A look at the top story lines:
1. Wayzata ready for a challenge
Coach Elizabeth Hansen’s squad ended Lake Conference-rival Edina’s three-year reign as the Class 2A state champion a year ago. The Trojans appear to be on the verge of a run of their own. They won last year’s title with 275 points, 43 more than runner-up Minnetonka, and not one point was recorded by a graduating senior. Wayzata’s only individual champion was junior Madison Preiss in the 200-yard individual medley, and it welcomes back 11 seniors.
2. Outstanding careers
Chanhassen seniors Zoe Avestruz and Kaia Grobe have owned the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center come the middle of November. Avestruz is the two-time defending state champion in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke while Grobe is the three-time champion in the 100 freestyle. Grobe finished third in 50 freestyle last year after winning back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012. They have also won back-to-back crowns as members of the 400 freestyle relay squad. They were also members of the Storm 200 medley relay championship group of a year ago. Both are being heavily recruited by Division I schools.
3. The deep end
Northfield senior Bailey DuPay has dominated the Class 1A platform since she was a freshman. DuPay won her third consecutive diving championship with a mark of 397.55 in 2013. Nine of the top 11 divers from a year ago are back, so DuPay could be challenged in her final season.
4. Chase is on
Visitation is even more of an overwhelming favorite to repeat its Class 1A state championship than Wayzata in Class 2A. Visitation accumulated 300 points, 132 more than runner-up Mankato West, a year ago. The Blazers have a good portion of their roster intact from 2013.
5. New start
Watertown-Mayer girls have been able to swim in the past, but it has been with Delano as a consolidated program. This season the Royals branch out on their own. “We are very excited to start our own team,” Royals coach Hannah Miller said. “We are eager to prove ourselves.”