Room for surprise in 2A field
Only three Class 2A individual event winners return from a year ago, leaving plenty of room for individual and team surprises this season. One constant is St. Louis Park junior Hayden Zheng, a double winner in the 100-yard breaststroke (state meet record time of 53.86 seconds) and 200 individual medley. The other champions returning are Wayzata senior Casey Stowe (100 backstroke) and Stillwater senior Josiah Fick (diving). Edina, the defending team champion, lost two key seniors to graduation in Andrew Gray and Peter Larson. The duo factored in all five of the Hornets' first-place finishes last year.
Breck/Blake primed for No. 4
Breck/Blake continued to widen the gap over its challengers from the Class 1A field last year. It won its third consecutive team championship by a whopping 235 points. It won by more than 100 points the previous year. Senior Niels Wu (500-yard freestyle champion) and sophomore James Pan will lead a young contingent. Pan was a member of the championship 200 freestyle and 200 medley relay teams.
Karpenko qualifies for U.S. trials
Minnehaha Academy senior Andrew Karpenko won the 100 breaststroke in 54.41 and 200 individual medley in 1:48.05 in the state meet to set the Class 1A records in both events. He also established the Section 4 records in both events before the state meet. Karpenko and Zheng have qualified for the U.S. Olympic team trials at the end of June in Omaha, Neb.