JAKE SVIHEL

Totino-Grace • wrestling

The tears came almost immediately.

After three consective runner-up finishes in the wrestling state meet, Svihel, a senior 126-pounder, won his first individual championship by defeating Mitchel Petersen of Byron 7-3 in the finals.

Svihel was in control from the outset, scoring the first four points and holding off the taller Peterson’s repeated attacks.

The victory capped a 57-0 season for Svihel, whose tough luck in previous finals made him a crowd favorite in the meet.

“It feels so good,” said Svihel, who dropped to his knees and began to cry after his match — and his quest for a state title — had ended.

Making his victory all the more special was that it came over Peterson, a close friend who had defeated Svihel in the Class 2A 120-pound final in 2018. The two wrestlers shared a long embrace after the match was over, friendship trumping competition.

“I came up short three times, and it just feels really amazing to finally get that,” Svihel said.

ANDREW KARPENKO

Minnehaha Academy • swimming

In what he called “the best meet of my life,” Karpenko set meet records in the preliminaries and then again in the finals in winning the 200 individual medley (1:48.05) and the 100 breaststoke (54.41) at the Class 1A swimming and diving state meet.

DANIEL KERKVLIET

Simley • wrestling

Called the nation’s top high school wrestler, the senior heavyweight was dominant in helping Simley to the Class 2A team championship and winning his fourth individual title. He pinned all seven opponents, each in less than a minute.

AARON KRUSE

Delano • hockey

The senior goaltender has been unbeatable for the Tigers in the postseason. Kruse has shut out three consecutive opponents, with his best effort coming in the Class 1A, Section 2 championship game, when he stopped 30 shots in a 2-0 victory over Orono.

PETER LARSON

Edina • swimming

Edina won the Class 2A team championship at state behind four first-place finishes from Larson. The senior won the 50- and 100-yard freestyles and swam on the Hornets’ winning 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams.

CARLA MEYER

Totino-Grace • basketball

The junior guard scored 28 points in a 71-53 victory over Fridley in the Class 3A, Section 4 quarterfinals. She then paced the Eagles with 24 points in their 54-52 upset of top-seeded Hill-Murray in the semifinals.

CAELA TIGHE

Big Lake • basketball

The Hornets have been eliminated from the Class 3A, Section 5 playoffs, but Tighe, a sophomore, finished the season in style, posting three consecutive double-doubles, topped by a 23-point, 11-rebound effort in a 63-56 loss to Becker.

JIM PAULSEN

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