Maple Grove girls’ swim and dive take True Team Sections

Buck, Tenenbaum set section records

When your team is only as strong as its weakest link, the Maple Grove girls’ swim and dive team is forged steel.

The Crimson won the 8AA True Team Sections Oct. 13 in Elk River, outpacing six other competitors for the title as the fastest team in a region stretching from the northwest suburbs of Minneapolis to Brainerd and beyond. Maple Grove won the section with a total of 1,190 points, ahead of the 962 points taken by second place St. Michael-Albertville.

Maple Grove swimmers and divers celebrate their Section 8AA True Team championship.
Maple Grove swimmers and divers celebrate their Section 8AA True Team championship.

“We had our best meet of the year today,” said Crimson coach Andrew Bloomquist, standing outside the bus in the 50 degree weather as the 27-member team assembled for post-meet pictures. “This is a building block we needed to have. Hopefully it will carry us over as we work our way to the conference championship on Thursday and True Team State next weekend.”

Swimming is generally considered an individual sport, with a small number of breathtakingly fast girls taking the top spots at any given meet. The True Team experience is a measure of the school’s overall program, with each swimmer contributing to the team’s final score. While the fastest swimmers still earn the most points, no team can win without overall breadth and depth.

In the first event of the night, the 200 yard medley relay, Rosie Garvey, captain Emily Schwen, Molly Hebzynski and Kristina Rudin took sixth with a time of 2:00.77, followed directly by a team of Erin Buck, Lauren Brosseau, Kayla Christianson and Sarah Dill. Vivian Nguyen, captain Kelly Gu, Alaina Dabson and Rose Gallagher rounded out the top 10 with a time of 2:05.77.

Brooke Soller, a senior, won sixth place in the 200 yard freestyle with a time of 2:06.00, with Elizabeth Cortez and captain Orly Tenenbaum, both seniors, taking the 10th and 11th spots. Emily Sjolander, a sophomore, placed third in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:26.10, followed by Anne Rouleau, an eighth grader, in fifth place and senior K. Gu in eighth.

K. Rudin, a junior, was fourth in the 50 freestyle with a time of 25.91, followed by senior Kirsten Adank and junior Edyn Isaacs in sixth and seventh.

Senior captain Lexi Tenenbaum smashed the True Team Section diving record with a score of 483.15, while Hannah Kreye, the only seventh grader on the diving team, took 12th.

Tension was building among the Maple Grove parents after the first five events, with Maple Grove trailing both Brainerd and St. Cloud Tech. The swimmers, not realizing their position as the reigning section champions was in peril, nonetheless kicked their stroke into high gear.

In the 100 butterfly, K. Adank won third place with a time of 1:02.64, followed by junior V. Nguyen in fourth and senior E. Schwen in eighth. Sophomore E. Buck took the True Team Section record in the 100 freestyle with a time of 53.23, while junior M. Hebzynski won fourth. B. Soller won second in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:28.91, with A. Rouleau in fourth, O. Tenenbaum in sixth and Alyssa Haram, an eighth grader, in ninth.

Maple Grove took third place in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:48.33 swum by A. Rouleau, C. Rudin, K. Adank and Piper Tenenbaum, an eighth grader. Eighth place was won by M. Hebzynski, O. Tenenbaum, sophomore Ashlyn Boehmer and E. Isaacs, while the 10th spot was taken by K. Gu, E. Schwen, B. Soller and K. Christianson.

E. Buck won the 100 yard backstroke with a time of 58.70, just missing by .02 the record set by Maple Grove’s Tess Behrens in 2007, with V. Nguyen and E. Isaacs taking sixth and seventh. K. Gu placed third in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:13.62, with E. Sjolander in sixth.

Maple Grove won the last event of the evening, the 400 freestyle relay. The team of B. Soller, K. Rudin, M. Hebzynski and E. Buck turned in a time of 3:44.44, while E. Cortez, E. Sjolander, R. Gallagher and R. Garvey took sixth.