The Prior Lake girls swimming team continues to rule the South Suburban Conference pool.
The No. 6-ranked Lakers have opened this fall winning their first four league duals, including a 102-84 home win over Shakopee Sept. 23.
Prior Lake has won 31 straight SSC duals. The last time the Lakers lost in league waters was in their final dual of the 2017 season, falling 95-91 versus Rosemount.
There are only two teams from the SSC ranked in the Class 2A poll. The other one is No. 8 Farmington. The Lakers and the Tigers will square off in dual action Oct. 5 at Levi P. Dodge Middle School in Farmington at 6 p.m.
Four teams are ranked in Section 2AA: the Lakers, No. 1 Minnetonka, No. 3 Edina and No. 5 Eden Prairie. Prior Lake will begin to prepare for the section meet after their final SSC dual Oct. 26 versus Apple Valley.
The section meet is Nov. 10-12. Edina won the last Class AA state titles, so the Hornets are the favorite until proven otherwise. Chanhassen, Chaska, Shakopee and Bloomington Jefferson are also in Section 2AA field.
In beating Shakopee, the Lakers’ depth was the difference. The two teams each won six events with Prior Lake winning two of three relays.
Juniors Lauren Moeller, Izzy Ondracek and Zella Lucas and sophomore Halle Nelson claimed the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:43.36. Moeller, Ondracek, Lucas and ninth-grader Alex Peterson teamed up to win the 400 freestyle relay (3:41.44).
Lucas was also tops in the 200 freestyle (1:55.42), while Peterson won the 100 backstroke (1:02.67). Ninth-grader Ivy Solt won the 500 freestyle (5:18.22), while senior Grace Netz claimed the 100 breaststroke (1:09.11).
Lucas’ winning time in the 200 freestyle was only 0.36 off the state cut. She was also second in the 100 butterfly with a time of 57.14, which was more than a second under the cut (58.35).
Lucas transferred to Prior Lake last year from Holy Family, but she did not swim for the Lakers last fall.
“She is an incredibly hard worker and is a great leader in the pool,” Coach Katie Haycraft said. “Zella’s strongest events are the 200 and 500 freestyle and 100 butterfly. She is very versatile and is going to be a strong varsity swimmer wherever I put her.”
Other runner-up finishes for the Lakers against Shakopee came from the 200 medley team of Solt, Netz, Peterson and sophomore Gabi Sentryz (1:52.51); Netz in the 200 individual medley (2:16.55); Peterson in the 50 freestyle (24.80); and Moeller in the 100 freestyle (54.27).
Prior Lake also earned a 112-33 league win at Eastview Sept. 16. Prior Lake won 11 of 12 events, including all three relays.
Solt, Ondracek, Lucas and Moeller teamed up to win the 200 medley relay (1:55.03). Moeller, Nelson, Peterson and junior Maria Soria was tops in the 200 freestyle relay (1:43.13), while Moelller, Ondracek, Peterson and Lucas claimed the 400 freestyle relay (3:41.44).
Lucas won both the 50 freestyle (25.69) and 100 butterfly (58.42) for the Lakers. Moeller won the 200 individual medley (2:16.28), while Soria was tops in the 100 breaststroke (1:12.99).
The Lakers went one-two in the 100 freestyle with Solt winning (55:84) and Ondracek taking second (56.88). Sophomore Anna Cundiff won diving with 202.30 points.
Senior Brooke Bauer was second in the 500 freestyle (5:39.92) for Prior Lake.
This year’s Class AA state competition is set for Nov. 18-20 at its annual site, the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.