SYDNEY PANEK

Mahtomedi • soccer

All it took was one well-placed, perfectly timed shot, with plenty of motivation behind it.

Panek, a junior midfielder with a strong right leg and a stronger will to win, raced upfield in the final minute of the Section 4A final, her team — the defending Class 1A state champ — tied with Hill-Murray 2-2.

There was no way Panek was going to let Mahtomedi’s season end without one last rush. As she neared the goal with time ticking off the clock, she found the ball at her feet and the Hill-Murray goalkeeper out of position. She neatly tucked the ball behind the goalie, scoring the game-winner with just 16 seconds left in the game.

“Syd Panek, that’s what she’s done all year,” Mahtomedi coach Dave Wald told Blaze Fugina of the Minnesota Soccer Hub after the game. “She wants to compete. She’s an incredible competitor, great athlete.”

While winning was a driving force, Panek had a little extra incentive behind her goal. Her grandmother is fighting breast cancer and had to miss the game. It’s likely she will be able to watch Panek and her Zephyrs play if they get to the state semifinals at U.S. Bank Stadium.

“If we make it to [U.S. Bank Stadium], she gets that chance, because it’s warm and a safe environment for her to be,” Panek said.

ALLY AGERLAND

Holy Family • tennis

The sophomore, No. 6 in the final state coaches association Class 1A rankings, emerged as the champion of Section 2. After losing just seven games in her first three matches, Agerland cruised through the final, defeating Jordan’s Emily Henderson 6-3, 6-2.

EMMA ATKINSON

Wayzata cross-country

The junior won the Lake Conference meet Oct. 15 at Gale Woods Farm, completing the 5K course in 17:58.8. She was the only runner in the girls’ race to finish in under 18 minutes, defeating runner-up Liesl Paulsen by a full 15 seconds.

NICK AUSTIN

Lakeville South football

The lanky linebacker wreaked havoc on the Farmington offense in a 59-21 romp last Wednesday. The 6-1, 175-pound junior made 14 tackles — three for lost yardage — and added two sacks as the Cougars ended the regular season with two consecutive victories.

LAUREN FERG

Eagan • tennis

One week after guiding Eagan to the team championship of Section 3 in Class 2A, the senior won something for herself. She lost just one game in four matches in singles, then won the section title when her final opponent withdrew because of injury.

PATRICK HOTT

Minneapolis Henry football

As a team, Henry is a bit undermanned. With Hott, a junior quarterback, under center, Henry gave St. Croix Lutheran a battle in a 63-33 loss. Hott set a school passing record in the game, completing 19 of 38 passes for 353 yards and four touchdowns.

ACER IVERSON

Roseville cross-country

Considered among the state’ top runners for most of the season — he has been ranked from No. 2 to No. 6 in Class 2A — the senior dominated the rest of the field at the Suburban East Conference meet, winning in 15:27.80.

Jim Paulsen

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