RICHFIELD — The Stillwater synchronized swim team has never failed to win its section en route to the state meet and last year’s eight-point margin of victory over Forest Lake was a little too close for comfort.
The Ponies provided less drama with this year’s East Section championship while scoring 167 points to outdistance Forest Lake (111) and the rest of the five-team section on Friday and Saturday at Richfield High School. Host Richfield was a distant third with 49 points.
“I believe this is quite an improvement from last year’s results against the same teams,” Ponies coach Kathy Henderson said. “I am so proud of how all the girls swam. They were excited and confident adn performed really well.”
The top four finishers in each event advances to the state meet, which will be held Thursday and Friday at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. The Ponies qualified all but two routines for state.
“We are all excited to go to the state meet, where we will face extremely tough competition,” Henderson said. “We have a few days this week to iron out a few things in our routines and correct a few errors, then we’ll be totally prepared.”
With a score of 68.147, Stillwater finished first in the extended team competition by nearly three points over second-place Forest Lake (64.927). The Ponies also won the short team event and placed second behind Richfield in the long team division.
Mariah Smith (short) and Skyler Olson (long) won solo titles while Sami Sonnee placed second in the extended solo. Smith also joined Katie Koenning to win the extended duet while Elise and Emily Adrian and Claire Haws and Vessa Pearsall gave the Ponies a sweep of the three places. Sophie Ogaard and Grace Zimmer added a first-place showing in the short duet for the Ponies.
Stillwater qualified three for state in the short trio category, led by first-place finishers Sonia Moran, Danielle Snow and Mamie Thrall. Mikayla Ackerson, Paige Green and Grace Gualtieri also prevailed in the long trio event. The Ponies also placed second (Elise Adrian, Emily Adrian and Haws) and third (Koenning, Olson and Pearsall) in the extended trio.
“Almost all the teams we go against at state are teams we do not see at all during the regular season meets, so we never really know what to expect,” Henderson said. “But in general, we know many of the teams are going to be tough competitors — especially Wayzata, Edina and St. Louis Park.
Stillwater (7-0), which ended the regulat season by extending its dual meet winning streak to least 173 in a row, has never placed lower than second in the 39-year history of the state meet. The Ponies have captured 18 state championships and placed second 21 times.
1. Stillwater 167; 2. Forest Lake 111; 3. Richfield 49; 4. Columbia Heights 25; 5. Greenway/Grand Rapids 16.
Short figures — 1. Mariah Smith 64.443; 2. Sophie Ogaard 59.075; 3. Grace Zimmer 58.272; 6. Sonia Moran 57.553; 7. Mamie Thrall 57.368; 9. Danielle Snow 57.075; 12. Minna Thrall 56.101; 13. Kaitlyn Burgess 55.667; 15. Amanda Connor 54.943; 17. Anna Koenning 54.549; 19. Cynthia Silva 54.408; 24. Morgan MacDonald 53.158; 28. Molly Mapstone 52.793; 31. Lauren Kunteson 52.171; 39. Skyler Finberg 51.062; 40. Maya Ellis 51.030; 45. Meara Kelly 50.425; 59. Isabel Solheim 48.105; 63. Elliana Sherman 47.017.
Long figures — 4. Skyler Olson 60.562; 7. Paige Green 59.688; 12. Grace Gualtieri 58.307; 16. Sami Sonnee 57.720; 21. Mikaela Ackerson 57.088; 34. Marietta Johns 55.057; 36. Andrea Rustad 53.895.
Extended figures — 1. Mariah Smith 64.886; 4. Elise Adrian 62.263; 5. Clarie Haws 61.662; 6. Sophie Barnes 61.338; 8. Emily Adrian 60.864; 9. Katie Koenning 60.693; 10. Skyler Olson 60.562; 12. Vessa Pearsall 60.483; 20. Sami Sonnee 57.720.
Short — 1. Mariah Smith (St) 66.593; 4. Kaitlyn Burgess (St) 56.934.
Long — 1. Skyler Olson (St) 62.981.
Extended — 1. Andrea Dunrud (FL) 66.511; 2. Sami Sonnee (St) 62.060.
Short — 1. Sophie Ogaard-Grace Zimmer (St) 60.637; 2. Danielle Snow-Mamie Thrall (St) 58.861; 3. Sonia Moran-Minna Thrall (St) 57.664.
Long — 1. Leah Boldt-Tenzin Kelsang (Rich) 61.440; 2. Grace Gualtieri-Sami Sonnee (St) 61.007; 8. Marietta Johns-Andrea Rustad (St) 56.438.
Extended — 1. Katie Koenning-Mariah Smith (St) 67.245; 2. Elise Adrian-Emily Adrian (St) 66.682; 3. Claire Haws-Vessa Pearsall (St) 64.687.
Short — 1. Sonia Moran-Danielle Snow-Mamie Thrall (St) 59.116; 2. Kaitlyn Burgess-Sophie Ogaard-Grace Zimmer (St) 58.586; 4. Amanda Connor-Anna Koenning-Minna Thrall (St) 55.399.
Long — 1. Mikaela Ackerson-Paige Green-Grace Gualtieri (St) 60.881.
Extended — 1. Stephanie Brenk-Rachel Chatwin-Andrea Dunrud (FL) 65.037; 2. Elise Adrian-Emily Adrian-Claire Haws (St) 64.698; 3. Katie Koenning-Skyler Olson-Vessa Pearsall (St) 64.540.
Short — 1. Stillwater (Kaitlyn Burgess, Anna Koenning, Sonia Moran, Sophie Ogaard, Danielle Snow, Mamie Thrall, Minna Thrall and Grace Zimmer) 60.629; 3. Stillwater (Maya Ellis, Meara Kelly, Lauren Knuteson, Morgan MacDonald, Cynthia Silva and Isabel Solheim) 53.951; 6. Stillwater (Maya Ellis, Skyler Finberg, Molly Mapstone and Elliana Sherman) 52.038.
Long — 1. Richfield, 61.575; 2. Stillwater (Mikaela Ackerson, Paige Green, Grace Gualtieri and Marietta Johns) 61.018.
Extended — 1. Stillwater (Elise Adrian, Emily Adrian, Sophie Barnes, Claire Haws, Katie Koenning, Skyler Olson, Vessa Pearsall and Mariah Smith) 68.147.