MN Online HS • swimming

When Larson emerged from the pool after winning 200-yard individual medley and 500 freestyle events in the Gold Division of Saturday’s elite Maroon and Gold Invitational, there were cheers from spectators and pats on the back from opponents. What was missing, however, was a team with which to celebrate.

Larson, a 6-5 standout with a build similar to Michael Phelps, is one of the top prep swimmers in the state. He was a four-time finalist at the U.S. junior nationals, competed in the U.S. Olympic trials and has committed to the University of Texas, which is No. 3 in the NCAA rankings.

Yet Larson has not shown up on the local sonar, likely because he’s swimming as a team of one for Minnesota Online High School. The Bloomington resident’s travels for swimming, coupled with the Minnesota State High School League’s eligiblity rules, have made it impossible for him to swim for a conventional team. So he trains with just his coach, Jeff Rodriguez, for two lonely hours each day.

“It’s fine,” Larson said. “The Maroon and Gold gave me feel for things and everybody there was super positive.”

Larson is headed to Austin, Texas, for the 2017 junior nationals this week, but is looking forward to swimming in the state meet in March for the first time. “I’ve never done that before,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to that.”


Minneapolis North • basketball

Commited to Western Illinois, Johnson has stepped smoothly into the leadership role for the Polars. He scored 20 points in a victory over Edison and had a double-double, 27 points and 10 rebounds, as North held off arch-rival Patrick Henry 92-80.


Cambridge-Isanti • gymnastics

The sophomore led the Bluejackets to the championship of the MGJA Invitational with the best meet of her career. She won the uneven bars and balance beam and tied for first in the floor exercise en route to a meet-winning (and school-record) 38.2 all-around score.


Champlin Park • gymnastics

The eighth-grader took home the all-around championship of the MGGOA Invitational at Roseville. She won the vault with a 9.75, was second on the balance beam, fifth on bars and eighth in floor exercise, finishing with an all-around score of 37.95


Irondale • basketball

The lean 6-4 wing celebrated his 18th birthday by scoring a career-high 40 points, along with 8 rebounds, 7 assists and a steal, in a 79-73 loss to Totino-Grace. Three days earlier, he had 20 points and 13 rebounds in a 45-44 loss to St. Francis.


Wayzata • basketball

The 6-1 sophomore forward showed the skills that have made her one of the state’s top recruits in the class of 2019. She scored 36 points, hauled down 28 rebounds and blocked 10 shots as the Trojans downed Orono 48-46 and Chaska 63-43.


Richfield • wrestling

The senior pinned his first two opponents and earned a technical fall victory in the finals en route to the 152-pound championship at the BCCA Invitational on Saturday at Brooklyn Center High School. Voigt improved to 14-1 on the season.


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