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East Ridge, Woodbury, Park individuals qualify for state

East Ridge's Chloe Wangensteen swims to a championship and a place at state in the 100-yard breaststroke Friday, Nov. 10, in the Section 3AA championship meet at Prior Lake. John Molene / contributor

East Ridge’s Chloe Wangenstein and Callie Kunz, Woodbury’s Gabby Vitela and Park’s Kylie Doty all qualified for the state swimming championships with top performances in the eight-team Section 3AA championship meet Friday, Nov. 10.

Ninth-grader Wangenstein won the 100-yard breaststroke in a season’s best time of 1:05.84.

Kunz, a junior, and Vitela, a sophomore, both qualified for state in the 500-yard freestyle, while Kunz also qualified in the 200-yard freestyle in the section meet held in the Hidden Oaks Middle School pool in Prior Lake. Doty qualified as a senior diver for Park after taking fourth in the 1-meter diving with a score of 297.85. She finished just ahead of Woodbury’s Caitlyn Greenwalt who took fifth with a 297.35.

Kunz made it in the 500-yard freestyle, placing second in 5:05.28. Woodbury’s Vitela finished third in a time of 5:11.15.

Kunz was fourth in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:55.10.

East Ridge also gave favorite Rosemount a scare in the team race, losing the battle for first just 430.5 to 394. Eagan was third in the team event with 298 points. Woodbury was seventh with 148.5 points and Park eighth with 100.

Wangensteen just missed qualifying in the 200-yard IM, finishing fifth in a school record 2:12.54. The cutoff time was 2:10.74.

Grace Rauker of the Raptors had an excruciating miss in the 500-yard freestyle. Rauker was fourth in the event in a time of 5:13.57, just .24 hundredths off the state qualifying time of 5:13.33. Rauker was also fifth in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:58.12.

Kyra Bachman of the Raptors was fifth in the 100-yard freestyle in 54.21.

Paige Smoley of East Ridge was fourth in the 100-yard backstroke in 1:01.41.

East Ridge’s 200 free relay team of Kyra Bachman, Robbie Witikko, Kolbe Bachman and Kunz and the 400 free relay of Bachman, Kunz, Bachman and Rauker just missed setting school records.

“Actually, everybody swam really well,” said East Ridge coach Kathy Madden. “It was a really good night. We had a lot of best times.

“They worked hard all season long,” Madden added. “They tapered really well and swam really well on Wednesday and followed up today. We had 21 girls on section squad and all of them got best times on Wednesday, the entire team. It was a total team effort. That’s how these girls have operated all year. We won the true team section. We finished second tonight which was not on our radar at all. So they swam really, really well. And we’re young. We have one senior swimmer graduating and one senior diver graduating.”

The state meet will be held in the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center Nov. 16-18.