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East Ridge swimming & diving: Raptors reach state in eight events

East Ridge's Matt Koken reached the Class A state meet in two individual events -- the 200 free and 100 butterfly - and two relay events with his finishes at last week's Section 1A meet.

With its finish at the Section 1A meet, the East Ridge boys swimming and diving team is sending four swimmers to the 2010 Class A state meet in eight events after earning state-qualifying finishes in two relays and six individual races.

East Ridge swimmers Matthew Koken, Jacob Matenaer, Austin Davidson, and Justin Kong are heading to state to compete individually in six events, with Koken, Matenaer and Davidson qualifying for state in two individual events each.

At the 1A meet, held Friday and Saturday, Feb. 26 and 27, at the Inver Grove Heights Community Center, Koken placed second in the 200-yard freestyle (1:48.23) and 100-yard butterfly (54.52) to advance to state in both events. Matenaer finished in second place in the 200-individual medley (2:01.87) and third in the 100 freestyle (49.75) to qualify in both events. Davidson finished in sixth-place (2:09.38) in the 200 I.M. and in fourth place in the 100 backstroke with a time of 57.37 to reach state and Kong's sixth-place finish of 1:05.66 in the 100-yard breaststroke earned a trip to the state pool as well.

Additionally, the Raptors are sending two relay teams to state, which are both comprised of Koken, Matenaer, Davidson and Kong. East Ridge's 200-yard medley relay team qualifying finished fourth with a time of 1:43.15 and the 1600-yard freestyle relay qualified for state with a third-place finish of 3:21.90.

Because there are only four sections in Class A, the top four individual swimmers and the top four relay teams in each event qualify for the state meet, as opposed to the top two in Class AA, along with any swimmers or divers who hit a pre-set state qualifying mark.

As a team, East Ridge finished in sixth place with 201.5 points, above seventh-place Austin, which scored 146.5 points. St. Thomas Academy, which has won nine of the past 11 Class A state championships, finished first with 413 points. Simley, which was fourth in last year's Class A state meet as a team, finished second with 389.5 points.

The Class A state meet will take place on March 4-6 at the University of Minnesota's Aquatics Center. The Class A preliminaries will begin at noon on Friday, March 5, with the finals starting at noon on Saturday, March 6.

See the March 3 issue of the Bulletin for the full story and additional photos