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Boys' swimming and diving story lines: 2A holds room for surprise

By Star Tribune, 12/11/19, 1:10PM CST


Top athletesd to watch and three story lines for the 2019-20 season.

Hayden Zheng of St. Louis Park competed in the 100 yard breaststroke in the 2019 state meet at the University of Minnesota. Photo: COURTNEY DEUTZ • courtney.deutz@startribune.com

Ten top individuals to watch

(includes Class 2A state meet results from 2019, unless noted)

• Alex Deng, Eden Prairie, junior: Third in 100 breaststroke and 100 butterfly.

• Keegan Duffy, Edina, junior: Fourth in 200 individual medley, sixth in 100 backstroke.

• Soren Dunn, Eden Prairie, senior: Third in 100 freestyle, fifth in 50 freestyle.

• Nick Kale, Wayzata, junior: Second in 100 breaststroke.

• Andrew Karpenko, Minnehaha Academy, senior: First in 100 breaststroke and 200 individual medley in Class 1A.

• Kelby Modene, Maple Grove, senior: Fourth in 100 breaststroke, seventh in 100 butterfly.

• James Pan, Breck/Blake, sophomore: Second in 200 individual medley, third in 100 breaststroke in Class 1A.

• Luke Ridler, Chaska/Chanhassen, senior: Fifth in 200 and 500 freestyle.

• Casey Stowe, Wayzata, senior: First in 100 backstroke, third in 200 individual medley.

• Hayden Zheng, St. Louis Park, junior: First in 100 breaststroke and 200 individual medley.

Three story lines

Room for surprise in 2A field
Only three Class 2A individual event winners return from a year ago, leaving plenty of room for individual and team surprises this season. One constant is St. Louis Park junior Hayden Zheng, a double winner in the 100-yard breastroke (state meet record time of 53.86 seconds) and 200 individual medley. The other champions returning are Wayzata senior Casey Stowe (100 backstroke) and Stillwater senior Josiah Fick (diving). Edina, the defending team champion, lost two key seniors to graduation in Andrew Gray and Peter Larson. The duo factored in all five of the Hornets’ first-place finishes last year.

Breck/Blake primed for No. 4
Breck/Blake continued to widen the gap over its challengers from the Class 1A field last year. It won its third consecutive team championship by a whopping 235 points in 2019. It won by more than 100 points the previous year. Senior Niels Wu (500-yard freestyle champion) and sophomore James Pan will lead a young contingent. Pan was a member of the championship 200 freestyle and 200 medley relay teams.

Karpenko also qualifies for U.S. trials
Minnehaha Academy senior Andrew Karpenko won the 100 breaststroke in 54.41 and 200 individual medley 1:48.05 in the state meet to set the Class 1A records in both events. He also established the Section 4 records in both events before the state meet.Karpenko and Zheng have qualified for the U.S. Olympic team trials at the end of June in Omaha, Neb.


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