The magic number for winning a high school swimming and diving meet is 94 points. Once a team becomes the mathematical winner, it swims the remaining events for no points to avoid a lopsided result.
To better judge his team's improvement through meet scores, Centennial girls' swimming and diving coach Chip Fechter asks opponents to forgo such exhibition swims.
He said the results got "pretty ugly" when he took over the Cougars' program five years ago. But the payoff came last week as steadily improving Centennial handed Maple Grove its first loss in nine years of Northwest Suburban Conference dual meets.
Centennial won the meet 101-85 on the strength of its depth. The Cougars took first place in five of the meet's 12 events, but they grabbed three of the five scoring spots in seven events.
Sophomore Anna Udean won the 200-yard individual medley and 500 freestyle. Senior Kaila Chapman won the 100 freestyle and freshman Tara Chapman won the 100 breaststroke. The 200 freestyle relay team of Tara and Kaila Chapman, Udean and sophomore Mira Schroeden also swam to victory.
Fechter said the 200 freestyle, in which the Cougars took spots two through four, was the team's "most critical event."
The victory, Fechter said, gave his program a boost while offering a harbinger of what's to come.
"With the youth we have we're set up to be pretty good for several years," he said.True Team state results
Mounds View placed sixth in the Class 2A True Team state swimming and diving meet with 1,500 points. Maple Grove, which featured Lexi Tenenbaum's victory in 1-meter diving, placed seventh with 1,140.5 points. Blaine rounded out the field in 12th place with 561 points.Football playoff pairings
The first round of the Class 6A, Section 5 football playoffs includes two rematches of Northwest Suburban Conference foes.
All games kick off at 7 p.m. Friday. The victorious teams will play the four winners from Section 6.
No. 1 seed Maple Grove plays host to No. 8 Coon Rapids. The higher-ranked Crimson rolled to a 49-19 victory earlier this season.
No. 3 Champlin Park welcomes No. 6 Centennial, a team the Rebels edged 28-25.
No. 7 Anoka travels to No. 2 Osseo. Those teams did not play because they reside in different divisions within the conference.