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North metro notebook: Spring Lake Park diver pulls rare double-dip of state titles

03/13/2016, 12:57pm CDT
By David La Vaque, Star Tribune


Spring Lake Park diver Mitch Raihle practiced in the high school pool Tuesday afternoon. ] JEFF WHEELER • jeff.wheeler@startribune.com Spring Lake Park High School junior Mitch Raihle is the latest product from a family of successf


Spring Lake Park senior Mitch Raihle achieved a rare feat by winning the 1-meter diving state title at both the Class 1A and 2A levels.

Raihle capped an undefeated season with a dominating performance at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in the Class 2A state meet earlier this month. He scored 496.30, building a big enough lead that he could have sat out the 11th dive and still won.

Spring Lake Park’s swimming and diving program moved up to Class 2A this season based on school enrollment. Diving coach John Karpe said he and Raihle never spoke much about the greater challenge the largest class would pose this season.

“We knew the competition would be tighter, but we didn’t spend much time on it because we didn’t want to put worry in his brain,” Karpe said. “He saw most of these guys diving club in the summer so he knew. We just said, ‘Let’s practice, practice, practice and let the cards fall where they may.’ ”

The repeat felt more sweet because Raihle did it against a tougher field.

“It’s like college where you say, ‘I won a Division II or Division III championship’ and people say, ‘That’s nice,’ ” Karpe said. “But when you say you won a Division I championship, people are impressed.”

Raihle will compete at North Dakota next season. Diving excellence runs deep in his family. His father, Lee, opened ABC Diving club more than 30 years ago. Older sister Tori won a Class 1A state championship and dived at St. Cloud State.

New St. Francis football coach

Tate Hermann was named football coach at St. Francis. He served as the Saints’ quarterback coach and assistant offensive coordinator the past two seasons.

Hermann is a 1996 graduate of Champlin Park, where he played for his father, Tim Hermann, current activities director at White Bear Lake. Tate was the quarterback on the first Rebels team when the school opened in 1992.

Hermann later played quarterback at Minnesota State Moorhead and played one year in the German-American Football League in Hanover, Germany. He previously coached on the Champlin Park staff from 2001-2004.

“I feel very fortunate to have Coach Hermann as our next football coach,” St. Francis activities director Jeff Fink said in a statement. “He understands what has been established under retiring coach Chris Lindquist’s tenure and what our program is all about. Coach Hermann will provide stability with our staff, implement his vision and put his stamp on our program.”

Making football safer

Seeking to address dwindling participation numbers and hoping to quell parental fears about the safety of football, the Independent Metro Athletic Conference (IMAC) held a panel discussion on Feb. 29 to introduce some significant changes to the way football is offered by member schools.

Six private schools — Blake, Breck, Minnehaha Academy, Mounds Park Academy, Providence Academy and St. Paul Academy and Summit School — make up the IMAC. All six are pre-K through 12 institutions. Beginning in the 2016-17 school year, conference schools will offer flag football only to students in grades five and six, and a modified “hybrid” of tackle and flag football in grades seven and eight.

Schwan Cup announced

The 16th annual Schwan Cup boys’ high school hockey tournament Gold Division lineup is set.

Defending Class 2A state champion Wayzata headlines the bracket, which also includes state tournament participants Burnsville and Eden Prairie plus Centennial, Edina, Hill-Murray, Minnetonka and St. Thomas Academy. The tournament is Dec. 29-31, with all Gold Division games at Ridder Arena at the University of Minnesota.

Hockey players honored

The Northwest Suburban Conference named its all-conference team in boys’ hockey, led by Riley Tufte, the Mr. Hockey winner from Blaine. Other recipients: Andover’s Christian Ledin and Anthony Baneck, Anoka’s Reese Grailer, Michael Talbot, Isaac Johnson and Spencer Olson, Armstrong/Cooper’s Trey Rooney, Kyle Sweeney and Andy Burns, Blaine’s Tufte, Luke Notermann, Tanner Vescio, Ridge Gerads, Alex Penn and Lincoln Erne, Centennial’s Tyler Nyman, Lucas McGregor, Cody McLean, Steve Heron, Dylan Klehr and Erik Jamison-Ekeling, Champlin Park’s Derek Smith and Keegan Bauman, Coon Rapids’ Noah Koss and Michael Frederickson, Elk River’s Jensen Zerben, Max Michaelis, Nick Perbix and Benton Maass, Irondale’s David Mulligan, Maple Grove’s Trevor Janicke, Jack Kelly, Sam Ross, Brady Goodman and Justin Kelley, Osseo’s Max Johnson and Anthony Fetzek, Spring Lake Park’s Connor Gagnon, Luke Turnquist, Aaron Furlano and Mitch Bentfield and Totino-Grace’s Ryan Johnson and Sam Hentges.


David La Vaque • 612-673-7574

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