Swimming & Diving: East Ridge sends six to state at Section 3AA championshipsThe Woodbury, East Ridge and Park girls swimming and diving teams all competed in the Section 3AA meet, with the three schools combining to fill 59 spots in the final swimming and diving events.
By: Patrick Johnson, Staff Writer, South Washington County Bulletin
It was a District 833 family affair at the Section 3AA girls swimming and diving meet, held Nov. 10 and 12 at Cottage Grove and Richfield middle schools.
The Woodbury, East Ridge and Park girls swimming and diving teams all competed in the Section 3AA meet, with the three schools combining to fill 59 spots in the final swimming and diving events.
Woodbury led the way at the meet, winning the Section 3AA championship with 416 points, while sending eight swimmers and divers to state in eight events. East Ridge finished in third place in the nine-team section meet with 295 points, sending six swimmers and divers to state in three events. Park was unable to qualify a swimmer or diver to state, taking ninth place with 57 points.
For East Ridge, divers Jenna Karrow and Bailee Meyer, and swimmers Meredith Ubel, Alyssa Kong, Taylor Johnson and Melanie Rabino are going to the state meet.
In the diving contest, all four state qualifiers out of Section 3AA are from south Washington County. East Ridge’s Karrow led the way with a first-place finish in the diving competition. Karrow, a sophomore, scored a 425.10 to earn the Section 3AA diving title. Additionally, Woodbury’s Kohlbeck, a senior, took second place with 401.95 points, Emily Bonfig, a junior, took third place with 390.75 points and Raptors’ senior Bailee Meyer finished in fourth place with a 363.35 score.
In the swimming contests, Ubel, a freshman, qualified for state in the 100-yard butterfly with a second-place time of 59.98 and anchored the Raptors’ state qualifying 200-yard freestyle relay team — along with Kong, Johnson and Rabino — which finished third with a state-qualifying time of 1:41.60. Ubel was also fourth in the 50-yard freestyle, just .29 off the state cut time.
The Royals and Raptors had some other close calls as well. The schools’ 200-yard medley relay were each under one seconds off the state-qualifying time in the event, taking third and fourth, respectively. Rabino, a junior at East Ridge, was less than two second off the state qualifying time with a fifth-place finish in the 200 freestyle. Johnson, an East Ridge freshman, was less than two seconds off the state cut in the 200-yard IM. Kong, a senior at East Ridge, was less than a second off the state qualifying time of 54.08 in the 100-yard freestyle and East Ridge junior Rachel Treadway was 2.5 seconds off the state-qualifying time of 1:00.03 in the 100-yard butterfly. In the 100-yard breaststroke, Woodbury sophomore Kelsie Carter finished in fourth place with a time of 1:10.44, just over a second off the 1:09.29 cut time.
For Park, junior diver Alli Ramey had the best overall individual finish for the Wolfpack, turning in a seventh-place score in the diving competition with a score of 288.85. In diving, the top four finishers at sections qualify for the state meet.
Also, the Wolfpack’s 200-yard freestyle and 400-yard freestyle relay teams — each comprised of Gabby Niewind, Lissy Dorsch, Emily Frazer and Stacey Strickland — reached the Section 3AA finals. Park’s 400 free relay team took eighth place in the event with a time of 3:58.06 and its 200 free relay team had a seventh-place time of 1:48.14 in the prelims, but was disqualified in the finals.
Additionally, Frazer took 17th in the 100 butterfly prelims with a time of 1:07.91 and 22nd in the 50 free, Niewind was 17th in the 200-yard freestyle and 21st in the 100 free, Dorsch took 19th in the 200 IM prelims with a 2:33.28 and Strickland was 23rd in the 50 free.
This year’s Class AA state meet will be held Nov. 18 to 20 at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis.
At last year’s Class AA state meet, Woodbury finished in sixth place as a team. With the top eight finishers in each event garnering All-State honors, Sortland finished third in the 50 free and eighth in the 100 free, the Royals’ 400 free relay took sixth, and in diving, Kohlbeck took second place and Bonfig was sixth place.
Last year, the Raptors sent seven swimmers and divers to the Class A state meet in nine events taking third overall in the 11-team Section 1A championships. Karrow finished second overall in the diving competition and Meyer earned fifth place, while Kong took sixth place in the 200-yard freestyle in the Raptors inaugural season.