Quincy Gross

Columbia Heights softball

Before the season started, Quincy Gross let herself dream a little. If everything went well, this group of Hylanders could do big things.

Two months later, that dream is much closer to reality.

Gross has pitched the Hylanders to the doorstep of the first state tournament berth in team history. She has won four of five games in the Class 1A, Section 4 playoffs, striking out 38 in 33 innings and pitching in a five-inning no-hitter for good measure. At the plate, she went 7-for-13 with five walks and scored seven runs.

The result? Columbia Heights will be playing New Life Academy on Tuesday at Hamline University for the section championship.

“We’re definitely a lot better this year,” Gross said. “Pitching-wise, I’m a lot faster and more accurate. And our hitting is much better. We definitely thought we would have the opportunity to get this far, but we never knew for sure.”

With a only two seniors on the roster and a date with a four-time state champ looming, Gross knows her team is swimming upstream, but simply getting this far has been satisfying.

“Winning would be nice, but as long as we try our hardest, I’ll be happy with whatever happens,” Gross said.

Meagan Blair

St. Paul Highland Park track and field

The sophomore led the Scots to their fifth consecutive St. Paul Conference title with three first-place finishes. She won the 100 meters in 12.9 seconds and set conference records in the long jump (18 feet, 4 inches) and triple jump (36-11).

Colleen Donlin

Wayzata synchronized swimming

The sophomore, who led the Trojans to victory in Class 2A swimming and diving state meet in November, dominated the Figures competition and won the Long Solo event as Wayzata won its eighth consecutive synchronized swimming state championship.

Olivia Fixsen

Mounds View track and field

In two meets in a span of less than a week, the senior had five first-place finishes. She led the Mustangs to the Suburban East Conference title last week by winning the 100-meter hurdles and the high jump and as a member of the 4x200 relay team.

Isaac Hormann

Norwood Young America • baseball

The Raiders won five of six games to finish second in the Minnesota River Conference. The junior shortstop/pitcher was 9-for-14 with four doubles, a home run and five RBI. He also shut out Jordan, striking out nine while giving up one hit.

Justin Hyytinen

Farmington track and field

Emerging as one of the state’s top distance runners, the junior set a school record in winning the 3,200-meter run at the Missota Conference meet with a time of 9:18.61. He also won the 1,600 in 4:32.

Josh Peterson

Legacy Christian baseball

The freshman pitcher lifted the Lions to an 8-0 victory over North Lakes Academy in the first round of the Section 5, Class 1A playoffs. He pitched a no-hitter, striking out 16, walking one and hitting a batter, lowering his ERA to 1.11.

JIM PAULSEN