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Posted by Guest (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/2/2013 11:40:26 PM

By Luke Sleeper
John’s Journal Correspondent

Going into Saturday’s Class 2A state swimming and diving meet, it was no secret that Eden Prairie was really, really good. East Ridge coach Steve Webb called the 2013 Eagles “the best swim team in Minnesota history.” They did not disappoint in living up to the high praise. The Eagles stormed out of the block and never looked back, building a significant margin between themselves and second-place Edina.

Led by seniors Aaron Greenberg, Jonathan Lieberman, Bryce Boston and Mike Solfelt, the Eagles successfully defended their state title by scoring 344 points. They began their day with a gold medal in the 200-yard medley relay, which was followed up by a silver medal in the 200-yard freestyle by distance specialist Lieberman, who also took second in the 500-yard freestyle. Greenberg won gold in the 50- and 100-yard freestyles and Boston took first-place in the 100-yard butterfly. Despite a disqualification in the 400-yard freestyle relay to end the meet, the Eagles still had much more than enough to ensure their fifth state championship in school history.

Noah Lucas, a senior from Mounds View, had a prolific day. He took home gold medals in both the 200- and 500-yard freestyle, breaking all-time Minnesota state records in the process, including one that had stood for 18 years. Lucas also won each of the two events in the 2012 state meet.

State runner-up Edina had a bevy of medalists, including the first-place finisher in the 200-yard individual medley, Lindell Jackson. Junior Buzz Rehnberg took home a silver and bronze medal and senior Erick Huft took third in the 200-yard freestyle.

Other medalists Saturday included Burnsville senior Ben Albert, who took first in the 100-yard breaststroke; Noah Busch of Minnetonka won gold in the 100-yard backstroke, as well as a silver medal in the 100-yard freestyle; the 1-meter diving champion was Rosemount junior Daniel Monaghan, whose final score was 413.10.


St. Thomas Academy may be better-known as a hockey powerhouse, but it’s their boys swim program that has brought home some serious hardware for the better part of a decade. The Cadets took home the team championship once more Saturday, the 11th in school history, thanks to some steady but stellar individual performances by their swimmers.

Senior Luke Schneeman brought home the only individual gold for St. Thomas, but as a team it also took two relay silvers and silver in the 500-yard freestyle by Michael Berg. When it was all said and done and the water had settled, the Cadets tallied up a total of 263 points en route to victory.

A few of the star individuals in Class 1A showed up in full force. Monticello senior Paul Fair would have made former Los Angeles Lakers coach Pat Riley proud with his own three-peat that he completed Saturday. Fair won gold in the 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly, events that he has won for the past three state meets. He also helped his team defend both of its relay championships from last year: the 200 and 400-yard freestyle. Monticello finished second to St. Thomas yet again, amassing 190.5 points.

Other decorated Class 1A swimmers, Tanner Alms of Red Wing and Breck/Blake’s Mitchell Foster, added to their trophy cases. Alms broke his record in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:36.73. Foster demonstrated his underwater versatility with another gold medal in the 200-yard individual medley; the senior has won this event the last three years. Foster also spearheaded his team’s 200-yard medley relay’s gold-medal effort, leading to a third-place finish in the team competition. He came very close to a third consecutive gold in the 100-yard backstroke, if it wasn’t for the brilliant effort from Hutchinson’s Cole Bateman.

Bateman has been playing bridesmaid to Foster in this event for practically their entire careers, the senior said. He finally got the best of Foster and to cap it off, he broke his rival’s time record in the process. It was his second trip to the podium; Bateman won gold in the 50-yard freestyle as well. Hill-Murray’s Alec Kandt won gold in 1-meter diving championship, edging out Michael Aasness of Fergus and Faribault’s Austin Ferris. Simley’s Alec Kandt took first in the 100-yard breaststroke.


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