There were as many records set as events held in Stillwater’s Suburban East Conference boys swimming and diving showdown against East Ridge on Thursday, Feb. 11 at Oltman Middle School.
The Ponies came out on top the records and victories column while posting a 99-81 victory over the previously undefeated Raptors.
“I thought it went really good,” Stillwater coach Brian Luke said. “Between the eight school records, two conference records and two school records, both teams were swimming pretty well, which is nice to see.”
Stillwater improved to 5-0 on the season and takes over sole possession of first place in the conference. It was also the 60th consecutive dual meet victory for the Ponies, who have won each of the last six SEC championships.
East Ridge was the last team to defeat the Ponies in a dual meet and that occurred during the 2013-14 season when the Raptors eventually finished as the runner-up at the MSHSL state meet. But Stillwater was too strong at the top and throughout the lineup in this encounter while placing first in 9 of 12 events.
“It was a great meet,” Luke said. “It was fun to watch and the kids rose to the occasion. As a coach, it’s always fun to say to a team that, OK, we need to step it up and they actually step it up. They were undefeated going in and they were certainly right at our heels.”
The message was sent early and emphatically as Stillwater’s Alex Kaphingst, Aidan Bloomquist, Jack Baude and Will Whittington set pool, conference and school records while winning the 200 medley relay in a time of 1:35.14 — more than seven seconds ahead of the Raptors (1:42.33). Stillwater’s second relay was only about two seconds behind the Raptors, finishing in 1:44.44 with Jackson Kogler, Richard Hartmann, Brodie Watson and Wyatt Franklin.
“It was good to get going out of the blocks like that in the medley,” Luke said. “That set them off, and the second and third ones, including the JV heat, were very fast.”
The Ponies swept the top three spots in the 200 freestyle with Sam Ciegler (1:49.56), Ethan Frits (1:5.37) and Keegan Kogl (1:59.16) to build a 23-7 lead. Then in the 200 individual medley, Bloomquist set a pool record in the event with a time of 1:56.86 and Watson was second in 2:05.31 as Stillwater stretched its lead to 35-11 after just three events.
It was the first of two pool records for Bloomquist, a senior who also won the 100 breastroke in a time of 58.08, followed in second and third by teammates Jaden Petersen (1:06.33) and Hartmann (1:08.18).
“His breastroke was probably the most shocking thing. That was like a three-second drop for him,” Luke said. “We’ve been working on it and he’s been feeling good, but still, three seconds... We’ve been waffling on what his second event was going to be, but he kind of hammered it down with that.“
The time also moves him up to the third spot on the team’s all-time list in the event.
Whittington and Ciegler joined Bloomquist in winning two individual events each for the Ponies.
Whittington set pool records in both the 50 (20.85) and 100 (45.60) freestyle races. His time in the 100 freestyle also broke conference and school records.
Ciegler swept the distance events for Stillwater, turning in a winning time of 4:59.15 to go along with his victory in the 200 free.
The other two pool records were achieved by East Ridge’s Sven Becker, who won the 100 butterfly (52.19) and 100 backstroke (52.19). The Raptors also picked up a first-place finish in diving with Connor Bro (184.40) finishing ahead of Stillwater’s Tate Sorensen (163.05) for the top spot.
“There’s a lot of records going down, which has been true all year,” Luke said. “It’s too bad there are no spectators there to see it (due to COVID-19 restrictions).”
Stillwater’s other pool record came in the 200 freestyle relay with Bloomquist, Baude, Ciegler and Whittington posting a time of 1:27.37 to win that event by more than seven seconds over the Raptors (1:34.64).
The Ponies closed out the meet with another victory in the 400 freestyle relay with Ciegler, Watson, Kaphingst and Franklin finishing in 3:23.59.
“We do have three pretty good relays in all the events,” Luke said. “I wanted to make sure our second and third people were going to have to step up in there and they did.”
• The 60 consecutive dual meet victories for the Stillwater boys is impressive, but the Stillwater girls are closing in on two decades since their last dual meet setback. The Stillwater girls have won 177 in a row dating back to 2003.
“We’ve been on a good run here, for both the girls and the boys,” Luke said. “Unless we get more boys out this could be the end of that run with 10 seniors graduating — that’s a third of the team. We have to get more kids out somehow. The other kids will get better, but you can look at the records, it will take some big shoes to fill those.”
Stillwater 99, East Ridge 81
200 medley relay — *#$1. Stillwater (Alex Kaphingst, Aidan Bloomquist, Jack Baude and Will Whittington) 1:35.14; 3. Stillwater (Jackson Kogler, Richard Hartmann, Brodie Watson and Wyatt Franklin) 1:44.44.
200 freestyle — 1. Sam Ciegler (St) 1:49.56; 2. Ethan Frits (St) 1:56.37; 3. Keegan Kogl (St) 1:59.16.
200 individual medley — #1. Aidan Bloomquist (St) 1:56.86; 2. Brodie Watson (St) 2:05.31; 4. Jackson Kogler (St) 2:08.69.
50 freestyle — #1. Will Whittington (St) 20.85; 3. Jack Baude (St) 23.09; 4. Wyatt Franklin (St) 23.81.
Diving — 1. Connor Bro (ER) 184.40; 2. Tate Sorensen (St) 163.05; 4. Maccon Kubitschek (St) 106.80.
100 butterfly — #1. Sven Becker (ER) 52.19; 2. Jack Baude (St) 53.35; 3. Brodie Watson (St) 55.09; 6. Jaden Petersen (St) 1:00.13.
100 freestyle — *#$1. Will Whittington (St) 45.60; 2. Alex Kaphingst (St) 50.56; 5. Wyatt Franklin (St) 53.29.
500 freestyle — 1. Sam Ciegler (St) 4:59.15; 3. Ethan Frits (St) 5:05.08; 5. Keegan Kogl (St) 5:26.38.
200 freestyle relay — #1. Stillwater (Aidan Bloomquist, Jack Baude, Sam Ciegler and Will Whittington) 1:27.37; 3. Stillwater (Jaden Petersen, Keegan Kogl, Harrison Gimpel and Javier Rodriguez) 1:38.29.
100 backstroke — #1. Sven Becker (ER) 52.19; 2. Alex Kaphingst (St) 54.42; 3. Jackson Kogler (St) 58.02; 4. Nathan Volkman (St) 59.17.
100 breastroke — #1. Aidan Bloomquist (St) 58.08; 2. Jaden Petersen (St) 1:06.33; 3. Richard Hartmann (St) 1:08.18.
400 freestyle relay — 1. Stillwater (Sam Ciegler, Brodie Watson, Alex Kaphingst and Wyatt Franklin) 3:23.59; 3. Stillwater (Ethan Frits, Keegan Kogl, Javier Rodriguez and Dylan DeAgazio) 3:36.15.
* SEC record
# Pool record
$ Stillwater school record