Expect a strong showing by West Metro teams in the boys’ swimming and diving state meet Thursday through Saturday at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center.
Eden Prairie, which many in the swimming community consider one of the strongest teams in state history, is a virtual lock to win the Class 2A team championship. With a meet format that rewards not only quality but quantity, the Eagles’ 27 meet entrants will be difficult to overcome.
In Class 1A, Breck/Blake has a fighting chance to unseat defending champion St. Thomas Academy. Senior Mitchell Foster, who is favored to defend his 2012 championships in the 100 backstroke and the 200 individual medley, leads the 14 meet entrants for the Bearstangs (a contraction of the Blake and Breck school nicknames, Bears and Mustangs).
12 to state for No. 1 Knights
A sure sign of the strength of No. 1, Class 3A St. Michael-Albertville’s wrestling team comes from Saturday’s Section 7 individual meet.
The Knights qualified 12 wrestlers for the Class 3A individual meet. They had eight section champions: Mitchell McKee (106 pounds), Tommy Thorn (120), Mark Voss (132), Cole Sladek (138), Jordan Joseph (170), Ricky Briggs (182), Jacob Briggs (195) and Mitchell Eull (220).
The meet starts Thursday and runs through Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Third time charm for Cooper
After back-to-back runner-up finishes to Benilde-St. Margaret’s in the North Suburban Conference in 2011 and 2012, the Cooper girls’ basketball team finally got over the hump, beating the Red Knights — its biggest nemesis — 48-42 to clinch the league title.
The Hawks (21-5, 16-0 North Suburban) had fans worried for a while, trailing Benilde 20-13 at halftime. Guard Chelsey McGee and forward Talayiah Rich — Cooper’s leading scorers — came up big after halftime as the Hawks outscored the Red Knights 35-22.
The West metro has become something of a hotbed for girls’ lacrosse recruiters. The latest commitment comes from Benilde-St. Margaret’s senior forward Bailey Forcier, who has cast her lot with George Washington University.