John's Journal
Girls Basketball Rankings From Minnesota Basketball News11/25/2015
CLASS 4A
1. Hopkins
2. Minnetonka
3. Elk River
4. Eastview
5. Edina
6. Centennial
7. White Bear Lake
8. Shakopee
9. Park Center
10. Rochester Mayo
11. St. Michael-Albertville
12. Rochester John Marshall
13. Lakeville South
14. Anoka
15. Lakeville North
16. Osseo
17. Eden Prairie
18. Andover
19. Rosemount
20. Maple Grove

CLASS 3A
1. Orono
2. Winona
3. Bloomington Kennedy
4. Hutchinson
5. Thief River Falls
6. Marshall
7. Kasson-Mantorville
8. Alexandria
9. St. Paul Como Park
10. Mahtomedi
11. DeLaSalle
12. Hill-Murray
13. Totino-Grace
14. Holy Angels
15. Willmar
16. Waconia
17. Chisago Lakes Area
18. Simley
19. Grand Rapids
20. Fridley

CLASS 2A
1. Dover-Eyota
2. Plainview-Elgin-Millville
3. Sauk Centre
4. Annandale
5. Roseau
6. Pequot Lakes
7. New London-Spicer
8. Minnehaha
9. St. Croix Lutheran
10. Esko
11. Watertown-Mayer
12. Glencoe-Silver Lake
13. St. Peter
14. Minnewaska
15. Kenyon-Wanamingo
16. Pipestone
17. Pelican Rapids
18. Barnum
19. Norwood-Young America
20. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton

CLASS 1A
1. Mountain Iron-Buhl
2. Maranatha Christian Academy
3. Lyle-Austin Pacelli
4. Browerville
5. Ada-Borup
6. Goodhue
7. Win-E-Mac
8. Mankato Loyola
9. Cromwell
10. Lester Prairie-Holy Trinity
11. Sleepy Eye
12. Wheaton-Herman-Norcross
13. Canby
14. Warren-Alvarado-Oslo
15. Fosston
16. Stephen-Argyle
17. Cherry
18. GHEC
19. Red Lake
20. Floodwood
Girls Hockey Rankings From Let’s Play Hockey11/24/2015
CLASS 2A
1 Hill-Murray (8)
2 Minnetonka (2)
3 Edina
4 Wayzata
5 Eden Prairie
6 Maple Grove
7 Elk River/Zimmerman
8 Blaine
9 Lakeville South
10 Cretin-Derham Hall
11 Chaska/Chanhassen
12 Dodge County
13 Roseau
14 Lakeville North
15 Buffalo
16 Centennial
17 Mounds View
18 White Bear Lake
19 Stillwater Area
20 Eagan

CLASS 1A
1 Blake (9)
2 Thief River Falls (1)
3 Breck
4 St. Paul United
5 Warroad
6 East Grand Forks
7 Proctor/Hermantown
8 Red Wing
9 New Prague
10 Orono
11 Alexandria
12 Mound Westonka
13 South St. Paul
14 Hutchinson
15 Hibbing/Chisholm
16 New Ulm
17 Mahtomedi
18 Northfield
19 Princeton
20 Owatonna
Boys Hockey Rankings From Let’s Play Hockey11/24/2015
CLASS 2A
1 Eden Prairie (8)
2 Lakeville North (2)
3 Grand Rapids
4 Hill-Murray
5 Wayzata
6 Edina
7 Duluth East
8 Blaine
9 Benilde-St. Margaret's
10 Bemidji
11 St. Thomas Academy
12 Minnetonka
13 Elk River/Zimmerman
14 Stillwater Area
15 Prior Lake
16 Holy Family Catholic
17 Farmington
18 Centennial
19 Bloomington Jefferson
20 Moorhead

CLASS 1A
1 Hermantown (8)
2 Breck
3 East Grand Forks (2)
4 St. Paul Academy
5 St. Cloud Apollo
6 Mahtomedi
7 Delano/Rockford
8 Luverne
9 St. Cloud Cathedral
10 Hibbing/Chisholm
11 Thief River Falls
12 Fergus Falls
13 Orono
14 Duluth Denfeld
15 Alexandria
16 New Prague
17 St. Paul Johnson
18 Warroad
19 Sartell-St. Stephen
20 Mankato West
Coming Together And Celebrating Special Moments 11/21/2015
The 2015 fall season came to an end with two pretty spectacular sights. They were simple acts that said everything about sportsmanship as well as the spirit of high school activities, and they deserve to be mentioned here.

The first took place Friday evening at the girls state swimming and diving championships. After two days of competition, the team from Wayzata had captured its third consecutive team title. The top three teams walk onto the awards stand, receive their trophies and pose for photos. As the second-place team from Minnetonka left the podium, they were greeted by a human tunnel of swimmers and divers from Wayzata.

Many of the girls on those teams know each other through high school competition and swim clubs, so it probably wasn’t a surprise that the Wayzata athletes and coaches honored the Skippers by reaching up to hold hands, form a tunnel and cheer as the Skippers passed through. It was a way to honor friends and competitors in a very human and very fun manner.

One day later, after the final event of the fall MSHSL season, came another spectacular sight. North Suburban and Park Center had played to a scoreless tie at the end of regulation in the adapted soccer CI division state championship game. Midway through a 10-minute regulation period, Park Center’s Phillip Worzie scored a goal to give his team the state title.

As is done in all MSHSL tournaments, the all-tournament team was announced and trophies and medals were awarded individually to players, managers and coaches from both teams. That’s when something special happened.

The athletes from Park Center and North Suburban came together at the center of the court at Stillwater High School in one big huddle. They posed for photos together, then raised their hands in the air in the middle of the huddle and yelled these words together: “One! Two! Three! FRIENDS!”

That says everything you need to know about what high school activities are all about. It’s easy to get caught up in who beat who, who benefitted from an official’s call, who tried to find a shortcut in the rules, etc.

The fall season has been memorable for me as I traveled all over the state to document what takes place in our great state. There were quiet moments that I didn’t write or Tweet about; teammates embracing after a tough loss, grandparents sitting together on metal bleachers and shivering on cold nights in order to watch their grandkids compete, cheerleaders working as hard as the other athletes, volunteers taking tickets and working at concessions stands, smiling all the way.

From the heat of August practices to the warmth of swimming pools and gyms in November, this has been an autumn to remember.

BY THE NUMBERS
*Schools/teams John has seen/visited: 318
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry in 2015-16: 5,951
*Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn
Wayzata, Visitation Win Third Straight State Swim Crowns11/20/2015
The finishes were familiar Friday at the University of Minnesota’s Jean K. Freeman Aquatics Center, where Wayzata in Class 2A and Visitation in Class 1A captured their third consecutive team titles in the girls swimming and diving championships.

In the 2A team race, the Trojans had a total of 315.5 points, followed in the top five by Minnetonka 256, Edina 246, Stillwater 160 and Lakeville South 137.5.

Wayzata started strong, winning the first three events and setting an all-time record in one and a Class 2A record in another.

The Trojans’ spree started with the 200 medley relay, where the team of Carly Quast, Madison Preiss, Alexis Schaaf and Colleen Donlin won in 1:41.57. That set an all-time record, breaking the previous mark of 1:41.96 set by Chanhassen in 2013.

Quast then won the 200 freestyle and Preiss finished first in the 200 individual medley. Preiss’ time of 2:01.00 was a 2A record, topping the 2:01.38 set by Abby Duncan of Champlin Park in 2010. Quast added a gold medal in the 100 backstroke later in the meet, and Preiss won her second gold in the 100 breatstroke.

Edina’s Rachel Wittmer was a double winner, repeating as champion in the 50 freestyle and also winning the 100 butterfly.

Minnetonka won the 200 freestyle relay after Edina was disqualified. The Hornets were the first team to touch the wall but their finish was wiped away by the DQ. Edina came back to win the final event, the 400 freestyle relay.

Other Class 2A state champions were …

1-meter diving: Michelle Schlossmacher Smith.

100 freestyle: Bella Smith, Andover.

500 freestyle: Kelly McCarthy, Edina.

CLASS 1A: VISITATION REPEATS AGAIN

Visitation won two relays and claimed first-place finishes in two individual events in rolling to its third consecutive Class 1A title. The Blazers had a team score of 312, followed in the top five by Breck 238, Albert Lea 194, Sartell-St. Stephen 160 and Orono 124.

The Visitation team of Lorelei Gaertner, Emily Conners, Emily Kishish and Abbie Dolan set an all-time record in the 200 freestyle relay. The Blazers’ time of 1:34.07 topped the previous state record of 1:34.80 set by Stillwater in 2008. Visitation also won the 400 freestyle relay; the team consisted of Grace Snyder, Meaghan Sexton, Sophie Kishish and Dolan.

Dolan, who broke the all-time, all-class record in the 200 freestyle in Thursday’s prelims, won that championship Friday. Her record is 1:47.72 and her time in the finals was 1:48.10. Dolan repeated as champion in the 100 freestyle, and the second-place finisher was Visitation teammate Emily Conners.

Breck’s Bre Thorne repeated as the champion of the 100 butterfly and also finished first in the 100 backstroke. The Mustangs’ Alyssa Phelps won the 200 individual medley.

Albert Lea’s Lindsey Horejsi set a Class 1A record in winning the 50 freestyle. Her time of 22.79 seconds bettered the previous Class 1A mark of 22.82 set by Mankato West’s Danielle Nack in 2012. She also finished first in the 100 breaststroke, winning in 58.66 seconds. One day earlier, she set a national high school record of 58.56 in the prelims.

Horesji and teammates Bailey Sandon, Ahnika Jensen and Anna Andersen set a Class 1A record in the 200 medley relay. Their time of 1:43.61 bettered the mark of 1:44.73 set last year by the same quartet.

Other Class 1A state champions were…

200 individual medley: Allyssa Phelps of Breck.

1-meter diving: Mallary Dick, Big Lake.

500 freestyle: Kasey Milstroh, Foley.

BY THE NUMBERS
*Schools/teams John has seen/visited: 306
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry in 2015-16: 5,881
*Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn