The Stillwater boys swimming and diving team celebrated many records and achievements during its postseason awards banquet on the Lowell Inn Banquet Center on Sunday, March 21, with seniors Aidan Bloomquist and Will Whittington sharing Most Valuable Athlete honors for the Ponies.
In a condensed season that started late due to restrictions related to COVID-19, the Ponies posted a 9-0 dual meet record to capture the program’s seventh straight Suburban East Conference championship. Stillwater also claimed its 10th straight Section 4AA title before placing sixth in the MSHSL state meet.
The Ponies, who extended their conference dual meet winning streak to 64, scored points in 9 of 12 events at the state meet.
Stillwater coach Brian Luke enjoyed the event, but also lamented the departure of 10 seniors from a team with 31 athletes.
“It was great,” Ponies coach Brian Luke said. “We said goodbye to some really good seniors. It’s a two-edged sword because it’s good to graduate really good seniors, but they do leave gaping holes when they walk out the door.”
Stillwater set and re-set countless records along the way, led by Whittington. The University of Missouri recruit won individual state titles in the 50 and 100 freestyle events as a senior and holds school records in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle. He ranks second on Stillwater’s all-time list in the 100 butterfly, 100 backstroke and 500 freestyle.
Whittington and Bloomquist also contributed to school records in all three relays, along with Alex Kaphingst and Jack Baude in the 200 medley, Baude and Brodie Watson in the 200 freestyle relay and Jon Busse and Robert Niemann in the 400 freestyle relay.
Bloomquist holds Stillwater’s school record in the 100 breastroke and ranks among the program’s all-time top-10 in seven of eight individual swimming events, including third in the 200 individual medley and 500 freestyle, and fourth in the 50 freestyle.
Whittington and Bloomquist were joined by Baude, Sam Ciegler, Dylan DeAgazio, Ethan Frits, Kaphingst, Jackson Kogler, Nick Nelson, Jaden Petersen, Tate Sorensen, Wyatt Franklin, Nathan Volkman and Watson in earning all-conference honors.
Whittington’s name is all over the conference record books, including with Bloomquist on all three SEC relay records. Whittington also holds conference records in six of nine individual events, including the 50, 100, 200 and 500 freestyle events, the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke.
Long-time Stillwater assistant Carrie Madline was voted the SEC Diving Coach of the Year and Whittington was voted the SEC Swimmer of the Year.
Stillwater sent nine athletes to the state meet, including Bloomquist, Whittington, Kaphingst, Baude, Ciegler, Sorensen, Watson, DeAgazio and Petersen. Kaphingst, Bloomquist, Baude, Whittington and Watson each earned all-state honors and Automatic All-American honors.
Also announced at the banquet is that Sam Ciegler, Dylan DeAgazio, Alex Kaphingst and Richard Hartmann will serve as captains for next year’s team.
The section championship was Stillwater’s 13th in the past 14 seasons. The Ponies have not lost a dual meet since midway through the 2013-14 season.
Boys swimming and diving
All-Conference: Tate Sorensen, Nick Nelson, Brodie Watson, Jaden Petersen, Aidan Bloomquist, Sam Ciegler, Dylan DeAgazio, Alex Kaphingst, Ethan Frits, Jack Baude, Will Whittington, Nathan Volkman, Wyatt Franklin and Jackson Kogler; SEC Swimmer of the Year: Will Whittington; SEC Diving Coach of the Year: Carrie Madline; State qualifiers: Alex Kaphingst, Aidan Bloomquist, Jack Baude, Will Whittington, Sam Ciegler, Tate Sorensen, Brodie Watson, Dylan DeAgazio and Jaden Petersen; Individual state champion: Will Whittington; All-State: Alex Kaphingst, Aidan Bloomquist, Jack Baude, Will Whittington and Brodie Watson; Automatic All-American: Alex Kaphingst, Aidan Bloomquist, Jack Baude, Will Whittington and Brodie Watson; Most Valuable Athlete: Aidan Bloomquist and Will Whittington; Captains elect: Sam Ciegler, Dylan DeAgazio, Alex Kaphingst and Richard Hartmann.