Lakeville South athletes excel in 2013

Cougars also get their first two-time wrestling champion

Lakeville South's Tommy Petersen (left) won the 195-pound championship at the state Class 3A wrestling tournament. He won a state title for the second year in a row. Photo by Rick Orndorf
Lakeville South’s Tommy Petersen (left) won the 195-pound championship at the state Class 3A wrestling tournament. He won a state title for the second year in a row. Photo by Rick Orndorf

Holding on to what they already had was a theme for some Lakeville South athletes in 2013. The girls track and field team came close to a second consecutive state title, while Tommy Petersen ended his high school wrestling career as a two-time champion.

In this Year in Review, we take a look at those events and a few other highlights:
Back to back in track?

Lakeville South was second in the Class AA finals, 15.5 points behind Minnetonka and at least 37 points ahead of everybody else.

Several South athletes starred individually, including sophomore Caraline Slattery, who cleared 5 feet, 8 inches to win the high jump. Her teammate, Morgan Pieri, jumped 5-6 to take third. Slattery also medaled in the 300-meter hurdles, while Shaina Burns earned medals in the 300 hurdles and shot put. Kaytlyn Larson also was a double medal winner in the 800- and 1,600-meter races.

Earlier in the season, Lakeville South won the South Suburban Conference and state Class 3A True Team championships.
Winner and still champion

Lakeville South’s Tommy Petersen won his second consecutive state wrestling championship, edging Moorhead’s Chase Morlock 3-2 in the Class 3A title match at 195 pounds.

Before Petersen won his consecutive titles, his older brother Zane won a state championship in 2011. The Petersens are the first two Lakeville South wrestlers to be state champions.

“I had more to lose after winning last year, but I didn’t focus on that,” said Tommy Petersen, who went to North Dakota State University to wrestle. “It’s just a few minutes. In the end there’s thousands of people watching you. You just have to block it out.

“Last year I didn’t have as much nerves on me. I had a lot of pressure on myself, with this my last match as a high school wrestler.”

Petersen lost only once in 39 matches in his senior season.
Back to state

State meet appearances are becoming commonplace for the Lakeville South girls cross country team, and 2013 was no different. The Cougars finished third in the Class AA meet, up three spots from 2012. The Cougars also were South Suburban Conference and Section 1AA champions.

Kaytlyn Larson led the Cougars at state, finishing 28th individually. South’s top five finishers in the Class AA meet will return next year, meaning it might be a good idea to make room for the Cougars at state again.
Getting hot at the right time

Lakeville South had a mediocre regular-season record (7-9) in softball, but the Cougars were one victory from playing in the state tournament. They won their first four games in the Class 3A, Section 3 playoffs to move to the doorstep of state. Bloomington Jefferson needed two consecutive victories over South to win the section – and got them, winning 5-3 and 7-0.

The Cougars will go into the 2014 season with a new coach after Colleen Powers left to become head coach at St. Catherine University.
Worth noting

• Junior Mitch Herrera finished fourth in two distance freestyle races and helped lead Lakeville South to fifth place at the state Class AA boys swimming meet.

• In the state girls swimming meet, South sophomore Brianna Alexander was second in the 200-yard individual medley and fourth in the 500 freestyle.

• Senior Amanda Larson was eighth in the state girls Alpine skiing meet.

• Lakeville South was among four South Suburban teams in the top 10 of the state Class 4A girls basketball preseason rankings. One of the Cougars’ top players is senior center Katie Quandt, who has signed with Boston College.

• It also was a good year for some former Lakeville South athletes. Justin Kloos, the 2012 Mr. Hockey Award winner, was second in scoring in the United States Hockey League before moving on to the University of Minnesota, where he has been an impact player with 16 points in the Gophers’ first 15 games. Grant Melhorn, J.D. Melhorn, Grant Mitchell and Andrew O’Reilly were members of the Bethel University football team that reached the NCAA Division III quarterfinals.