event and the top 16 swimmers in each event advanced to Friday's section finals.
Each school has a handful of relay teams and individuals swimming in the section finals, so here's a small breakdown of what to expect on Friday.
The Raptors have at least one team or individual qualified for each event on Friday's finals. The East Ridge 200-yard medley relay team had the fourth fastest time with 1:55.70 to qualify.
Sonja Wangensteen will be swimming in heat one of the 200-yard freestyle finals as she finished with a time of 2:02.33 on Wednesday. The Raptors have Elli Moss (1:58.90), Kolbe Bachman (1:59.45) and Callie Kunz (1:55.55) are all swimming in heat two of the 200-yard freestyle. Kunz had the second fastest time in the event on Wednesday.
East Ridge qualified three more swimmers in the 200-yard IM with Daphne Smoley (2:18.35) and Shivani Kolla (2:20.93) swimming in the first heat and Chloe Wangensteen swimming in the second heat with a time of 2:14.95 on Wednesday.
"All the girls swam well today," said East Ridge head coach Kathy Madden. "Hopefully they can swim faster times on Friday and I'm confident they can."
The Raptors have three more swimmers qualified in the 50-yard freestyle finals as Simone Becker (26.05) and Lauren Garrity (25.89) will swim in the first heat. Robbie Witikko will swim in the second heat with fourth fastest time on Wednesday with 25 seconds flat.
The 100-yard butterfly has many swimmers representing East Ridge as four swimmers total will be advancing to Friday. In the first heat of finals, Paige Smoley (1:03.26) and Max Smith (1:04.43) will swim side-by-side. The second heat will include Witikko (1:00.49) and Garrity (1:00.96) who were neck-and-neck in Wednesday's race.
Calli O'Brien (57.45) and Becker (58.57) will be in lanes seven and eight in heat one of Friday's finals for the 100-yard freestyle. Bachman will be swimming in heat two o the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 54.95 on Wednesday.
The Raptors will be well represented in the 500-yard freestyle as Averie Devine will be swimming in heat one on Friday with a time of 5:40.55. East Ridge has three swimmers in heat two as Lily Van der Sman (5:23.20), Daphne Smoley (5:31.58) and Kunz (5:07.02) will be competing for the top spot.
The Raptors qualified in the 200-yard freestyle relay as a team with a time of 1:44.82 and also qualified in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:51.18, the second fastest on Wednesday.
East Ridge will send three swimmers to the finals in the 100-yard backstroke as Lauren Murray will be swimming in heat one with a time of 1:03.52. Paige Smoley (1:00.49) and Moss (59.92) will be swimming in heat two for the top spot. Moss had the second fastest time on Wednesday.
The Raptors have four more swimmers heading to the finals in the 100-yard backstroke. Smith (1:12.00), Sonja Wangensteen (1:09.42) and Marisa Duran (1:11.84) will be swimming in the first heat. Chloe Wangensteen will be swimming in the second heat with a time of 1:08.52.
"I think the growth this season has been tremendous and it's been really fun to watch them all season long," Madden said.
The Woodbury Royals qualified for every event on Friday except for two and head coach Liz Rodgers is excited to see how Friday unfolds for the Royals.
The Royals' 200-yard medley relay team advanced to Friday with a time of 2:05.85. Woodbury will be sending Sadie Sroga (2:02.51) and Quincie Klein (2:00.34) to the 200-yard freestyle in the first heat of the finals.
Natalie Gessner will be in the first heat of the 50-yard freestyle finals with her time of 26.11 on Wednesday. Sophia Peterson, an eighth grader for Woodbury, will be in the first heat of the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 1:05.80.
Woodbury will be sending two swimmers to the finals for the 100-yard freestyle. Gessner will compete in the first heat with a time of 57.57, while Klein competes in the second heat with a time of 55.99.
The Royals will have two more swimmers in the 500-yard freestyle as Abby Doyle will be in the first heat with a time of 5:40.12 and Sroga will be in the second heat with a time of 5:27.30.
Lindsay Lutton will be competing for Woodbury in the first heat of the 100-yard backstroke with her time of 1:04.79.
Woodbury will be sending two more relay teams to Friday's finals as the 200-yard freestyle relay team finished with a time of 1:49.39 and the 400-yard freestyle relay team finished with a time of 3:59.52.
"We saw some peak performances tonight, which hopefully carries into Friday," Rodgers said. "We just need to stay focused and have a quiet mind heading into the finals."
The Wolfpack will be sending three relay teams to Friday's finals as well as Tiana Cachuela will be competing in two individual events on Friday.
Park's 200-yard medley relay team qualified with a time of 2:08.39 on Wednesday. The Wolfpack will also have their 200-yard freestyle relay team compete with a time of 1:49.88 and their 400-yard freestyle relay team compete with a time of 4:03.15.
Cachuela will be racing in the 100-yard butterfly and the 100-yard backstroke on Friday. She will be in the second heat for the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 1:01.00 on Wednesday and will be in the first heat for the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1:04.86.
"The future looks really bright with our team with all the young swimmers we have that continue to grow," said Park's head coach Amanda Johnson. "I'm excited to see how our relay teams do on Friday as well as see Tiana continue to improve each day."
The finals for swimming will take place on Friday, Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. at the Bluewater Aquatic Center in Apple Valley, Minnesota. The top eight swimmers will reach the podium for medals and trophies, while the top two swimmers in each event will qualify for the state meet.
A swimmer can also reach the state meet if she finishes with a time under the automatic qualification time for that particular event. The state meet will take place from Nov. 14 to Nov. 16 next week at the Jean K Freeman Aquatic Center at the University of Minnesota.
The diving section meet will happen on Thursday, Nov. 8 at 6 p.m. at Cottage Grove Middle School.