Girls swimming and diving: Stillwater knocks of Raptors in SEC showdown

Asia Neuman swims the opening leg for Stillwater’s first-place 200 medley relay team in an eventual 95-83 Suburban East Conference girls’ swimming and diving victory over East Ridge on Thursday, Sept. 28 at Stillwater Middle School. (Gazette staff photo by Stuart Groskreutz)

Facing its stiffest test in the Suburban East Conference, the Stillwater girls’ swimming and diving team delivered a dominating performance with first-place finishes in all 12 events on the way to a 95-83 victory on Thursday, Sept. 28 at Stillwater Middle School.

This marked the 124th consecutive conference dual meet victory for the Ponies (5-0 SEC, 5-0), who are still leading the charge to what would be their 15th straight league title. It was also the 145th dual meet win in a row overall for Stillwater.

The Raptors and Ponies were the only unbeaten conference teams going into the meet.

Schuyler DuPont swims to a victory in the 200 freestyle race as part of Stillwater’s conference dual meet victory over East Ridge on Thursday, Sept. 28 at Stillwater Middle School. (Gazette staff photo by Stuart Groskreutz)

“They beat the other above average teams Cretin and Mounds View, who are in the top half of the conference,” Ponies coach Brian Luke said. “I thought it came out pretty well. The team stepped up, which is always good to see. As a coach, you tell them they have to get stuff done and they do stuff, so that’s a good sign.”

Stillwater took control early.

Asia Neuman, Malaina Fragnito, Ciana Fragnito and Dorothy Chislett started things off for the Ponies with a win in the 200 medley relay (1:54.79). Stillwater’s Schuyler DuPont (2:12.89) and Keaton Koenig (2:01.14) finished 1-2 in the 200 freestyle and teammates Ciana Fragnito (2:12.89) and Malaina Fragnito (2:19.14) placed first and second in the 200 individual medley to lift the Ponies to an early 32-14 lead.

Lily Mayek, who had a strong night with two victories, followed with a first-place showing in the 50 freestyle with a time of 25.57. Stillwater then swept the top three places in diving with Peyton Classon (229.05), Taylor Gregg (176.80) and Emily Kranz (173.00) and cruised from there.

“Lily Mayek did a really nice job there with her determination to win those events,” Luke said. “We took them pretty good in the medley and by the time the 50 was over we could tell we were going to win. I thought they were one of those teams where if you let them get a foot in the door you’re scrambling the whole way, but the girls didn’t let them get a foot in the door.”

Classon’s winning diving total moved her into Stillwater’s top 10 all-time, which is not small feat considering it’s just her second year in the sport.

“She’s been hovering around that this season, but she made it in,” Luke said.

Stillwater poured it on with a sweep of the top three spots in the 100 butterfly behind Ciana Fragnito (1:00.42), Neuman (1:02.49) and Rubie Ballantyne (1:06.73). Mayek (55.72) and Eva Johns (56.19) finished first and second in the 100 freestyle.

DuPont added her second victory of the night in the 500 freestyle (5:19.73) and the Ponies also received first-place finishes from Neuman (1:01.93) in the 100 backstroke and Malaina Fragnito (1:09.98) in the 100 breastroke.

Stillwater’s Ciana Fragnito contributes to the team’s first-place finish in the 200 medley relay.

The Ponies also won the 200 (1:43.43) and 400 (3:46.37) freestyle relays.

“There were a lot of good, tight races,” Luke said. “In general, I thought it went quite well.”

Stillwater had to overcome some adversity before the meet even began with returning state qualifier Sydney Rogness sidelined with an injury and Avery Wright out due to illness.

“Goign in I felt pretty confident, but then Rogness’ knee was acting up and Avery Wright was sick,” said Luke, who added Rogness was back in the pool a few days later. “That was a couple pretty key varsity kids and that made it a little more interesting. I have empathy for all those football coaches who lose kids all the time, but it worked out. Even missing those people, we still had a little more than they did.”

Stillwater’s remaining conference dual meets are against Park, Roseville and White Bear Lake.

• Stillwater also defeated the Raptors 88-80 in the JV competition on Thursday.

Stillwater 95, East Ridge 83

200 medley relay — 1. Stillwater (Asia Neuman, Malaina Fragnito, Ciana Fragnito and Dorothy Chislett) 1:54.79; 3. Stillwater (Eva Johns, Sandy Liu, Sydney Dettmann and Hannah Dettmann) 1:59.39.

200 freestyle — 1. Schuyler DuPont (St) 1:58.38; 2. Keaton Koenig (St) 2:01.14; 4. Annika Johns (St) 2:01.34.

200 individual medley — 1. Ciana Fragnito (St) 2:12.89; 2. Malaina Fragnito (St) 2:19.14; 6. Summer Jack (St) 2:24.46.

50 freestyle — 1. Lily Mayek (St) 25.57; 4. Dorothy Chislett (St) 26.23; 6. Hannah Dettmann (St) 27.00.

Diving — 1. Peyton Classon (St) 229.05; 2. Taylor Gregg (St) 176.80; 3. Emily Kranz (St) 173.00.

100 butterfly — 1. Ciana Fragnito (St) 1:00.42; 2. Asia Neuman (St) 1:02.49; 3. Rubie Ballantyne (St) 1:06.73.

100 freestyle — 1. Lily Mayek (St) 55.72; 2. Eva Johns (St) 56.19; 6. Hannah Dettmann (St) 59.61.

500 freestyle — 1. Schuyler DuPont (St) 5:19.73; 3. Keaton Koenig (St) 5:33.94; 6. Summer Jack (St) 5:48.96.

200 freestyle relay — 1. Stillwater (Keaton Koenig, Schuyler DuPont, Dorothy Chislett and Lily Mayek) 1:43.43; 3. Stillwater (Hannah Dettmann, Malaina Fragnito, Luci Muller and Sydney Dettmann) 1:50.92.

100 backstroke — 1. Asia Neuman (St) 1:01.93; 2. Annika Johns (St) 1:01.96; 3. Eva Johns (St) 1:01.97.

100 breastroke — 1. Malaina Fragnito (St) 1:09.98; 3. Sandy Liu (St) 1:11.77; 6. Dorothy Chislett (St) 1:15.17.

400 freestyle relay — 1. Stillwater (Ciana Fragnito, Lily Mayek, Asia Neuman and Schuyler DuPont) 3:46.37; 3. Stillwater (Annika Johns, Annika Fredeen, Eva Johns and Keaton Koenig) 3:52.86.

Contact Stuart Groskreutz at [email protected]