2016 Arkansas High School Championship Preview

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By Cathleen Pruden, Swimming World College Intern

Girls Meet

The 100 butterfly state record stands on watch this weekend. The 1997 record of 56.64 is the oldest record on the books. Bentonville’s Taylor Pike, is seeded at 54.86. She’ll likely chase it alone, however, as only three others swimmers have cracked the minute barrier. Pike is also the top seed in the 500 freestyle with a 5:05.97. Her next closest competitor is seeded at 5:23, though there should be a great battle for the remaining podium spots.

The 100 backstroke should be a tight race. Pulaski’s Allison Taylor is seeded at 59.43 while Central’s Arianna Shojaee has also broken one minute, and carries a seed time of 59.82. Carly Holland from Rogers Heritage will try to improve her seed of 1:00.06 and break the barrier.

The 400 freestyle relay state record could also be in jeopardy on Saturday. In 2014 Bentonville set a new record of 3:37.33. This year’s squad is seeded at 3:38.55, over ten seconds ahead of the closest competition. Bentonville’s top individual in the 100 freestyle is seeded 13th with a 58.40, so it will be interesting to see who comprises that relay.

Boys Meet

The Bentonville boys will also be record chasing. Their 200 medley is seeded at 1:38.20, just ahead of Conway’s 1:39.11. The current record stands at 1:38.34, established by Bentonville’s 2011 team. In the 200 freestyle relay, the team (1:29.52) is also less than a second off their 2008 state record of 1:28.82. While five seconds off the state record, the Bentonville boys hold the top seed in the 400 freestyle relay, and have a solid shot at going three for three on state relay titles this Saturday.

The 500 freestyle record may not be safe, either. Antonio Thomas of Haas is seeded in 4:34.67. The 2013 record, set by Minki Kang of Bryant stands at 4:32.52. Thomas will have to push himself, as his next closest competitor is Valley View’s Jack Little (4:56.36). Little should have an exciting race with Central’s Logan Jennings (4:59.19), the only other swimmer under five minutes.

Thomas Heye, from Central, is within striking distance of the 2014 100 backstroke record of 50.76. Heye is seeded first in 51.43.

Full psych sheet available here: 2016 Arkansas 3A State Championships – Results

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Author: Cathleen Pruden

Cathleen Pruden is a 2016 graduate of Mount Holyoke College and was a four time All-American and a three time Academic All-American for the Lyons. She grew up swimming in and has also coached in Raleigh, North Carolina. Currently she is the Assistant Coach at Bowdoin College.

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