Synchronized swimming: Ponies turn back rival Forest Lake

A close battle was expected and Stillwater and Forest Lake delivered in an East Metro Conference showdown on Thursday, April 6 at Stillwater Junior High School.

The Ponies placed three swimmers in the top four to hold off Forest Lake for a narrow 15-14 victory in the figures meet.

“Forest Lake is our toughest competition in the conference, and the meet was a nail-biter,” Ponies coach Kathy Henderson said.

Forest Lake’s Fallon Olson received a score of 65.461 to claim the top spot by a narrow margin over runner-up Sophie Ogaard (65.434). Grace Zimmer (65.048) and Anna Koenning (64.180) were also solid for the Ponies as their third- and fourth-place finishes sealed the victory for Stillwater, which improved to 3-0 at the midway point of the conference schedule with a 25-4 triumph at Osseo/Maple Grove on April 11.

The Rangers finished fifth through eighth, though only the top seven count towards the scoring to leave Stillwater with a one-point victory.

“All the scores were so close between our top swimmers and theirs,” Henderson said. “It really came down to tenths or hundredths of points between some of the girls and the meet could have gone either way. We just had enough tenths to pull off a win.”

Stillwater returns to action on April 27 with the first of their three routines meets. The Ponies and Rangers meet again at Forest Lake on May 9.

“We will see Forest Lake again later in the season with our routines — and they will be hard to beat again, but we’re going to give it our all, like we always do,” Henderson said.

• Behind Luci Miller (24.633), Julianna Silva (23.968), Avery Hoge (23.868) and Bella Chau (23.019) in the top four spots, the Stillwater JV team cruised to a 26-3 victory over the Rangers.

“Our JV is off to a great start this season,” Henderson said.

Stillwater 15, Forest Lake 14

Figures (top 20)

1. Fallon Olson (FL) 65.461; 2. Sophie Ogaard (St) 65.434; 3. Grace Zimmer (St) 65.048; 4. Anna Koenning (St) 64.180; 5. Paige Thurnbeck (FL) 64.004; 6. Amanda Pothen (FL) 63.149; 7. Mika Peterson (FL) 63.070; 8. Kenzie Klein (FL) 62.943; 9. Mamie Thrall (St) 61.991; 10. Lacey Wedell (FL) 61.943; 11. Dani Sardeson (FL) 61.079; 12. Grace Gualtieri (St) 61.061; 13. Ella Anderson (FL) 60.925; 14. Grace Henke (St) 60.500; 15. Michelle Perkins (FL) 60.452; 16. Linnea Coltvet (St) 60.351; 17. Megan Palmer (FL) 60.140; 18. Brecken Carr (FL) 60.132; 19. Isabel Solheim (St) 59.829; 20. Jane Burk (FL) 59.553.

Stillwater 25, Osseo/Maple Grove 4

At Maple Grove, a sweep of the top four places carried Stillwater to a 25-4 East Metro Conference victory over Osseo/Maple Grove on Tuesday, April 11 at Maple Grive Junior High.

Sophie Ogaard turned in a winning score of 64.092 to lead the Ponies while teammates Anna Koenning (63.864), Grace Zimmer (63.075) and Mamie Thrall (63.013) were not far behind.

Osseo/Maple Grove’s Elizabeth McBride (62.237) stopped Stillwater’s run with a fifth-place finish but Grace Gualtieri followed in sixth with a score of 62.145.

“Osseo has a good team, but we were able win,” Stillwater coach Kathy Henderson said. “Our varsity points were led by juniors Sophie Ogaard, Anna Koenning, Grace Zimmer, and seniors Grace Gualtieri and Mamie Thrall. All five of whom swim on our top extended team that placed second at the state championship last year.”

The Ponies also showed off their depth while posting 16 of the top 20 scores overall.

“We’re having a great season so far,” Henderson said. “The girls are working hard on their choreography and figures. We will be competing with 25 routines this year, which is up from 23 the last few years. It’s a lot of work, but we’re happy with the growth in numbers, which will especially help us at the section championship later in the season.”

• Also on Tuesday, Stillwater swept the top eight spots to record a 28-1 victory over Osseo/Maple Grove in the JV competition. Luci Miller (24.230), Julianna Silva (23.320) and Adelee Wrightsman (22.986) finished 1-2-3 for the Ponies.

“Our JV swimmers also had a great meet,” Henderson said.

Stillwater 25, Osseo/Maple Grove 4

Figures (top 20)

1. Sophie Ogaard (St) 64.092; 2. Anna Koenning (St) 63.864; 3. Grace Zimmer (St) 63.075; 4. Mamie Thrall (St) 63.013; 5. Elizabeth McBride (O/MG) 62.237; 6. Grace Gualtieri (St) 62.145; 7. Anna Ganser (O/MG) 60.057; 8. Isabel Solheim (St) 59.601; 9. Emma Sneden (St) 59.531; 10. Linnea Coltvet (St) 59.425; 11. Danielle Hawes (O/MG) 59.101; 12. Rubie Ballantyne (St) 58.996; 13. Hannah Dettmann (St) 58.939; 14. Madi Kulzer (St) 58.509; 15. Grace Henke (St) 58.439; 16. Rachel Duerr (St) 58.329; 17. Miranda Bergan (St) 58.193; 18. Kelly Keenan (St) 57.908; 19. Claire Summary (St) 57.889; 20. Hannah Littel (O/MG) 57.504.

Contact Stuart Groskreutz at [email protected]