The seniors who competed this school year on Stillwater's synchronized swimming team have never known what it's like to finish second at state.

All they've done is win, and now they are winners again.

Stillwater, synchronized swimming state champion for the fourth year in a row, is the Metro Team of the Year for 2024. The Ponies also won the award in 2023.

Stillwater swimmers qualified for the state meet with 23 routines — that's every routine on the team — and won 12 of the 15 events at state. Every Stillwater swimmer finished in the top eight in the state.

"We knew coming into the season that we would be strong again, but we never want to take it for granted," coach Kathy Henderson said. "The competition is always tough, and after winning for the previous three years there are other teams that are vying to bring us down. We obviously didn't let that happen. Through a ton of hard work, long hours, great choreography, and a team with a ton of depth and dedication — we were able to stay on top."

The season's conclusion came with pomp. The state meet was held at the University of Minnesota, and on its final day of competition, Stillwater's team got an escort by the Stillwater police and fire departments.

The Ponies' current success builds on a strong base. Stillwater has never finished lower than second place in the 49 years Minnesota has declared a state champion in synchronized swimming.

"We actually increased our point spread this year, too," Henderson said. "Synchronized swimming is such a unique sport that combines strength and athleticism with artistry and creativity. We are lucky to have talented swimmers and coaches that are passionate about the sport and about success. We are losing a wonderful group of seniors this year, but we will continue to be strong, and will try to pull off another win in 2025."