The Nebraska High School State Swimming Championships featured polar opposite finishes for the boys’ and girls’ meet. On the boys’ side, Creighton Prep High School set a record for most points scored at a state meet with 475. On the other hand, the Marian High School girls finished only .5 points ahead of Lincoln Southwest in a meet that came down to the wire.
Lincoln started finals off strong with a win in the 200 medley relay as they set a new state record. The team of Emma Vertin (27.32), Dannie Dilsaver (28.82), Abigail Lunzmann (26.34), and Olivia Calegan (22.53) finished with a 1:45.01. They were really propelled to victory by sophomore Olivia Calegan’s anchor that was .74 faster than the next closest competitor. Marian would end up second with their 1:48.77.
The first individual event featured two newcomers, but Lincoln Pius X’s Caroline Theil was able to pull out the win (1:50.40) over Lincoln Southwest’s Alana Palmer (1:52.90). Later in the night, Theil claimed her second title with her 51.00 100 free.
Last year, Danielle Dilsaver set a Nebraska State record with her 2:01.91 200 IM. This year the sophomore was able to defend her title in a tight race against Westside’s Elizabeth Amato-Hanner. Dilsaver had to fight back after Amato-Hanner got off to a strong start. Dilsaver’s breaststroke leg (36.01) proved to be the difference maker, and Amato-Hanner wasn’t able to catch back up with her strong closing speed.
The next event ended with Lincoln Southwest’s Olivia Calegan setting a new state record in the 50 free (23.17). Not stopping there, Calegan would double up and set a new state record in the 100 breaststroke later in the night (1:02.54).
Senior Dana Posthuma (Burke) won her school’s only title of the meet when she touched first in the 100 fly (54.83). Posthuma rewrote the record book with that swim and was able to finish well ahead of runner-up Tara Goos (Millard West, 56.01). The longest event of the meet would then go to Lincoln Southwest’s Dannie Dilsaver with her 5:02.30 500 free victory.
The 100 back would amazingly almost see another state record broken when Elizabeth Amato-Hanner (Omaha Westside) went a 55.71. Amato-Hanner went a 55.70 in prelims to set the new state record and she was very close to bettering that in her finals swim. Taylor Carter (Omaha Marian, set a diving state record with 526 points, so it was just a strong meet in the pool and on the boards.
Lincoln Southwest was able to win the last two relays (1:35.49 in the 200 free and 3:31.33 in the 400 free), but Marian’s 2nd place finishes in both helped them to secure the overall title. Marin only finished second in the 200 free relay by .05 seconds. If they had fallen to third Lincoln Southwest would have had enough to pull through and win the title.
Top Five Girls Team
- Marian 357
- Lincoln Southwest 356.5
- Burke 204
- Millard West 189
- Westside 141
The first individual events of the night started off with a 1:39.86 200 free win by senior Michael Mollak (Elkhorn/Elkhorn South). The Missouri State University commit also later claimed the victory in the 100 breaststroke (56.29) ahead of Creighton Prep’s Brian Magee (57.39).
Another double event winner was Northwestern commit Ryan Tate. The Creighton Prep senior started off his final state championship meet with a win in the 200 IM (1:51.62) over PLV/PLVS senior Ethan Shihi (1:53.26). He would then come back and touch first in the 100 fly (49.07). Shihi would stop the clock at 49.89 and would again finish behind Tate.
Ryan Tates’ brother, Sean, had an equally successful meet. Sean has committed to swim at a Duke next year, and he won both the 50 and 100 free. In the 50 Sean sprinted to a 20.58, and he was the only swimmer under 21 seconds. Lincoln East senior Austin Baker would finish as the runner-up with his 21.35. Sean Tate finished his individual high school career on top with a 44.89 100 free. This would put him well ahead of Millard West’s Caleb Kruse (46.85) and third place finisher Cameron Carney (Norfolk, 47.15).
Creighton Prep may have been extremely dominant throughout, but they weren’t able to set any new state records. The lone state record was set by Grand Island’s Matthew Novinski with his 49.15 preliminary swim in the 100 back. The sophomore was a little off during finals, but he was still able to pull out the win with his 49.55.
Brandon Abbound (Creighton Prep) would win a very close race in 500 free. Abbound’s 4:38.24 was able to just edge out Lincoln Southwest senior Vladislav Blazhievskiy (4:38.64). With just a 100 left, Blazhievskiy was still .59 ahead of Abbound. A strong 55.08 closing 100 was enough to propel Abbound to the state title.
The Creighton Prep High School boys had an incredibly successful finals session as they set a record for most points scored during a Nebraska High School State Championship Meet. This was in route to their 9th straight title. They went 3-3 when it came to relays (1:33.40-200 medley relay, 1:24.96- 200 free relay, and 3:05.82-400 free relay) to help with that rally.
Top Five Boys Teams
- Creighton Prep 475
- Lincoln Southwest 271
- Plv/Plvs 202.5
- Grand Island 152
- Millard West 137