The Stillwater girls’ swimming and diving program has won 11 straight Suburban East Conference titles, but that can’t match the streak of 18 consecutive JV conference championships produced by the Ponies following a dominating performance on Saturday at Stillwater Junior High School.
The Ponies scored 692 points to easily outdistance Mounds View in the afternoon meet, which consisted of the top five teams based on the varsity conference standings. Cretin-Derham Hall won the meet featuring the other five teams during the Saturday morning session.
“We’ve been on a pretty good roll since we started getting the pretty big teams,” Ponies coach Brian Luke said.
The outcome was not all that surprising when you consider the number of section qualifiers competing for the Ponies who will not be competing in this week’s Section 4AA meet.
“We had 51 section qualifiers this year, which I think is a record,” Luke said. “We have 24 kids in the section meet so because of the numbers we have 27 section qualifiers sitting in that JV meet so we’re going to have a pretty good showing. It’s a fun meet for the girls and for the coaches and I always enjoy watching.”
Stillwater finished first in all 11 swimming events and swept the top several spots in many events, including a 1-2-3 showing in the 400 freestyle relay to close out the meet. For the purposes of team scoring, only one relay team and four individuals contribute per event or the margin of victory would have been much larger.
“We had a lot of the top seeds up in there so you’d like to predict we’d get a lot of points,” Luke said. “It worked out really good and the kids stepped up really nice.”
Anne Campbell and Robyn Doughty were double winners for the Ponies, with Campbell touching the wall first in the 100 (57.92) and 200 freestyle (2:06.12) races and Doughty prevailing in the 50 (26.81) and 500 (5:33.05) freestyle events. Doughty, one of 17 seniors on Stillwater’s roster this season, showed her versatility.
“The shortest and the longest (races),” Luke said of Doughty. “We had all those 100 kids, but she was kind of out front of those 500 kids. She may have won the 100, too, I don’t know, but it was a good meet to go out on for her.”
Stillwater also received first-place finishes from Ellie Speedling (2:19.88) in the individual medley, Allison Berger (1:03.94) in the butterfly, Lily Nickeson-Ranum (1:04.52) in the backstroke and Greta Peterson (1:15.71) in the breastroke.
The Ponies swept the top eight places in the 200 IM and featured the top six finishers in the 100 butterfly and the 100 breastroke. Stillwater also showed off its depth while claiming the top five places in the 500 freestyle, the top four in the 200 free and the top three in the 100 freestyle.
Stillwater will also host the Section 4AA Meet starting with preliminaries on Thursday and continuing with the diving competition on Friday. The finals are slated for Saturday starting at 1:30 p.m.
“We’re looking forward to this week,” Luke said.
Contact Stuart Groskreutz at [email protected]