Maple Grove falls to Centennial in conference swim and dive championship

Team takes seventh in True Team State

The Maple Grove girls’ swim and dive team fell to Centennial Oct. 18 in the Northwest Suburban Conference championship, ending an eight-year undefeated streak.

The Crimson kept their composure after the 101-85 loss, heeding coach Matt Schoen’s directive that “no matter what happens, no crying.”

Erin Buck of Maple Grove swims to a conference championship in the 100 backstroke. (Photos by Dave Dabson)
Erin Buck of Maple Grove swims to a conference championship in the 100 backstroke. (Photos by Dave Dabson)

Maple Grove outpace Centennial in first place finishes, winning seven of the 12 events including two of the three relays. Many of the Maple Grove girls delivered their fastest times of the season. Ultimately, the effort fell short.

“You can’t take winning for granted,” said senior Kirsten Adank, noting the team has several meets left. “It’s been an amazing season, and one loss doesn’t change that. It’s not just about swimming and it goes beyond the score. It’s about building character. I’m blessed to have spent my high school career with these girls.”

Maple Grove rebounded two days later, taking seventh place overall in True Team State. Minnetonka won the top spot at the meet in the University of Minnesota’s aquatic center, which pitted the state’s top 12 powerhouse teams against one another.


Crimson Vivian Nguyen captures the conference title in the 100 butterfly.
Crimson Vivian Nguyen captures the conference title in the 100 butterfly.


The team started the conference championship strong, with Erin Buck, Kelly Gu, Adank and Kristina Rudin taking first place in the 200 yard Medley Relay with a time of 1:51.93. Buck, a sophomore, also won the second event of the night, and the first individual event, with a time of 1:57.18 in the 200 yard Freestyle. Junior Molly Hebzynski followed with a time of 2:04.84, while senior Brooke Soller finished in 2:06.59.

Sophomore Emily Sjolander led the Maple Grove girls in the 200 yard Individual Medley with a time of 2:24.48, followed by captain Kelly Gu and Anne Rouleau, an eighth grader. Rudin, a junior, won the 50 yard Freestyle in a time of 25.67, with Adank and Edyn Isaacs, a junior, coming in fourth and fifth.

Divers, including captain Lexi Tenenbaum, junior Lauren Bjorn and Hannah Kreye, a seventh grader, tied up the meet after finishing first, second and fourth respectively.

Vivian Nguyen, a junior, took first place in the 100 yard Butterfly in a time of 1:00.76, with Adank finishing in 1:02.30 and captain Emily Schwen in 1:07.38. Rudin took second in the 100 Freestyle in a time of 56.48, while Hebzynski went a 57.42 and senior Elizabeth Cortez finished in 59.51.

Soller led the Maple Grove girls in the 500 yard Freestyle, an endurance event that runs 20 laps of the pool, with a time of 5:27.94. Rouleau finished in 5:34.55, with captain Orly Tenenbaum posting a 5:40.73.

Maple Grove took second place in the 200 yard Freestyle relay in 1:45.21 with a team of Adank, Rouleau, Soller and Hebzynski. Third place was Isaacs, Cortez, Gu and Sarah Dill in a time of 1:47.59, followed by Rose Gallagher, Ashlyn Boehmer, Schwen and Rosie Garvey.

Buck won the top spot in the 100 yard Backstroke in a time of 58.12, with Nguyen taking third in 1:06.36 and Isaacs finishing in 1:10.07. Gu led Maple Grove in the 100 yard Breaststroke in a time of 1:12.98, followed by Sjolander in 1:14.88 and Lauren Brosseau in 1:17.74.

Maple Grove also won the final event of the night, the 400 yard Freestyle relay, with a team of Soller, Hebzynski, Buck and Rudin in 3:41.91. Dill, Rouleau, Cortez and Gallagher took fourth in 3:57.02, followed by Piper Tenenbaum, O. Tenenbaum, Boehmer and Garvey in 4:09.45.



Lexi Tenenbaum was the top finisher for Maple Grove at True Team State, taking first place among 39 girls for the diving title. A team of Buck, Gu, Adank and Rudin finished 12th in the 200 yard Medley Relay in a time of 1:54.69. Buck was seventh in the 100 yard Freestyle with a time of 53.41, and fifth in the 100 yard Backstroke with a time of 58.98.

The Crimson now begin preparing for season ending championship meets with Junior Varsity competing in the JV Conference Meet being held at Maple Grove Junior High Saturday, Oct. 27, and Varsity competing in Section 8AA Championships with prelims being held Nov. 9 and finals on Nov. 10 in Elk River where State Swim Meet births will be at stake.