Eden Prairie High School’s (EPHS) boys swim and dive team delivered a commanding win over Buffalo-Maple Lake on Friday night in a thrilling first dual meet of the season.
The Eagles broke an astonishing seven out of the pool’s 12 existing event records during the event held on Dec. 16 at Buffalo Community Middle School. The varsity boys won their meet 102-78, and the junior varsity (JV) won 100-53.
Kelly Boston, EP’s longtime head swim and dive coach, said she was pleased with how the team performed, as well as with the enthusiasm and support the swimmers showed each other.
“We have many athletes who are new to the sport of swimming,” she said. “Their progress over the last three weeks is nothing short of amazing! It’s a testament to their dedication through attendance and hard work. We are excited to see their continued improvement.
“Our seasoned swimmers and divers also had great performances last night. Our lineup was not specifically designed to break pool records, but somehow we walked away with seven of the 12 broken!”
Boston said, “The pool records were not on my radar — that’s never my mission. And as I explained to the team, I always just try to do what’s in the best interest of our team every meet. And that interest changes depending on who you’re swimming against.”
She said, “As a coach, you want to balance the lineup as much as you can. Most of our varsity kids were in a strategic event for a reason.”
Boston said that trying to break the pool records was motivational for the team. “For the boys, that became a focus,” she said. “They kind of honed in on that. The pool records made for really fun, attainable goals, and I think it pushed them to swim better.”
Boston said this is her “lucky 13” season coaching the EPHS boys swim and dive and her 25th overall at EPHS, having also coached the girls for many years. She said she’s optimistic about her team’s prospects for both dual meet and championship season: “I think we’re built for both. I think we’ll also be really strong at the end of the season.”
Several standout performances at the meet
Out of a meet full of outstanding swims and dives, Boston highlighted a few notable performances.
- Sophomore Vincent Schulze, who is new to swimming, finished in 25.84 in the JV 50 free, a five-second improvement in just three weeks.
- Senior diver Alex Oestreich, who recently moved to Eden Prairie, had his debut meet for the Eagles. Boston said, “Alex is a great addition to our diving squad and team. He had a solid opening meet with a score of 248.”
- In the varsity 100 fly, senior Eric Howard won, and senior Brian Hu and junior Abhi Madireddy turned out solid in season-best times.
- Junior Brian Shi dropped 2.62 seconds in the 100 free.
- In the JV 100 back, freshman Zak Ouachani, senior Ben Ploof, and junior Lucas Johnson delivered strong in-season times in the 1:02 range.
- Senior Charlie Folks had a “great in season swim” in the 100 breaststroke.
Several EP swimmers became new pool record holders, in what Boston called “fantastic December swims.”
- 200 medley relay: Brian Hu, Eric Howard, Luke Logue, Drew Ploof
- 200 IM: Luke Logue
- 50 free: Luke Logue (lead off of 200 free relay)
- 100 free: Drew Ploof
- 200 free relay: Luke Logue, Brian Shi, Charlie Folks, Matthew Lillejord
- 100 breaststroke: Luke Logue
- 400 free relay: Matthew Lillejord, Drew Ploof, Eric Howard, Charlie Folks
Eagles vs. Wayzata home meet Jan. 6, PROP Food donations requested
The Eagles’ next dual meet will be at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 6, when they square up against rival Wayzata at Eden Prairie’s Aquatics Center.
Wayzata tied in its dual meet with Minnetonka this week, and Boston said she expects the meet to be competitive: “Both of those teams have some depth and they have some definite strengths, so I think it will be fun.”
Unlike many teams, EP boys swim and dive does not charge for tickets to their meets. Instead, this season they will be collecting food and supplies at home meets to benefit PROP Food Shelf. Attendees and visiting teams are encouraged to support that initiative by bringing voluntary donations to the meet, selected from PROP’s most-needed items list.
On Saturday, Jan. 7, select EP swimmers will attend the Maroon & Gold Invitational at the University of Minnesota’s Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center.
Alumni meet at EPCC on Dec. 22
The EP community is invited to attend the team’s fun alumni meet from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 22, at Eden Prairie’s Aquatics Center. The captains organize the teams, which will be a mix of EP boys swim and dive alumni and the current team.
Admission to the event is free, and the team will be collecting food and supplies for PROP.
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