Mounds View Junior Noah Lucas (green swim cap)
Noah Lucas is the latest in a line of successful distance swimmers at Mounds View High School.
"He's the fifth state champion in the 500 freestyle we've had since I've coached here," said Mounds View coach Stephen Brauer, who is in his eighth season as the Mustangs' coach and has been with the program since 1999.
At the boys' state swimming and diving meet Friday and Saturday, Lucas will try to defend his Class 2A state titles in the 200 and 500 freestyles.
Lucas, who is in his sixth year on the Mustangs' varsity, holds the school records in the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly. He enters Friday's preliminaries with the fifth-best qualifying time at a section meet in the 200 freestyle (1:43.59) and the fourth-best qualifying time in the 500 freestyle (4:42.80).
Eden Prairie's Jonathan Lieberman has the top qualifying times in both events -- 1:40.96 in the 200 and 4:33.32 in the 500. Lieberman finished third in the 200 and second in the 500 at last year's state meet.
At the Maroon and Gold Invite at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in January, Lucas set a meet record in the 500 -- 4:35.68 -- and also won the 200 in 1:42.51.
"Being the defending champion doesn't put a lot of pressure on me," said Lucas, who has signed a letter of intent to swim for the University of North Dakota, "but in the back of my mind my goal is to defend both titles. I'm not worried about times. I'm just going to go out and swim my best."
Lucas, Lieberman and Edina's Erick Huft, who has the second-best qualifying time in the 500 freestyle, could challenge the Class 2A state meet record of 4:31.69 in the 500, set by Mounds View's Pete Stacy in 2006.
Lucas also will swim a leg on the Mustangs' 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relays.
Class 2A meet
The top three teams at last week's Section 6AA meet -- defending state champion Eden Prairie and Minnetonka and Edina -- could finish in the same order at the state meet.
Eden Prairie, the defending state champion, qualified all three relay teams and individuals in every event.
The Eagles have 26 individual meet entrants. Minnetonka, which tied for second place (with Maple Grove) at last year's state meet, qualified 15 individuals and all three relays. Edina, which finished fifth at last year's state meet, qualified 14 individuals and all three relays.
Class 1A meet
Defending state champion St. Thomas Academy qualified all three relay teams and 19 individuals.
Breck/Blake, which finished third last year, qualified 14 individuals, including Mitchell Foster, the defending state champion in the 100 backstroke and 200 individual medley.
Monticello's Paul Fair returns to defend his state titles in the 50 freestyle and 200 freestyle. Monticello finished second at last year's meet.