It was strength vs. depth on Thursday night and East Ridge was strong down the stretch on Thursday to pull out a 95-91 Suburban East Conference boys’ swimming and diving victory over the Ponies at Stillwater Junior High School.
It was the first dual meet loss for Stillwater (1-1 SEC, 1-1) in more than a year after winning the conference title outright last season.
East Ridge trailed 82-74 with just two events remaining, but took advantage of a strong breastroke lineup that placed 1-2-3 and also prevailed in the 400 freestyle relay to pull out the narrow victory.
“I knew they had two really good breastrokers, but that third one got in front of our breastrokers, too,” Ponies coach Brian Luke said. “That wasn’t the meet, it just happened to be where they jumped ahead.”
Stillwater pulled off a similar feat earlier in the meet when divers Liam Gibb (211.75), Colin Eason (206.20) and Anthony Shanley (179.50) occupied the top three spots to outscore the Raptors 13-3 in that event.
The Ponies finished first in just three of 12 events and a victory in any of the three relays would have been enough to create a four-point swing that would have tied the meet.
“Both teams swam really well and competed really well, they just had one more person than we did,” Luke said. “We only won three events, which I knew we’d have trouble doing that. They were pretty good at the top and we’re good in the middle. We stayed with them in our depth, but we just had to win one of the relays.”
Brady Anderson supplied one of Stillwater’s three victories with a first-place effort in the 100 butterfly, overcoming a deficit late in that race and finishing in a time of 54.55. Jesse Busse delivered another victory for the Ponies in the second race of the night, finishing the 200 freestyle with a winning time of 1:52.16.
“(Jesse) passed two guys and that was a great race, too, and that kept us in the meet,” Luke said.
The 500 freestyle was another hard-fought event as less than half a second separated second-place Dominic Jankowski (5:08.37) from fourth-place teammate Jesse Busse (5:08.81) and Brennan Rosell wasn’t far behind in fifth at 5:11.62.
“For a long race, they were all within two feet of each other there. That was another close one,” Luke said. “Rosell had a nice race and that was his best time by like seven seconds.”
East Ridge (2-0 SEC) has already defeated Mounds View this season and the Ponies will be pulling for Hastings — which joins Mounds View and Stillwater as the other top contenders in the conference — to help keep them in the running for the title in a league that is more competitive than most previous years.
“I don’t have any fault with anything,” Luke said. “Sometimes you just show up and the other team is better. You fight then tooth and nail and they just end up with more points than you. Both teams swam really well and it was a competitive meet from top to bottom. One team scored more points, but it wasn’t due to lack of effort, and it was fun to watch. There’s some very good teams and it’s good that it’s competitive. You can’t get complacent.”
n Stillwater posted a 98-32 victory over the Raptors in the JV meet on Thursday.
East Ridge 95, Stillwater 91
200 medley relay — 1. East Ridge, 1:43.55; 2. Stillwater (Marcus Green, Riley Hollerbach, Brady Anderson and Alex Burback) 1:45.44; 3. Stillwater (Jon Busse, Lucas Magilke, Alex Percival and Isaac Swanlund) 1:49.75.
200 freestyle — 1. Jesse Busse (St) 1:52.16; 4. Tom Windett (St) 1:54.05; 5. Max Larson (St) 1:55.96.
200 individual medley — 1. Sam Scholz (ER) 2:02.73; 2. Jon Busse (St) 2:10.00; 3. Dominic Jankowski (St) 2:11.61; 4. Brennan Rosell (St) 2:11.95.
50 freestyle — 1. Kent Rabideaux (ER) 22.25; 2. Alex Burback (St) 23.52; 4. Marcus Green (St) 23.81; 5. Isaac Swanlund (St) 24.01.
Diving — 1. Liam Gibb (St) 211.75; 2. Colin Eason (St) 206.20; 3. Anthony Shanley (St) 179.50.
100 butterfly — 1. Brady Anderson (St) 54.55; 3. Max Larson (St) 57.45; 4. Alex Percival (St) 57.93.
100 freestyle — 1. James Tidd (ER) 49.73; 2. Tom Windett (St) 50.83; 5. Jon Busse (St) 52.43; 6. Isaac Swanlund (St) 52.52.
500 freestyle — 1. Garrett Verhoeven (ER) 5:02.60; 2. Dominic Jankowski (St) 5:08.37; 4. Jesse Busse (St) 5:08.81; 5. Brennan Rosell (St) 5:11.62.
200 freestyle relay — 1. East Ridge, 1:31.57; 2. Stillwater (Lucas Magilke, Alex Burback, Jesse Busse and Tom Windett) 1:32.90; 3. Stillwater (Isaac Swanlund, Max Larson, Riley Hollerbach and Dominic Jankowski) 1:37.12.
100 backstroke — 1. Sam Scholz (ER) 54.93; 2. Brady Anderson (St) 55.96; 3. Marcus Green (St) 58.06; 4. Alex Percival (St) 1:01.07.
100 breastroke — 1. James Tidd (ER) 1:02.68; 4. Riley Hollerbach (St) 1:09.62; 5. Lucas Magilke (St) 1:12.41; 6. Max Erickson (St) 1:13.45.
400 freestyle relay — 1. East Ridge, 3:20.46; 2. Stillwater (Tom Windett, Jesse Busse, Jon Busse and Brady Anderson) 3:23.79; 3. Stillwater (Max Larson, Alex Burback, Dominic Jankowski and Marcus Green) 3:32.44.