Bethany Galat, a senior at Penn High School in Mishawaka, Indiana, has broken a pool record in her home course against South Bend St. Joseph High School on Monday evening, swimming a 50.66 in the girls’ 100 yard free.
High school swimmers break pool records fairly often in-season, too often to report them all, but this one is particularly noteworthy because of its age and its previous owner. Galat’s time cleared a 51.38 done by Elkhart Central’s Lindsay Benko back in 1993 – 20 years ago.
Benko, who is now Lindsay Mintenko, is a three-time Olympic gold medalist and a former World Record holder in the 400 SCM freestyle. She is currently the USA Swimming National Team Managing Director., and went on to be a 21-time All-American at USC.
Like Mintenko, the 100 free is not even necessarily the primary event for Galat, despite winning both that race and the 50 free in 23.28 on Monday evening. She is the top domestic breaststroke recruit in the class of 2014 and the defending Indiana State Champion in the 100 yard distance of that event. Her 100 time here, though, was a lifetime best on a flat-start by three-tenths of a second.
The Aggies look much better this year than they have in the past in the sprint freestyles, but with the graduation of Lili Ibanez, Galat’s ability to contribute beyond just the breaststrokes is a huge plus for A&M’s future; they’ll also graduate Breeja Larson this year, the best breaststroker in the country, but they still have a lot of depth there.
Other top performers from the meet include Emily Meckstroth, who won both the 200 IM (2:11.57) and the 100 fly (1:00.39) for Penn; and Annie Spalding, who won the 100 back (59.7) and 200 free (1:57.71). Diver Samm Reese won the 1-meter event for St. Joseph’s by 30 points, and she should repeat as a state finalist in 2014.
The Indiana girls’ High School State Championship meet will run from February 14th-15th at the Indiana University Natatorium on the IUPUI campus in Indianapolis.