After coming up short in a bid to win it’s sixth consecutive Northwest Suburban Conference regular-season title, the Elks got back to their winning ways on Tuesday night in Monticello.

Elk River (6-3, 5-1) defeated Monticello 95-91 to end the 2019-20 regular season.

The Elks were tied with Monticello twice during the meet and were down by 10 points after the 200 freestyle relay.

Backstrokers Preston Schmeidel, Blake Rademacher and Lucas Lodermeier placed first, second and fourth respectively, earning 10 points and bringing the Elks to within two points before the 400-yard freestyle relay. 

 Elk River needed to place first and third to win the meet. The relay of Isaac Kapsner, Arteom Katkov, Jack West and Schmeidel out touched the Magic by .11 seconds to place first, and the relay of Gavin Anderson, Griffin Schmidt, Nathan Holm and Hunter Wolcenski took third by half a second.

Hlavachek broke a pool record in diving that had stood for decades. His score of 307.20 beat a score of 300.20 set in 1989. 

"Monticello is one of the top 10 schools in Class A, and we always match up well with them in our last dual meet of the season,” head coach Denise Green said. “It was a fun, exciting meet." 

New conference champion for first time since 2013-14

For the first time since the 2013-14 season, a program other than Elk River is the Northwest Suburban Conference regular-season champion for boys swimming.

Maple Grove emerged victorious on Jan. 30, winning 101.5-84.5, ending Elk River’s bid of a six-peat. Elk River had won the Northwest Suburban Conference title in each season since 2014-15.

Head coach Denise Green said Elk River swam out of their minds on Thursday in their last meet before sections.

“We had almost 100 percent best times across the pool, and that’s what our goal was,” Green said. “We knew Maple Grove was strong. We knew they were tough. They didn’t lose any seniors last year. We gave them a run. We weren’t going to roll over. We competed with them all the way to the end.”

Jack West finished first in the 500-yard freestyle, finishing in 5:08.15. The relay team of West, Ryan Benson, Sam Binsfeld and Isaac Kapsner finished first in the final event of the evening: the 400-yard freestyle relay. The quartet finished in 3:32.36.

Hlavachek finished first in the 100-meter dive, earning a score of 317.10.

What’s next

The Elks will be hosting the Section 8AA swimming and diving championships on Feb. 21 and 22 at VandenBerge Middle School as the Elks look to send swimmers to the state championships, which will be held Feb. 27-29 at Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center in Minneapolis.

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