By STUART GROSKREUTZ
RICHFIELD – The Stillwater synchronized swim team continued its long run of East Section titles on Saturday while holding off Forest Lake 142-134 for the top spot in the five-team field at Richfield High School. Richfield finished a distant third with 46 points.
The Ponies, who have never lost a section title or placed lower than second in any of the 38 previous state meets, qualified each member of the team for the state competition or to perform a pre-swim routine at state, which is scheduled for Thursday and Friday at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.
"We did beat Forest Lake to take the overall championship," Stillwater coach Judy Luzaich said. "It was a great meet and we qualified everybody in some division that’s on the team. These kids really came together and won this and it was close."
The eight-point margin of victory is the smallest in recent memory, but senior Summer Olson boosted the Ponies by winning the extended solo with a score of 68.772, teaming up with Hannah Mulhausen to claim the extended duet at 67.065 and helped produce a first-place finish in the extended team competition with a score of 68.070.
Elise Adrian, Sophie Barnes, Natalie Bergstrom, Katie Koenning, Hannah Mulhausen, Skyler Olson and Olivia VanOrsdale joined Summer on the winning extended team.
"Summer took first in figures, solo, duet and team competition," Luzaich said. "She is just something else, I’ll tell you. There isn’t anybody like Summer and she’s going for her third state championship in the solo division at the U of M and she will make history if she takes this championship.
"She is just phenomenal in the water and swims to the rendition of ‘Elizabeth’ that is very British and she swims it like nobody else swims it."
The Ponies also received a first-place finish from Claire Haws, Katie Koenning and Skyler Olson in the extended trio with a score of 65.108.
Mulhausen followed Summer with a second-place finish in the extended solo event with a score of 64.808. Stillwater also received runner-up finishes from Lauren Quickel and Paige Green in the short duet (55.648) and Emily Adrian and Haws in the long duet (62.484).
1. Stillwater 142; 2. Forest Lake 134; 3. Richfield 46; 4. Columbia Heights 38; 5. Itasca 11.
Top 4 qualify for state
Short – 1. Audrey Kruse (CH) 57.627.
Long – Stillwater scored 13 points in this event, but results were not available.
Extended – 1. Summer Olson (St) 68.772; 2. Hannah Mulhausen (St) 64.808.
Short – 1. Cori Benson-Leah Boldt (Ric) 57.446; 2. Lauren Quickel-Paige Green (St) 55.648; 3. Marietta Johns-Grace Gualtieri (St) 54.991.
Long – 1. Rachel Chatwin-Brooke Ewert (FL) 64.486; 2. Emily Adrian-Claire Haws (St) 62.484; 4. Jordyn McLean-Becky Winkel (St) 60.848.
Extended – 1. Hannah Mulhausen-Summer Olson (St) 67.065; 3. Natalie Bergstrom-Olivia VanOrsdale (St) 64.049.
Short – 1. Cori Benson-Leah Boldt-Brittney Sanetrick (Ric) 56.327; 2. Marietta Johns-Linnea Quarberg-Lauren Quickel (St) 54.348; 3. Kleio Vrohidis-Grace Gualtieri-Paige Green (St) 53.871.
Long – 1. Stephanie Brenk-Lindsey Crohn-Andrea Dunrud (FL) 61.861; 4. Maddie Hall-Morgan McBride-Sami Sonnee (St) 57.165; 7. Hannah Harvieux-Olivia Novotny-Andrea Rustad (St) 54.163.
Extended – 1. Claire Haws-Katie Koenning-Skyler Olson (St) 65.108; 3. Elise Adrian-Emily Adrian-Sophie Barnes (St) 63.109; 5. Jordyn McLean-Sydney Roberts-Becky Winkel (St) 60.091.
Short – 1. Richfield, 54.941; 2. Stillwater (Sophia Colberg, Paige Green, Grace Gualtieri, Marietta Johns, Linnea Quarberg and Lauren Quickel) 53.828; 5. Stillwater (Amanda Connor, Maya Ellis, Skyler Finberg, Hannah Harvieux and Kleio Vrohidis) 49.516.
Long – 1. Forest Lake, 58.335; 3. Stillwater (Maddie Hall, Morgan McBride, Olivia Novotny, Andrea Rustad, Bekka Schindel and Sami Sonnee) 56.391.
Extended – 1. Stillwater (Elise Adrian, Sophie Barnes, Natalie Bergstrom, Katie Koenning, Hannah Mulhausen, Skyler Olson, Summer Olson and Olivia VanOrsdale) 68.070; 4. Stillwater (Emily Adrian, Claire Haws, Jordyn McLean, Sydney Roberts and Becky Winkel) 61.163.