There is a new face on the Nebarska swimming scene. Jacob Molacek is ready to enter into the vernacular of swim geeks everywhere. The junior at Creighton Prep in Omaha, by far the state’s dominant team (6-straight State Championships), has been having a whale of a season: unlike any perhaps Nebraska swimming has ever seen.
This is Molacek’s first season of high school swimming, and even then he got a late jump on things. He has been homeschooled for his entire career and had to sit out of racing for 90 school days beginning this year. In mid-January, when Molacek made his high school debut at a travel meet in Seattle, Tom Beck said his energy could be felt by the team.
“He was, to put it mildly, extremely excited to swim in Seattle. His swims gave our team jolts of electricity throughout the meet.”
Molacek is the kind of swimmer that every high school coach dreams of. He has unreal versatility (think Ryan Murphy, giving up some on the backstroke and taking a lot on the breaststroke) that can help assembling relays in a big way.
At that first meet, the Kentridge Invitational, he won the 200 free in 1:39.51 and the 100 fly in 49.92, with only the rest of a travel day counteracted by Friday afternoon spent walking around the city. He also led off the two free relays with flat-starts of 20.58 (en route to a team 1:25.46) and 45.19 (en route to a 3:09.09), respectively. Creighton Prep was already anticipating a really good team this season, with sophomore twins Ryan and Sean Tate already capable of 46’s (or better) in their 100 freestyles.
Then, last week, at the Millard South Invitational, he thought he’d switch things up a little. He swam a 55.92 in the 100 breaststroke, which is unoficially an all-time State best (though in Nebraska, State Records can only be set at the State Meet). He broke the 1998 record set by David Anderson.
Molacek also led off the 200 medley relay in 23 seconds, and split a 20.05 to anchor their 200 free relay, totally unrested. Without even tapering yet, Molacek has gone 5 best times this season and is within striking distance of State Meet Records in all 5 events, depending on which he swims; based upon that medley relay split, he could probably go after the 100 back mark as well.
And with a young team (they return all of their top freestylers), they’re going to put up some really impressive relay times in 2014. With continued development, this could be a 400 free relay next season that approaches the three-minute barrier.
The Nebraska State Championship meet will be Thursday, February 21st through Saturday, February 23rd in Lincoln.