Alex Deng

Sophomore Alex Deng swam his 100 breaststroke to a third-place finish 55.62 at Saturday’s Class AA State Championship Meet.

Dane Hudson, James Cross, Alex Deng and Soren Dunn ended Saturday's Class AA State Swim and Dive Meet by swimming the Eden Prairie boys swim program's fourth fastest 400 freestyle relay ever.

Their time of 3:07..83 edged Wayzata's 3:08.49 for third-place.

Note: Dane Hudson split a 47.16.

“He (Hudson) swam four 100s at the state meet, two in prelims and two in the finals,” said Eden Prairie coach Kelly Boston. “Each one was a lifetime best and each one was faster than the previous one.

“Who does that?” she asks.

Deng split 47.27 one event after finishing third in the 100 breaststroke where he counted a school-record time of 55.62.

“He beat Mark Solfelt's record set back in 2006,” said Boston. “It was one of the oldest records we had. Alex entered the season with a 57.3 and finished at 55.6.”

Again, who does that?

Edina, the pre-meet favorite, won the team competition, counting 268 points. A combined Chaska-Chanhassen team finished second with 205 points. Wayzata finished third with 176 points. Eden Prairie finished fourth with 175 points, Minnetonka fifth with 153 points.

Question: Does it bother Boston that her team finished one point out of third-place?

“I'm fine with it,” she said. “If I had to pick between finishing third and swimming poorly or fourth and swimming the way we did, I'd pick fourth every time.

“The guys had a good prelim meet and then a really great finals,” she added.

Note: Eden Prairie's fourth-place finish ran the Eagles' streak of placing in the top-five to 10 years.

Again, who does that?

Fast and furious

Eden Prairie (Shayne Mosley, Deng, James Cross and Dunn) opened Saturday's championship meet by placing fifth in the 200 medley relay (1:35.58).

This time was eighth-fastest in Eden Prairie history.

Dunn and Hudson would then place fifth (21.10) and eighth (21.47) in the 50 freestyle.

Deng finished third in the 100 butterfly, counting a 49.40. In the process, he moved into second-place on Eden Prairie's all-time list.

Dunn and Hudson finished third (46.02) and sixth (47.21) in the 100 freestyle. Dunn sits at third-place all-time, Hudson 10th-place.

Jake Derouin finished 10th in the 500 freestyle (4:39.13), broke 4:40 for the first time in his career and moved to fourth-fastest on Eden Prairie's all-time list.

Eden Prairie (Carter Doolittle, Cross, Parker Volz and Hudson) finished eighth in the 200 medley relay, counting 1:27.99.

The neat story there is that the Eagles made the top-eight, thereby guaranteeing Eden Prairie top-eight points, by edging Prior Lake in Friday's preliminary meet. On Friday, Eden Prairie counted 1:28.05, Prior Lake 1:28.06.

Takeaway

Boston said the the bus ride home from Saturday's championship meet was full of smiles, cheers and laughter.

“They were lights-out great on Saturday,” said Boston, “and can walk away feeling really good about themselves.

“We weren't at our best at the start (December), but it ended really well, “ added Boston, on her team's season-long improvement. “Hopefully, the process inspires guys to work hard over the offseason).”

Sports editor

Dan Huss covers Eden Prairie sports and especially loves reporting on sports features and outdoors-related adventures. He lives in Shorewood with his wife, Marnie, daughters Aili and Britt, and Wilma, a pheasant-finding Deutsch Drahthaar.

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