Minnesota’s boys high school state championships begin this Friday at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, with defending champions Wayzata looking to fend off a number of tough foes in class AA.
Wayzata, coached by Minnesota graduate and World Champs silver medalist David Plummer, won last season’s championship by 43 points over East Ridge, but graduated a number of key point-scorers and relay legs.
The favorites this season are probably Minnetonka, who look to be in the hunt for all three relay titles and are led by perhaps the state’s fastest-rising swimmer in sophomore Sam Schilling. Schilling, who was just 11th in the 200 free and 5th in the 500 free last season, has had a monster sophomore campaign, and comes in with the top 200 free seed and the second 500 free seed. Here’s a comparison of his times from the 2014 and 2015 section meets:
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Schilling seems like the odds-on favorite to win the 200, though he’ll have to go through last year’s runner-up Jacob Wielinski of Irondale in the 500.
Meanwhile in the shorter distances, the favorite is East Ridge’s James Tidd. The future Minnesota Golden Gopher holds the top seed in both races with times of 20.68 and 45.44. The 50 is his lifetime-best, and Tidd was actually 45.34 leading off the 400 free relay at the section level.
His biggest challenger in the 100 is last year’s state champ Greg Arnold out of Wayzata, who is seeded about a second back but should be at his best at state.
A couple huge races to watch: in the 100 fly, 8th-grader Andrew Trepanier has a chance to break a 17-year-old state record. His seed time of 49.72 puts him six tenths off the Class 2A mark and about 1.5 off the overall record. He’ll battle with Eden Prairie freshman Joshua Withers in a clash of youth.
Also exciting should be the 200 IM, where defending champ Griffin Back of Eden Prairie should have a tough test against Rochester John Marshall’s John Becker. Both have been 1:52 this year.
In the small school division, Class A, St. Thomas Academy looks for its fourth consecutive state title. They’re led by top seeds Warren Sexson (500 free) and Tommy Weiss (200 free).
You can find the full meet heat sheets here:
The meet begins with prelims Friday and finals on Saturday. The small schools of Class A swim in the afternoon both days and the big schools of Class AA at night.
Results will be available on the Meet Mobile app and on the Minnesota State High School League website here.