LINCOLN, Nebraska, February 28. MILLARD West took home its fifth girls title in the last six years, and Creighton Prep its seventh consecutive boys championship at the Nebraska State Swimming Championships at the University of Nebraska Feb. 22-23.
Millard West lost their four-year state championship streak last year as they were runners-up to Omaha Westside. The Lady Wildcats returned this year to claim their fifth title in six year with their 267 points. Lincoln Southwest finished second, scoring 222 points. Marian and Elkhorn tied for third with 197 points apiece, and Millard North took fifth with 164.5 points.
Senior Taylor Korte, junior Shea Marcinski, sophomore Tara Goss and senior Erin Oeltjen finished the meet with a 3:33.85 victory for Millard West. Oeltjen claimed her third consecutive title in the 100 back in 57.03 and the second in three years in the 100 fly (56.35).
Elkhorn senior Elizabeth Howorth set the only state record in the girls meet with her 497.50 points in diving. Howorth's teammate, sophomore Bryn Lohrberg, posted a 52.72 in the 100 free.
Lincoln Southwest began the meet with a first-place 1:46.99 in the 200 medley relay, composed of freshman Emma Vertin, junior Sophia Nelson, sophomore Abby Lunzmann and junior Aimee Fischer. Fischer claimed titles in the 200 free (1:54.57) and defended her 500 free title by 11-hundredths over Millard North junior Mary Kate Luddy (5:07.15-5:07.26).
Laura Miksch, a Columbus junior, sprinted to a 23.49 in the 50 free and closed out the individual portion of the meet with her 1:05.67 in the 100 breast.
By just 6-hundredths, Lincoln Southeast's quartet of sophomore Ellie Walstad, seniors Patricia Morrow and Meredith Wekesser, plus freshman Alexa Goldenstein prevailed in the 200 free relay over Duchesne's squad of senior Jennelle Jarrett, freshman Emily Young, senior BreighAnne Lawrence and sophomore Fiona Raynor, 1:38.12-1:38.18. Millard West's relay finished another 11-hundredths back in third with their 1:38.29.
Creighton Prep's seventh consecutive boys title featured several state records and plenty of depth, finishing first with 409.5 points. Millard South finished in the runner-up spot with 254 points. Lincoln Southwest was third with 212 points, followed by Elkhorn (205.5) and and Millard West 185).
Two of Creighton Prep's record-setting swims occurred in one event–the 200 free relay. Junior Jacob Molacek led off in 20.27, taking down the 1997 mark of 20.45 by David Moros. Sophomores Ryan and Sean Tate, plus junior Michael Bauwens, followed and finished the event in 1:23.45. That time erased the Junior Jays' state record of 1:24.15 set in 2009. Molacek and Ryan Tate were joined by senior Alexander Perice and junior Carter Deras for a 1:32.09 win in the 200 medley relay.
Molacek also lowered the state record in the 100 fly to 48.68 and finished first in the 200 free (1:37.63). The prior record in the 100 fly was 48.92, set by Ryan Bubb in 2009. Sean Tate doubled in the sprint events with his 20.76 in the 50 free and 46.42 in the 100 free. Sean's brother, Ryan, completed the 200 IM in 1:53.68 for his triumph.
The runner-up Patriots closed out the meet with their victorious 400 free relay. Senior Robert Glover, juniors Dustin Smith and James Glover, with anchor senior Neil Girmus, combined for a 3:10.74. Robert Glover missed a state record in the 100 back by 6-hundredths with his winning 49.49, and Girmus finished 15-hundredths ahead of Creighton Prep senior Szymon Day in the 100 breast, 57.60-57.75.
Lincoln Southwest sophomore Vladislav Blazhievski swam the 500 free to a championship title in 4:40.92. Joey Weber, a sophomore at Ralston-Gross, finished the diving competition with 458.60 points, just ahead of Austin Alexander, a Lincoln Northeast freshman (452.75 points).