The Prior Lake girls swimming team had plenty of strong finishes at the Class AA state meet Nov. 20 at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.

Junior Zella Lucas had the Lakers’ best finish, taking third in the 100 butterfly with a time of 55.80. That was 0.96 off her school record, which she set in winning the Section 3AA title back on Nov. 12.

Lucas made the medal stand (top eight) twice for the Lakers. She was also part of the 400 freestyle team with junior Lauren Moeller, sophomore Halle Nelson and ninth-grader Ivy Solt that finished fourth with a time of 3:31.63.

Lucas also won the consolation heat in the 200 freestyle taking ninth with a time of 1:53.10. Moeller was 12th in that event (1:54.37), while finishing 10th in the 100 freestyle (52.94).

Solt won the consolation heat in the 500 freestyle for Prior Lake, finishing with a time of 5:04.95. Nelson did the same in the 100 freestyle (52.92).

The Lakers’ 200 medley relay team of seniors Grace Netz and Brooke Bauer, ninth-grader Alex Peterson and Nelson was also a consolation heat winner with a ninth-place time of 1:49.62.

Netz ended up 15th in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.44) for Prior Lake, while Peterson finished 18th in the 50 freestyle (24.77).

Prior Lake made the finals (top eight) in the 200 freestyle taking fourth in the prelims with a time of 1:38.72. However, the foursome of Peterson, Nelson, Solt and Lucas was disqualified in the finals.

The disqualification hurt the Lakers’ chances at a higher finish in the state team standings. Instead, Prior Lake ended up eighth with 105 points.

An eighth-place finish in a relay is worth 22 points, so 22 more points for the Lakers would have put them sixth in the final team standings.

Minnetonka won the state team crown with 381 points, followed by Edina (223), Stillwater (176), Wayzata (165), Shakopee (135), Eden Prairie (122) and Blaine (109). Chanhassen was ninth (103) and Maple Grove was 10th (75).

Minnetonka, Edina, Prior Lake, Eden Prairie, Shakopee and Chanhassen are all Section 2AA teams.

Prior Lake’s best team finish at state was in 2017 when it finished sixth. The team has been in the top 10 five times in the last decade, including taking ninth in 2019.

There was no state competition last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shakopee was the highest finishing South Suburban Conference school at state, followed by the Lakers. Farmington was third-best taking 11th with 72 points.

Other team finishes for SSC schools included Lakeville North (18th, 38), Eagan (22nd, 29), Lakeville South (T27th, 12), Eastview (T33rd, 6) and Burnsville (T38th, 2).

Prior Lake has won the last four SSC Championships, including a 9-0 duals record this season and a 36-0 record over the last four years. The last time the Lakers lost in league waters was in their final dual of the 2017 campaign, falling 95-91 to Rosemount.

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.