Omaha Marian and Creighton Prep Repeat as Nebraska State High School Champions

Lincoln, NE. NEBRASKA may have killed off its men's college swimming program but high school swimming is alive and well. Omaha Marian's ladies and Omaha Creighton Prep's boys didn't miss a beat while defending their respective state championships at the University of Nebraska's Bob Devaney Aquatics Center.

OCP ran its state-title streak to six-straight while Marian's ladies won their second-consecutive crown and third in the last four years.

OMA started off the final session in expeditious fashion, racing to a state-record 1:47.89 in the 200 medley relay. And who was holder of the old mark? This same foursome from last year's championships (1:48.14).
The time is an automatic All-America clocking (1:48.93) while second-place Millard North (1:49.72) makes the consideration cut.

Senior Katie Eckholt was Marian's "Big Gun," scoring a pair of wins in the 50-100 frees (23.20-50.49). Her 50 free swim was a state record, breaking the old mark of 23.57 set by Amy Tidball from 1987! In the 100 her 50.43 in the prelims was a second state standard, topping her old mark of 51.15 from last season.

Teammate Lisa Hansen also contributed via a win in the 200 free and led off her school's state record-setting 400 sprint relay (3:32.43) with a 54.64 split. The winning time surpassed the old record of 3:34.90 from 1986 and also is under the All-America auto cut of 3:34.14.

Millard West 10th-grader Bailey Ingles scored a double via wins in the 200 IM (AA consideration 2:08.10) and the 100 back (58.47 — also a consideration cut). The state record is 56.88 by former Louisiana State All-America Ali Peterson.

A precocious ninth-grader from Millard North, Jessie Bailis, showed her heels to the field in the 100 breast with her state-record 1:03.90 — an auto All-America swim.

Melissa Fry, an 11th-grader from Millard South, won the 100 fly (59.71 with a pr 59.42 in the heats); then came back to take runner-up honors in the 100 back.

Millard West senior Nichole Real was fastest in the 500 free (5:11.79) while in the 200 sprint relay it was her school winning in a AA consideration 1:37.89. Real anchored the winning squad.

On the boys' side, Omaha Creighton Prep used its superior depth to win the title for the sixth-consecutive season. OCP won only two events, the 200 medley relay in an All-America consideration 1:38.57, and the 200 free relay (consideration 1:27.05).

The meet featured several doublers, among them Papillion 10th-grader Daniel Berve in the 200-500 frees (1:44.70-4:50.91); Grand Island's Scott Usher in the 200 IM-100 breast (1:57.81-57.97); and Beatrice's Adam Monia in the 100 free (46.87) and 100 back (51.78).

Other winners included Papillion's Chris Scheuber in the 50 free (21.44) with OCP's Kyle Dunlap-William Selde next in 21.61-21.71; and Travis Stensby (Bellevue West) in the 100 fly (51.11) — who also was a member of his school's winning 400 sprint relay squad that clocked an AA consideration 3:16.08.

— Bill Bell

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