Prep report: Thunderhawks' Verke takes sixth in state swim finals

The season concluded with the A and AA finals on Saturday at the University of Minnesota.

person in pool swimming
Grand Rapids senior swimmer Sophia Verke competes in the 200 yard freestyle at the Lincoln Park Middle School pool on Thursday, Oct. 6 in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
We are part of The Trust Project.

MINNEAPOLIS — Grand Rapids senior Sophia Verke led the Northland contingent at the MSHSL girls swimming and diving finals, which concluded on Friday, Nov. 18 at the University of Minnesota.

Verke finished sixth in the Class A 100-yard backstroke 'A' final, finishing in a time of one minute, .15 seconds. Verke was the only senior to swim in the A final, won by junior Carly Bixby of Blake School going away in 54.81 seconds by a margin of more than two seconds clear of the field.

It would turn out to be one of three sixth-place finishes Verke had a part in, as she swam relay legs in the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays, with the Thunderhawks landing in that spot in both.

Rapids ended up in 11th overall with 78 points. Hibbing finished tied for 31st with 13 points. Geli Stenson finished 14th in the 200 free and anchored a 200 free relay that took 12th.

The only local entrant in Class AA, Duluth East senior Julia Zimpel finished 17th in the preliminaries and did not advance to competition on Friday night.


Visitation won a ninth consecutive A title with a whopping 397 points, more than second-place (Delano) and third place (Mound Westonka/Holy Family) combined, while 2019 winner Edina edged defending champion Minnetonka 260-254 for the AA crown.


Proctor/Hermantown 9, Bloomington Jefferson 0

Junior Izy Fairchild scored her 50th varsity goal and completed a hat trick as the Mirage rolled to victory on Friday at Hermantown Ice Arena.

Duluth 2, Anoka 2 (OT)

The Northern Stars got goals from Rylan Lorenz and Adell Wormuth to take a 2-1 lead early in the second period, but Anoka tied it up midway through the frame and the teams deadlocked from there and through overtime for the tie.

Ella Brisbois made 27 saves for Duluth (1-0-1), while Mae McCall had a pair of assists.

South St. Paul 3, Cloquet-Esko-Carlton 0

The Packers held the Lumberjacks to just eight shots on goal in the shutout victory. Araya Kiminski made 22 saves for C-E-C.

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "staff." Often, the "staff" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.
What to read next
The Hawks scored three unanswered goals to start the season with a pair of victories.
The Rangers overcame five turnovers — including three in the first half — to come back from 11 down in the fourth quarter for the Minnesota IX-Man title.
This year's team features five All-State selections from three teams, including All-Area Player of the Year Abbey Birkey of Grand Rapids.
The Thunderhawks senior was the first All-State selection in the history of the program.