1. Familiar 2A foes vie for top
In 2013, Wayzata ended Edina’s string of three consecutive Class 2A state titles. This year, Edina will try to end Wayzata’s three-year reign atop Class 2A. Edina, which hasn’t finished lower than third place at the state meet since 2008, is ranked No. 1 in the Class 2A poll. The Hornets, led by Rachel Wittmer’s two state titles, finished third at last year’s state meet behind Wayzata and runner-up Minnetonka. Wayzata, ranked No. 2, is paced by senior Carly Quast, who won two events at last year’s state meet.
2. Can anyone crack Lake Conference grip?
Teams from the Lake Conference have claimed the top two spots in the past six Class 2A meets and the top three spots at the past four state meets. Wayzata, Minnetonka and Edina — the top three finishers at last year’s state meet — occupy the top three spots in the Class 2A poll. One team that could compete with them is Stillwater. The Ponies, the last non-Lake team to finish in the top three (third in 2010) and the last to win a Class 2A title (2008 and 2009), finished fourth at last year’s state meet. Ava Howard, one of the Ponies’ top swimmers last season, will swim for her club team this season. Howard has committed to San Diego State.
3. Four in a row for Blazers?
Visitation won its third Class 1A title in a row last year. To win a fourth consecutive title (and eighth since 2005), the Blazers will have to fill the void left by the graduated Abbie Dolan. Now at Notre Dame, Dolan won 11 state titles in her career for the top-ranked Blazers. Sartell-St. Stephen, which finished fourth at last year’s state meet after a second-place finish in 2014, is ranked No. 2. Hutchinson, which finished sixth last year, is ranked No. 3. Breck, runner-up to Visitation last season, is ranked No. 4.