Abby Mattila

Senior Abby Mattila helped Prior Lake finish 9-0 in South Suburban Conference duals for a fourth straight season this fall.

It’s been continued perfection for the Prior Lake girls swimming team in South Suburban Conference waters.

The No. 6-ranked Lakers capped off a fourth straight 9-0 dual season Oct. 26 with a 93-77 home win over Apple Valley. Prior Lake won 10 of 12 events, including all three relays.

Prior Lake is 36-0 in SSC duals over the last four seasons. The last time the Lakers lost in league waters was in their final dual of the 2017 campaign, losing 95-91 versus Rosemount.

Next up for Prior Lake is the Section 2AA meet, which starts Nov. 10 with the prelims and ends Nov. 12 with the finals. Diving is held Nov. 11, and all three days will be at Hidden Oaks Middle School in Prior Lake.

The field is loaded to include No. 1 Edina, No. 3 Minnetonka and No. 5 Eden Prairie, along with Shakopee, Chanhassen, Chaska and Bloomington Jefferson. Edina has won the last four Class AA state team titles and seven of the last 10.

This year’s Class AA state competition is set for Nov. 18-20 at its annual site, the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. There was no state competition last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last fall, Prior Lake would have qualified two individuals for state, but both were seniors.

With Section 2AA so strong, meeting state qualifying times will be the main focus for the Lakers at sections to get swimmers and relays to state. The winning relay team and top two finishers in the individual events automatically make the field, along with the top four in diving.

“I really hope to make a strong showing at state this year,” Coach Katie Haycraft said. “After missing the state meet last year due to COVID-19, the girls are coming in very determined to show the rest of the teams what they are made of.

“The girls have set some big goals and they come in every day working hard towards them,” Haycraft added. “I believe that we can qualify a lot of individuals and also have all three relays represent Prior Lake at state this year. I’d love to see us in the top five.”

In beating Apple Valley, junior Zella Lucas, sophomore Halle Nelson and seniors Grace Netz and Brooke Bauer teamed up to win the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:59.47.

Bauer, senior Abby Mattila, ninth-grader Ivy Solt and junior Izzy Ondracek won the 200 freestyle relay (1:47.08), while Moeller, Lucas, Solt and ninth-grader Alex Peterson were tops in the 400 freestyle relay (3:51.29).

In the individual events, Ondracek won the 200 individual medley (2:17.92), while Alex Peterson claimed the 200 freestyle (2:05.76) and Solt was victorious in the 100 butterfly (1:02.05).

Lucas won the 500 freestyle (5:07.93) for Prior Lake, as did Moelller in the 100 backstroke (1:02.84).

In diving, sophomore Anna Cundiff won for the Lakers with 227.65 points, while junior Sophia Church was second (161.75).

Other individual runner-up finishes for Prior Lake came from junior Lillian McRoberts in the 200 freestyle (2:05.97) and the 100 breaststroke (1:18.69), junior Maria Soria in the 100 butterfly (161.75), Halle Nelson in the 500 freestyle (5:36.18), Solt in the 50 freestyle (25.41), Ondracek in the 100 freestyle (56.60) and Alex Peterson in the 100 backstroke (1:04.14).

Ondracek, Mattila, Netz and sophomore Karlee Salmela took second in the 400 freestyle relay (3:56.69).

Tom Schardin covers sports for Savage and Prior Lake. He is dependable, sarcastic and always joking around. Tom enjoys running and swimming and is often busy coaching his two kids' sports teams.