One week after dueling for the Class 2A, Section 2 title, Eden Prairie and Minnetonka battled in the Class 2A preliminaries at the boys’ swimming and diving state meet at the Jean Freeman Aquatic Center on Friday.
The Lake Conference rivals combined to have the top time in nine of the 12 preliminary events.
Eden Prairie, which qualified 13 individuals and all three relays for Saturday’s championship finals, was paced by Griffin Back.
Back, the two-time defending champion in the 200 individual medley, had the top time in that event (1:47.72) and the 100 freestyle (44.97). Back’s time in the 200 individual medley was .01 seconds off the Class 2A state meet record, and his time in the 100 freestyle was .04 seconds off the record.
Eden Prairie’s Jordan Greenberg (50 freestyle) and Joshua Withers (100 butterfly) also advanced with the top times in the preliminaries. The Eagles’ 200 medley relay (Michael Genetti, Back, Withers and Greenberg) and 200 freestyle relay (Withers, Greenberg, Will Green and Stephen McMahon) also had the top times.
“[Tonight] went better than we expected,” said Eden Prairie coach Kelly Boston. “It was a good meet for us. We have somebody in the top eight of each event.”
Minnetonka, which advanced all three relays and nine individuals to Saturday’s championship finals, was led by Sam Schilling.
Schilling, the defending champion in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle, had the top times Friday in each event. Schilling, a junior, swam the 200 freestyle in 1:37.40 (. 1 seconds off the Class 2A record) and the 500 freestyle in 4:29.24.
Minnetonka’s Corey Lau had the top time in the 100 breaststroke.
Eagan, the defending state champion, also advanced all three relays and nine individuals to the championship finals. Eagan’s Parker Lemke (100 backstroke) and Eagan’s 400 freestyle relay team had the top preliminaries times.
Pacing the Cadets
Seniors Warren Sexson and Tommy Weiss paced St. Thomas Academy to a nearly flawless day in the Class 1A preliminaries.
Sexson, the defending champion in the 500 freestyle, had the top times in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle, and he swam a leg on the Cadets’ 400 freestyle relay team, which had the top time.
In the 200 freestyle preliminaries, Sexson swam a Class 1A meet record 1:40.36 to edge Weiss, the defending state champion in the event. Weiss swam a 1:41.55.
Weiss also had the second-best time in the 100 butterfly and swam a leg on the Cadets’ 200 freestyle relay, which had the top time. In the 100 butterfly, Weiss, who was second in the event last year, had a time of 50.48. Faribault junior Paul Sadergaski had the top time (50.42).
The Cadets’ 200 medley relay team also had the top time on Friday, while Cadets senior Colin Glass had the top time in the 100 breaststroke. Glass had the second-best time in the 200 individual medley, behind defending state champion Will Grassle of Breck/Blake.
Cadets senior Hunter Nielsen had the second-best times in the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle preliminaries. Grand Rapids senior Matt Allison had the top times in each event — 20.97 in the 50 free and 46.15 in the 100 freestyle.
The Cadets, who have won four consecutive state titles, advanced 18 individuals to Saturday’s championship finals.
Spring Lake Park senior Mitch Raihle, who won the Class 1A diving title last year, is competing in Class 2A this year.
In Thursday’s preliminaries, Raihle had the top score (353.00). Eagan senior Nic Lemieux, who was third last year, is second (301.20).
In the Class 1A preliminaries, Simley senior Nathan Stone, who finished third last year, had the top score (314.95). Northfield junior Jack Cuddy is second (299.10).