ERIK GESSNER

Minnetonka • swimming

When he was 6 years old, Gessner was watching his older sister at swimming practice when he caught the attention of her coach.

“I broke something and instead of getting mad, he yelled at me ‘You, get in the water’,” Gessner recalled.

He’s rarely been out of the pool since.

Wednesday, the University of Wisconsin signee set meet records in the 100 butterfly (49.82 seconds) and 100 backstroke (50.75) and swam on the winning 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams, helping Minnetonka to its second consecutive Class 2A True Team championship.

For Gessner, winning the True Team meet is special because its a victory for the entire team.

“The difference between club and high school swimming is the team,” he said. “It’s fun and incredibly fulfilling to win with this group of guys. The best part was just seeing the guys excited to swim with the kind of mentality that we can do it again.”

Like most competitive swimmers, being in the water has become a way of life. After being startled into a career, he says the longest he’s gone recently without swimming is about a week. “We get a month off in August, but I get antsy.”

REGAN DUFFY

Forest Lake • Nordic skiing

The junior won the classic (17 minutes, 28 seconds) and freestyle (15:29) races to win the pursuit title at the Suburban East Conference championships Thursday at Battle Creek Regional Park. Her combined time was 32:57.

BEN EARL-MOSLEY

Highland Park • Nordic skiing

The senior captain won the Twin Cities Nordic Ski Conference pursuit championship at Baker National in a combined classic/freestyle time of 32:56, leading Highland Park to the boys’ team title. He has been the Scots’ leading point-scorer this season.

TAYLOR MCAULAY

Centennial • basketball

The 5-9 junior forward, who committed in December to play college basketball at Drake, scored a game-high 25 points to lead Centennial to its eighth straight victory, ending Champlin Park’s 11-game winning streak. She leads the Cougars in scoring at 15 points per game.

JAMIE NELSON

Andover • hockey

The sophomore forward has been on a scoring binge recently. In her past four games, Nelson has eight goals — including consecutive hat tricks — and five assists. She is seventh in the state in points with 57.

TYRELL TERRY

DeLaSalle • basketball

With Gabe Kalscheur out because of a leg injury, the 6-2 junior guard picked up the slack, scoring a career-high 47 points in the Islanders’ 89-76 victory over Fridley on Wednesday. He added 14 points Friday in a 76-70 loss to Eden Prairie.

SAMMY WALKER

Edina • hockey

The senior had two breakaway goals and added three assists as Edina avenged an earlier loss to Minnetonka by routing the Skippers 8-2. He added a goal in a 5-3 win over Eden Prairie and leads the Hornets with 23 goals and 48 points.

JIM PAULSEN

Nominate an athlete: Send an e-mail with supporting information to preps@startribune.com. Include a photo and a link, if available, to video.