by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Elk River diver Andrew Bronshteyn placed fifth at the state meet on Saturday evening, just a couple points out of third place, and highest of all sophomores.
Meanwhile, Elk senior Aaron Schwab finished eighth in the individual medley and 11th in backstroke in Class AA at the University of Minnesota.
The 5-foot-5, 120-pound Bronshtheyn totaled 358.30 points after the final three of his 11 dives at state. After competing Thursday with a bad cold and holding seventh place through eight dives, he moved up two places Saturday. He was just 2.1 points out of third place in a very close competition.
“Andy was feeling much better Saturday,” said coach Denise Eidem. “If he had been healthy Thursday it would have been a different outcome.”
Bronshteyn had a strong score, all 5 1/2, for his finals dives, a forward two-somersault dive, a back somersault and two-and-a-half twist, and an inward double.
“I was pretty confident I would hold my places because I had some hard dives coming up,” said Bronshteyn, meaning extra points for degree of difficulty, “but I wasn’t expecting to move up.”
Bronshteyn said he made those clutch dives “about the same way I usually make them.”
Daniel Monaghan, Rosemount junior, won with 413.10 points. Wayzata junior Eric Mitchell got silver with 373.80, followed by two Eagan divers, senior Keith Krawza with 360.40 and junior Toby Keller with 358.60.
Bronsteyn, who placed 20th at state last year, capped a strong sophomore season that included all first-places in duals, invitationals and sectionals. Not knowing much about the state field beforehand, he said “getting on the podium,” was his basic goal.
Bronstheyn is the fourth Elk boy to medal at state in diving, following Dwight Baker (state champion), Tom Sederberg and Brian Bucher.
Schwab, a five-time state state qualifier, picked up his first state medal, albeit with a slower race than his prelim on Friday. Schwab had 1:58.54 in the finals after securing a finals berth with 1:56.83 Friday.
Schwab finished 11th in the backstroke with a 53.15 time. He had placed 10th in prelims with 53.12. His prelim times in both events will go down as team records.
“Aaron hoped to be a lot faster in the bakstroke Saturday,” said Eidem, “but he was happy with how he did. He gets to go the all-state banquet, which has been his goal since eighth grade.”
The all-state banquet for boys and girls, Class A and AA, will be held in April.