MINNEAPOLIS, MN, Dec.13. BREAK up the Hornets!
Edina High's Lady Hornets, double-defending AA Champions, raced to their third-consecutive state title the weekend before Thanksgiving at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center, with a
resounding 266-161 victory over Burnsville. Third went to Maple Grove and Eagan (149 each) while fifth was Faribault (147.50).
The Hornets have now won eight titles in the meet's 30-year history. They defended their 2000 title but in 1999 actually tied for the top spot with Eden Prairie.
Senior Abby Reuss was Edina's "Big Gun," splashing to victories in the 200 IM (2:06.82) and the 100 breast (All-America automatic and meet-record 1:04.72). She had been runner-up in both last season so in her final prep meet she races to a pair of golds and a state meet record.
The Hornets' other gold medal came in the 200 free relay (1:38.35, All-America consideration). They also posted a pair of runner-up finishes in the 200 medley and 400 free relays, with Burnsville (1:48.86-1:49.28)
taking the former and Eagan (3:36.64-3:37.34) taking the latter. Burnsville's time is good for All-America auto while Eagan's is consideration.
Two other swimmers were also double gold-medalists, Eagan soph Roxane Akradi and Park Center senior Becca Slagerman. Akradi won the the 50 free and 100 back titles for the second-consecutive year while Slagerman was champion in the 200-500 frees.Akradi's 23.41 for the 50 title is an All-America auto cut and just four
tenths off the state-record 23.00 by Apple Valley's Jennifer Riggs that she swam three seasons ago. In the 100 back Akradi won in 56.96 and went a pr 56.61 in the prelims. The sate-record is 55.93 by Sara Solfelt from '98 and with her junior and senior seasons to come, Akradi would seem to have an excellent shot at both standards.
Slagerman's winning 200 swim was a 1:54.43 while in the 500 she won in 5:02.95 to Centennial's Tiffany Biddle's 5:06.00. A sophomore. Biddle will be after the state record of 4:57.83 come the next two title meets.
Wayxata junior Kirsten Ytterbo won her second-consecutive 1-meter diving crown with 407.45 points, with Woodbury sophomore Kotlarz (403.75) runner-up.
Eden Prairie froshwoman Alicia Jensen won the 100 fly (57.96) while another "rookie," Robbinsdale ninth-grader Sabrina Messmer (52.33) won the 100 free.
Complete results are available at: www.mshsl.org.
— Bill Bell