Swimming: Elks 4th in true-team at home where everybody counts

Kaley Benson dived into the pool to start the backstroke race. She finished 12th.. (Photo by Bruce Strand)


by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

In the one meet of the season where every swimmer’s score counts, Elk River placed fourth among seven teams in Section 8AA true team on Saturday in their home pool at VandenBerge.

Maple Grove, perennial champion, won again, followed by STMA, Buffalo, the Elks, Brainerd, Watertown-Mayer and St. Cloud Tech. The Crimson advance to the state true-team meet.

The meet has two main values for the Elks and presumably for the other teams.

Allison Schwab won the breaststroke, one of three firsts for the Elks. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

“It’s a good meet because girls who don’t usually contribute (scores) are able to,” said Elk senior co-captain Courtney Grunewald, adding that makes it more fun for the whole team.

“It’s nice to be able to see our section opponents before the (regular) section meet,” said coach Colleen Killpatrick. “This is the first time we see them.”

The Elks will also host the regular section, the one where individuals try to qualify for state, on Nov. 9 and 10.

The Elks won three events. Grunewald took the butterfly, Allison Schwab won the breaststroke, and they teamed with Taylor Odegard and Samantha Hendricks two win the medley relay.

But this is largely the day for swimmers like Marin Hayes (14th in the 200 free), Maggie Teschendorf (13th in the IM), Hannah Johnson (12th in the 100 free) and all the others whose placements all count in the team score. Each team enters  up to four per event and points are awarded from 1 to 28. In dual meets only six count.

About those second- and third-tier girls, Grunewald noted, “A bunch of young girls stepped up a lot from last year to  this year. They’ve come from the bottom of the pack to the top.”

An Elk relay team conferred while waiting for their heat to start. Left to right, Claire Lerud, Marit Adams, Lia Maegi and MacKenzie Mitzuk (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Added Schwab: “All the Rogers girls are doing way better. Our relays (lineups) have changed a lot.”

Killpatrick said it’s not easy to fill all those slots, especially with the Rogers girls competing in a separate sectional.

“When you get to the third and fourth relays, it’s tough,” she noted. “I’m pleasantly surprised we finished fourth.”

The team’s 14 Rogers athletes competed in Section 2A at Spring Lake Park, of which eight would have swum in the Elks’ sectional.

The Elks (4-2 in duals) will close the regular season hosting Blaine on Tuesday. The season that started with conference relays Aug. 23 lasts until “state” on Nov. 15-16-17 with several Elks always qualifying.

“Our season is definitely longer than all the other sports,” noted Schwab, not complaining.


Golden again were the Maple Grove swimmers, celebrating a 400 freestyle relay win here that capped off their team title. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Team scoring

(1) Maple Grove 1190
(2) St. Michael-Albertville 962
(3) Buffalo  917
(4) Elk River 816
(5) Brainerd 754
(6) Watertown-Mayer 736
(7) St. Cloud Tech 693

Winners, and how Elks fared

200 medley relay — (1) Elks A: Taylor Odegard, Allison Schwab, Courtney Grunewald, Samantha Hendricks, 1:53.08 … (15) Elks B: Emma Johnson, Chloe Bechtel, Claire Lerud, Leah Dehn, 2:11.45 (16) Elks C: Zoe Durand, Brittany DeValk, Marit Adams, McKenna Holien 2:11.61 (4) Elks D: Kaylee Benson,  Hailey Odegard, Shannon White, Lauren Rishovd, 2:12.12
200 freestyle — (1) Fallon Ryan, Brd, 2:02.55 …. Elks: (8) Hendricks 2:08.10 (14) Marin Hayes 2:11.09 (24) Danica Mitchell 2:20.06 (25) Lerud 2:21.01

Lea Maegi backstroked to 18th place. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

200 individual medley — (1) Kasey Roberts, STMA, 2:09.46 ….  Elks: (2) Courtney Grunewald 2:14.22 (13) Maggie Teschendorf 2:30.88 (14) Lia Maegi 2:32.87
50 freestyle — (1) Emil Devore, Buffalo, 25.55 … Elks: (3) Odegard 25.81 (11) Hannah Johnson 27.29 (17) Holien  27.86 (20) E. Johnson 28.39
Diving — (1) Lexi Tenebaum, MG, 483.15 … Elks: (21) DeValk 112.15 (22) Sheridan Christenson 100.80
100 butterfly — (1) Grunewald 1:00.48 …. Other Elks: (17) DeValk 1:12.60 (18) White 1:12.68
100 freestyle — (1) Erin Buck, MG, 53.23 …. Elks: (5) Odegard  57.56 (8) Hendricks 58.17 (11) Schwab 58.85 (12) H. Johnson 59.64
500 freestyle — (1)  Ryan 5:28.14 … Elks: (17) Mitchell 6:18.97 (19) Lerud 6:20.07 (26) MacKenzie Mitzuk 6:28.78
200 freestyle relay — (1) Buffalo 1:44.61 … Elks: (9) Elk A: H. Johnson, Benson. Teschendorf, Holien 1:51.23 (18) Elks B: Durand, White, Rishovd, Dehn (19) Elks C: Adams, Odegard, Maegi, Mitchel, 1:59.56 (22) Elks D: Bechtel, Mary Elmquist, Zabee, Mitzuk, 2:04.04
100 backstroke — (1) Buck 58.70 …. Elks: (8) E. Johnson 1:08.85 (12) Benson 1:10.66 (18) Maegi 1:13.98
100 breaststroke — (1) Schwab 1:10.43 …. Other Elks: (8) DeValk 1:17.40 (23) Odegard 1:25.91 (26) White 1:29.38
400 freestyle relay — (1) Maple Grove 3:44.44 … Elks: (2) Elks A: Odegard, Hendricks, Schwab, Grunewald, 3:45.40 (10) Elks B: H. Johnson, E. Johnson,  Holien, DeValk, 4:09.34 (20) Elks C: Odegard, Rishovd, Mitchell, Zabee,  4:32.45 (21) Elk D: Maegi, Adams, Mitzuk, Lerud  4:32.74