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PL Boys Swim/Dive Will Be Well Represented At State Meet

By Tom Schardin, 03/03/24, 9:15PM CST


The Prior Lake boys swimming team will be well represented in the state pool.

The No. 4-ranked Lakers qualified all three relays and one diver and will have 13 individual swims for the Class AA competition, which ends March 2 with the finals at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.

Can Prior Lake improve on last year’s program-best, third-place finish in the team standings? Top-ranked Minnetonka, No. 2 Edina and No. 3 Wayzata will be teams the Lakers will likely be chasing.

Prior Lake finished second behind Minnetonka in the Section 2AA meet Feb. 23 at Pioneer Ridge Middle School in Chaska with 419 team points. The Skippers won with 575 points.

Fifth-ranked Chaska-Chanhassen took third (295.5), followed by No. 9 Eden Prairie (277.5), No. 10 Waconia (222), Shakopee (119), Bloomington Jefferson (95) and Burnsville (77).

Representing the Lakers at state will be seniors Kaiden Cheung and Victor Trinh, juniors Ethan Kosin, Griffin Leining, Matt Ondracek and Maddox Mork, sophomores Owen Beaudette and Braxton Helmers and ninth grader Jamey Solt.

The Lakers broke three school records at sections. Kosin won the 100 backstroke with a school-record time of 49.78. He also qualified in the 100 freestyle with a time of 46.39.

Kosin was second in the 100 backstroke at state last year, while taking third in the 500 freestyle.

The winning relay, the top-two finishers in the individual swim events and the top-four divers automatically make the state field. The other way to get there is by meeting the state qualifying times.

That’s how Beaudette qualified in the 100 breaststroke, taking third with a school-record time of 57.92. He was well under the qualifying mark of 1:00.38.

Beaudette also took third in the 200 individual medley with a time of 1:57.15, which was .62 below the cut.

Cheung was also a section champion for Prior Lake, winning the 100 butterfly (50.60). He was also second in the 200 freestyle (1:43.92).

Trinh was second in the 50 freestyle (21.31) and fourth in the 100 freestyle (47.75), beating the state cut by .05. Solt was runner-up in the 500 freestyle (4:45.35) and fifth in the 200 freestyle (1:45.25), missing that cut in that event by .28.

Helmers ended up third in the 100 backstroke (52.92), while Ondracek took sixth (54.34), getting under the cut by .25. Helmers was also fifth in the 200 individual medley (1:57.73), beating the qualifying time by .02.

Leining ended up second in the 100 butterfly (51.29), and was seventh in the 50 freestyle (22.32), missing the qualifying time in that event by .55. Ondracek also ended up seventh in the 200 freestyle (1:47.36).

Mork won the diving competition for the Lakers with 454.55 points.

Prior Lake’s 200 medley relay team of Kosin, Beaudette, Leining and Trinh set a new school in winning with a time of 1:33.07.

Trinh, Beaudette, Leining and Cheung took second in the 200 freestyle relay (1:26.19), getting well below the state cut (1:29.54). The 400 freestyle team of Cheung, Helmers, Ondracek and Kosin was also second (3:11.03), beating the qualifying mark by six seconds.

Other finishes for the Lakers came from senior Alex Prasanna in the 500 freestyle (10th 4:59.45) and the 100 backstroke (10th, 58.40), junior Rowan Wilson in the 100 butterfly (11th, 58.21) and senior Tyler Leong in the 100 butterfly (14th, 58.80),

Sophomore Luke Schwandt ended up 10th in diving (268.65) for Prior Lake, followed by ninth grader Nikita Ginzburg in 12th (241.15) and junior Cole Gramlow in 14th (181.75).

Before last season, the Lakers’ best state team finish was fourth in 2016. The program had four top 10 finishes between 2013 and 2018.