1. Youth movement in 2A
Two freshmen (now sophomores), Edina diver Megan Phillip and Blaine’s Isabelle Stadden in the 200-yard individual medley, earned gold medals in individual events in the state meet last year. Keep a close eye on Minnetonka freshman Abigail Kapeller this year. She placed in the top four in two individual events a year ago, and also swam a leg on a Skippers second- and third-place relay teams. No. 1-ranked Edina is favored to successfully defend its state championship of a year ago.
2. Visitation goes for five
Visitation has won four consecutive Class 1A championships. The preseason favorite Blazers will be looking to make it five this season, and 10 titles since 2005. Coach Nate Linscheid’s squad, young a year ago, will be tough to beat with its depth. Junior Maria Mattaini won the 500 freestyle while senior Meaghan Sexton and sophomores Ava Hoffman and Frances Holmstadt were members of the state championship 200 freestyle relay squad last year.
3. New home for New Prague
The New Prague Trojans will move into a $10.2 million aquatic center across from the town’s middle school. Coach Tracy Torgerson’s squad will no longer have to make the trek to Montgomery for practices or meets. The fourth-largest aquatic center in the state— behind those at the University of Minnesota, the Rochester Rec Center and the University of St. Thomas — also could host club and possibly NCAA events.
“It almost seems a little like a dream, but there is a ton of excitement every day we walk into our pool,” Torgerson said.