LAUREN MOELLER

Prior Lake • swimming

A bout of unexplained dizziness and fainting spells kept Moeller, now a sophomore, out of the pool for more than a year. After a seemingly endless series of visits to medical specialists, she was diagnosed with autonomic dysfunction, making it difficult for her to manage her blood pressure.

She would likely grow out of it, doctors said, but in the meantime she’d have to manage her symptoms and learn to heed her body. She was not allowed to swim until she had gone six months without a fainting episode.

“It hit me really hard, watching all my friends in the water,” Moeller said.

She was given the go-ahead to resume swimming in May, “but then COVID hit,” her mother, Kellie, said.

Prior Lake coach Katie Haycraft said Moeller is “just super-resilient. When she couldn’t be in pool last year, she was our team manager and she always had a smile on her face.”

Moeller finally got to swim competitively with the Lakers this fall and her results have surprised even her. In two meets last week, she had seven first-place finishes, including placing first in all four of her events in a dual meet with Eagan.

“I am so happy to be back,” Moeller said. “I never thought I would get to this point so quickly. I thought I’d have to lower my expectations. But now I’m back and I can do the things I want to do again, like swim.”

Like any normal high school sophomore, she gets to pursue another goal.

“I can learn to drive,” she added. “I’ve got my learner’s permit, but my driver’s test keeps getting pushed back.”

 

MADDIE FRITEL

Spectrum • soccer

One remarkable game pushed the freshman striker to the forefront of metro-area goal-scoring leaders. Fritel had four goals in the first three games for the Sting. Then she broke out in a big way in their only game last week, scoring seven goals in their 9-2 romp over North Lakes Academy to become the leading scorer in the metro with 11 goals.

 

ABBEY NECHANICKY

Wayzata • cross-country

The sophomore pulled away from the field to win a Lake Conference triangular at Gale Woods on Wednesday. Nechanicky’s time over the 5K course, 17:52.9, was just a tenth of a second slower than her time in the 2019 Class 2A state meet, in which she finished second. She led the Trojans, ranked No. 4 in the nation by Milesplit.com, to a victory over Lake Conference rival and highly regarded Edina.

 

PAYTEN SCHIEFFER

New Prague • swimming

The freshman was 8-for-8 in meets last week, winning all four of her individual events and helping four relay teams to the top of the podium as well. Among Schieffer’s best swims was a time of 26.07 in the 50 freestyle — .07 off her own school record in the event— in a victory over Litchfield. She also won the 100 butterfly in a meet vs. Watertown-Mayer the first time she competed in the event this season.

JIM PAULSEN

 

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