St. Thomas Academy • football
Sims is a lot like his namesake, played by Russell Crowe in "Gladiator."
"I take a lot of pride in my name," Sims said. "He never gave up. He always knew what he was fighting for."
A senior quarterback, Sims rallied the No. 9 Cadets past Alexandria 42-30 in the Class 5A semifinals. St. Thomas Academy trailed 23-0 midway through the second quarter.
"I have been thinking about leading this team to the state championship game since my freshman season," Sims said. "Being a senior makes it more special."
Sims completed 12 of 15 passes for 245 yards and three touchdowns, the last a 69-yarder to sophomore wide receiver Avery Buckner to give the Cadets a 30-23 lead.
"When I came here he was probably one of the three best throwers in the state," Cadets coach Travis Walch said about Sims, a 6-2, 180-pound Minnesota State Mankato recruit. "I think now he is one of the three best quarterbacks in the state. His football IQ is through the roof. He is the leader of our team."
He has completed 96 of 161 passes for 1,603 yards and 18 touchdowns this season. He has added 110 yards and one score on the ground.
The Cadets are a perennial state power but have won only one state championship in program history, in 1975.
"Our goal was to get to the state championship and go from there," Sims said. "Now we have to get the job done. It would be great for the program, school and community."
Monticello • swimming
The freshman defended her 50- and 100-yard freestyle championships, setting school records in both events with times of 22.80 in the 50 and 50.25 seconds in the 100 in the Class 1A meet. Biegler broke 16 pool records, five meet records and three school records during the season. "She is a hard worker and sets her goals high," Magic coach Stacy Biegler said.
Centennial • football
Cummings has directed the No. 4 Cougars (11-1) to their first state championship game since 1984. The senior quarterback had a hand in all of the Cougars' points in a 20-13 victory over Lakeville South in the Class 6A semifinals. He ran for two scores and threw a game-winning 69-yard touchdown pass four minutes into the fourth quarter. Cummings added a two-point conversion pass.
Forest Lake • hockey
The junior captain produced a natural hat trick in a 1-minute, 44-second span during the final three minutes of a season-opening 4-2 victory over East Ridge and beat Roseville 5-4 with a shorthanded goal in overtime. "She holds herself and others accountable during practice to help everyone be better," Rangers coach Breanna Gaffy said.
Burnsville/Farmington/Lakeville • CI adapted soccer
Roseth had four goals and one assist, leading undefeated Burnsville/Farmington/Lakeville (11-0) to its third consecutive CI adapted soccer state championship with an 8-1 victory over Dakota United. The senior forward had six goals in a 9-0 shutout of South Suburban is the quarterfinals. He had 61 goals in his final season and 204 for his career.
Minneapolis Washburn • swimming
The sophomore broke the diving state record with a score of 529.2 while also beating two-time defending state champion senior Gabby Mauder of Woodbury in the Class 2A meet. She became the first Minneapolis diver to win the event since Crissy Curry of Minneapolis West in 1976. "[Breaking the record] was a big goal of mine this year," Kohel told the Star Tribune.
Hutchinson • football
Thode was all over the field in a 56-28 victory over North Branch in the Class 4A football semifinals. He rushed for 171 yards on 24 carries and four touchdowns (1, 10, 10 and 11 yards). The junior also made three tackles, recovered a fumble and had an interception. He's a 1,000-yard rusher with 15 touchdowns this season and also has six interceptions.
Nominate an athlete: Send an email with supporting information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include a photo and a link, if available, to video.