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Girls swim and dive team prepares for True Team sections

Noah Ness, Read and Watch Field Reporter

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A girl's swim and dive team member jumps into the pool at SJHS. “It’s exciting and really cold,” Junior Emily Weiss says about the moment you hit the water during the beginning of a race.

When head coach Brian Luke and the rest of the Stillwater girls swim and dive team go into a duel conference meet, they are expected to win. This is not very surprising, given the success the team had over the past few years. With the team’s victory over East Ridge at East Ridge High School on Sept. 22, their conference winning streak was extended to 115 consecutive meets.

The Ponies (4-0 SEC, 4-0), started the meet off strong, with Stillwater swimmers winning the first five varsity events. They used that momentum to eventually win the meet, posting a score of 99 compared to East Ridge’s 85.

With such a long winning streak, one might think that the pressure would get to the Pony’s heads.

“I suppose it is a factor.  We try to keep it in perspective,” Luke said. Judging by the team’s success, the pressure hasn’t gotten to them yet.

One of the reasons the team was able to secure a victory over East Ridge was sophomore Asia Neuman. Neuman got first place in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle races with times of 25.96 and 57.35 seconds. She also helped her relay team finish first in the 200 yard medley relay race.

“It was fun, I don’t usually swim those events so it was fun to do something different,” Neuman said.

Madeline Gilbert, senior captain and diver, also took first place in the meet, winning the diving competition by 9.9 points with a score of 237.40.

“I did better than I thought I would. One of the girls for East Ridge is very good and I didn’t think I’d beat her so I was very excited about that,” Gilbert said.

The team’s success is also very impressive because of how young they are. Out of the 80 girls on the junior varsity and varsity teams, 39 are freshmen or younger. Fortunately for the team, strong leadership from older swimmers like Neuman and Gilbert have made the inexperience a non-issue.

I like being able to be there for younger kids, since there’s a lot of 7th, 8th, and 9th graders and I was in their position so I like to try to kind of be a role model for them.”

— Asia Neuman

“I like being able to be there for younger kids, since there’s a lot of 7th, 8th, and 9th graders and I was in their position so I like to try to kind of be a role model for them,” Neuman said.

The team is hoping all of this early season success can carry over to the True Team sections, which will be held on Oct. 3, and hopefully the True Team state meet, which will be on October 9th. The Ponies have won the meet six times in the last 13 years, with their last championship coming in 2011. The team was close last year, finishing fourth behind Minnetonka, Wayzata and Edina.

“True team is a fun meet,” Luke said. “The first goal is to win the section meet so we can advance to the state meet.  We will let the state meet take care of itself.”

Gilbert, who finished 10th in the girl’s one meter diving competition during last year’s True Team state meet, is excited for this year’s meet.

“I expect us to do very well,” Gilbert said. “First, we have to make it to True Team state and True Team sections but I have a feeling we’ll do very well. We did pretty good last year so I’m hoping we’ll do even better this year because we have a strong team.”

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3 Comments

3 Responses to “Girls swim and dive team prepares for True Team sections”

  1. Megan Karnuth on November 22nd, 2016 12:52 pm

    I like the structure of the article, it starts of specific and then leads into more generic comments about the season. I also like the use of quotes in the article, they make the story really come alive. Altogether it was a well-written article!

    [Reply]

  2. Ellie Speedling on November 22nd, 2016 5:07 pm

    I thought the lead was really good and helped to pull me into the article. The article was very informative and the quotes included helped me get a better insight into how the girls and their coach were feeling about the meet. Overall, a well-done article!

    [Reply]

  3. Lydia Stannard on November 22nd, 2016 10:25 pm

    I like the overall structure of the article, especially the specific information that helps put the team’s wins into perspective. The quotes are great, as they give insight to how the team feels versus how the coach feels. All together, this is really well written!

    [Reply]

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Girls swim and dive team prepares for True Team sections