Girls swimming and diving: Ponies top Elk River


ELK RIVER — The last team to defeat Stillwater in a girls’ swimming and diving dual meet took another run at the Ponies on Tuesday, but Elk River fell short in a 92-84 nonconference setback at VandenBerge Junior High School.

The Elks defeated Stillwater to open the 2003 season, but the Ponies have reeled off 102 consecutive dual meet victories since that loss.

Stillwater (1-0), which won the Suburban East Conference Relays to open the season, was in control from the start while collecting first-place finishes in all 12 events. The Ponies occupied the top three spots in the 100 freestyle, 500 freestyle, 100 backstroke and diving.

Coach Brian Luke was encouraged by the early showing from what is an interesting mix of talented newcomers and more experienced athletes.

“For me, I need to remember it’s the first meet of the season and I have to stop remembering their state meet performances,” Luke said. “It was pretty good for their first meet.”

Stillwater won all three relays, including a first- and second-place showing in the 200 freestyle relay.

Sophia Bisch and Mark Knaak each won two events for the Ponies, who also received first-place finishes from Kylie Burgess in the 200 freestyle (2:00.47), Ava Howard in the 50 freestyle (25.83), Asia Neuman in the 100 butterfly (1:03.84) and Abby Kunze in the 100 backstroke (1:03.11). Bisch touched the wall first in the 100 freestyle (54.54) and 100 breastroke (1:09.67) while Knaak prevailed in the 200 individual medley (2:16.21) and 500 freestyle (5:18.28), narrowly edging teammate and runner-up Burgess (5:18.96) in one of the closer races of the evening.

“It’s pretty deep, not particularly flashy right now, but it is deep and it keeps rolling at you,” Luke said. “We’ll see if we can get some more flash here by October.”

Diver Liz Click was in mid-season form while posting a winning score of 210.95, followed by teammates Madeline Gilbert (139.85) and Grace Donner (117.20) in second and third place.

Ava Howard (56.29) and Kate Gallagher (57.36) finished second and third behind Bisch in the 100 freestyle while Gale Shenyn followed in third with a time of 5:27.79 to complete the sweep for Stillwater in the 500 free. Alex Howard (1:05.39) and Megan Letkeman (1:06.69) placed second and third behind Kunze in the backstroke.

“Our third and fourth breastrokers, (Olivia) Bloomquist and (Margaret) Eisenbrandt are getting there,” Luke said. “They are going in the right direction. When true team comes around we like to have four breastrokers at (1:10) or under and they’re working on that.”


Stillwater 92, Elk River 84

200 medley relay — 1. Stillwater (Abby Kunze, Sophia Bisch, Kristin Erf and Asia Neuman) 1:55.10; 3. Stillwater (Alex Howard, Olivia Bloomquist, Margaret Eisenbrandt and Abby Doeksen) 2:01.74.

200 freestyle — 1. Kylie Burgess (St) 2:00.47; 3. Kate Gallagher (St) 2:03.77; 4. Gale Shenyn (St) 2:04.44.

200 individual medley — 1. Mary Knaak (St) 2:16.21; 2. Abby Kunze (St) 2:21.86; 4. Margaret Eisenbrandt (St) 2:24.34.

50 freestyle — 1. Ava Howard (St) 25.83; 3. Asia Neuman (St) 26.17; 5. Robyn Doughty (St) 28.51.

Diving — 1. Liz Click (St) 210.95; 2. Madeline Gilbert (St) 139.85; 3. Grace Donner (St) 117.20.

100 butterfly — 1. Asia Neuman (St) 1:03.84; 3. Alex Howard (St) 1:06.58; 5. Ellie Speedling (St) 1:10.38.

100 freestyle — 1. Sophia Bisch (St) 54.54; 2. Ava Howard (St) 56.29; 3. Kate Gallagher (St) 57.36.

500 freestyle — 1. Mary Knaak (St) 5:18.28; 2. Kylie Burgess (St) 5:18.96; 3. Gale Shenyn (St) 5:27.79.

200 freestyle relay — 1. Stillwater (Kristin Erf, Sophia Bisch, Ava Howard and Asia Neuman) 1:42.85; 2. Stillwater (Kate Gallagher, Kylie Burgess, Mary Knaak and Robyn Doughty) 1:46.88.

100 backstroke — 1. Abby Kunze (St) 1:03.11; 2. Alex Howard (St) 1:05.39; 3. Megan Letkeman (St) 1:06.69.

100 breastroke — 1. Sophia Bisch (St) 1:09.67; 3. Olivia Bloomquist (St) 1:14.89; 4. Margaret Eisenbrandt (St) 1:15.30.

400 freestyle relay — 1. Stillwater (Ava Howard, Mary Knaak, Kylie Burgess and Kate Gallagher) 3:49.88; 3. Stillwater (Shenyn Gale, Laura Ortmann, Abby Kunze and Abby Doeksen) 4:01.18.


Contact Stuart Groskreutz at [email protected]