LINCOLN — A stirring swim from Alana Palmer kick-started a record-setting day for her Lincoln Southwest teammates Friday during the first day of competition at the 43rd girls state meet.

After Southwest roared to a season-best 1:45.05 to win the 200-yard medley relay, Palmer knocked more than five seconds from her personal best time in the 200 freestyle. The sellout crowd at the Devaney Center roared after the Silver Hawk sophomore touched in 1:50.04, 5.48 seconds faster than her seed time.

That performance also landed her at No. 2 on The World-Herald’s all-time list — 0.17 seconds from the state record of 1:49.87 by Jenn Kocsis of Omaha Marian in 2004.

“That got my adrenaline pumping,” junior Olivia Calegan said. “The start of the meet is the most important because it sets the tone. That definitely got me going.”

After Palmer’s performance, state records began to tumble far and fast. Five record swims in four events — two in a three-minute stretch — helped set high expectations for more speedy swims during Saturday’s finals, scheduled to begin just after 11 a.m.

The first record to fall came from Southwest junior Dannie Dilsaver. By lowering the 200 individual medley record of 2:01.91 she set as a freshman in 2014 to 2:00.94 Friday, Dilsaver gave herself a chance to take aim at another hallowed mark.

If she can shave another 0.61 seconds from Friday’s time, Dilsaver would eclipse the Devaney pool record of 2:00.34 set by former U.S. Olympian Tracy Caulkins in 1983.

In December at the USA Swimming Winter Junior Championships West Regional, Dilsaver finished 11th in the 200 IM in 2:00.37. With a swim like that already on her résumé, Dilsaver has her sights set on an even better time — finishing the race in less than two minutes.

“That’s my ultimate goal,” Dilsaver said. “I was pretty happy with my time today. I thought my underwaters on my fly were good and so was my breaststroke. That’s my favorite part.”

Dilsaver showed later in the meet how much she enjoys the breaststroke by winning the 100 breaststroke in 1:02.56, 0.05 seconds off the state record Calegan set earlier this season.

Then it was Calegan’s turn to begin her assault on the record book. Calegan became the first girl in state history to finish the 50 freestyle in less than 23 seconds, winning her prelim heat in 22.95.

That was 0.22 faster than her winning time from the 2015 state meet, where she first set the state record. Calegan’s career best is 22.88, a time she posted at the Winter Junior Championships.

“I was very excited because the whole team was just swimming their A game today,” Calegan said. “I was hoping to go under 23 today. That was my goal, and my goal is to drop it a little bit further tomorrow.”

Calegan didn’t stop there. In her 100 freestyle prelim, she moved from No. 5 all-time to No. 1 by finishing first in 50.30 to take down what was the oldest state record — 50.43 by Katie Eckholt of Marian from 2001.

The fourth and fifth record swims came in the same event — the 100 backstroke — in back-to-back heats. First it was Omaha Westside senior Elizabeth Amato-Hanner taking 0.07 seconds off the state record of 55.70 she set last year at state.

“Her second 50 looked really good,” Westside coach Doug Krecklow said. “She can get out faster, and she knows that. She was using today to swim fast, but tomorrow is the day.”

Southwest junior Clara Walstad then hit the water in Lane 5, where Amato-Hanner had started her race moments earlier, and finished in 55.33 to make the state record her own before the two duel in Saturday’s final.

Walstad’s teammate Shelby Mullendore qualified third in 56.98 to debut at No. 7 on the all-time chart. Walstad said chasing records was the furthest thing from her mind.

“I usually try to cancel it out and just think about my own race,” Walstad said. “I don’t usually focus on time, I just swim and see how it goes.”

Amato-Hanner also qualified second in the 100 butterfly (56.28) behind Lincoln Pius X sophomore Caroline Theil and became the fifth swimmer this season to crack the all-time chart in that event.

Theil’s 56.03 will give her Lane 5 on Saturday, and she has a season-best 55.52 — No. 4 all-time. Theil also qualified second to Palmer in the 200 free in 1:51.65, just off her career best of 1:50.11.

Southwest coach Leigh Ann Fetter-Witt, a former U.S. Olympic swimmer who finished fifth in the finals of the 50-meter freestyle at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, said how fast so many kids swam Friday was remarkable.

“I’m a little shell-shocked,” Fetter-Witt said. “The impact Alana’s time had and some of those other times, I was a little surprised. I think we’re looking really strong going into tomorrow.”

PRELIM RESULTS

200-yard medley relay

Championship: 1, Lincoln Southwest (Sydney Schneider, Dannie Dilsaver, Kaitlyn Witt, Olivia Calegan), 1:45.04 (No. 2 all-time). 2, Omaha Marian, 1:48.47. 3, Ralston/Omaha Gross, 1:49.53. 4, Lincoln Pius X, 1:50.00. 5 (tie), Lincoln Southeast and Millard North, 1:51.00. 7, Millard West, 1:51.58. 8, Omaha Westside, 1:52.45.

Consolation: 9, Grand Island, 1:52.97. 10, Omaha Burke, 1:53.35. 11, Papillion-La Vista/Papillion-La Vista South, 1:53.92. 12, Omaha Duchesne, 1:55.50. 13, Lincoln Northeast, 1:55.79. 14, Millard South, 1:55.82. 15, Omaha Skutt, 1:56.07. 16, Kearney, 1:56.19.

200 freestyle

Championship: 1, Alana Palmer, LSW, 1:50.04 (No. 2 all-time). 2, Caroline Theil, Pius X, 1:51.65. 3, Jordan McCullough, PLV/PLVS, 1:54.49. 4, Anna Heinrich, LSW, 1:54.96. 5, Ashley Bowen, Elkhorn/Elkhorn South, 1:55.06. 6, Sarah Sutej, Marian, 1:55.43. 7, Anna Capoun, Skutt, 1:56.58. 8, Jenna Popp, Marian, 1:56.64.

Consolation: 9, Emma Miller, PLV/PLVS, 1:56.69. 10, Hayley Addison, MW, 1:57.77. 11, Grace Porter, Westside, 1:58.71. 12, Laina Bayles, Westside, 1:59.46. 13, Mackenna Wilkie, E/ES, 1:59.57. 14, Jennifer Poulsen, Kearney, 1:59.63. 15, Madi White, Omaha Central, 1:59.83. 16, Emily Jacobson, R/G, 2:00.13.

200 individual medley

Championship: 1, Dilsaver, 2:00.94 (state record, No. 1 all-time, betters own 2:01.91, 2014). 2, Emma Vertin, LSW, 2:08.15. 3, Olivia Appleget, Pius X, 2:09.35. 4, Holly Hopson, MN, 2:11.17. 5, Anya Lindholm, Marian, 2:12.50. 6, Monica Blake, R/G, 2:12.55. 7, Cassie Palmer, Marian, 2:13.02. 8, Jessi Ferguson, Central, 2:13.77.

Consolation: 9, Breanna Harthoorn, Norfolk, 2:14.93. 10, Isabelle Vlach, Grand Island, 2:14.97. 11, Emily Hart, MN, 2:15.83. 12, Angela Partusch, Duchesne, 2:16.15. 13, Abbi Lunzmann, LSW, 2:16.16. 14, Payton Hall, MW, 2:16.91. 15, Hannah Oeltjen, MW, 2:17.08. 16, Abigail Mitchell, Pius X, 2:17.26.

50 freestyle

Championship: 1, Calegan, 22.95 (state record, No. 1 all-time, betters own 23.17, 2015).2, Clara Walstad, LSW, 23.80. 3, Kami Fox, Omaha Burke, 24.33. 4, Ellen Ellis, MN, 24.56. 5, Ashley Black, R/G, 24.71. 6, Olivia Tate, Marian, 24.80. 7, Capoun, 24.86. 8, Savannah Nichols, Marian, 24.92.

Consolation: 9, Delaney Kottke, Marian, 24.98. 10, Johanna Schubert, Lincoln High, 25.18. 11, Allison Becker, Pius X, 25.22. 12, Shayne Coleman, McCook 25.31. 13, Maggie Germonprez, Central, 25.36. 14, Logan Hodge, MW, 25.4215, Lauren Jacobsen, Norfolk, 25.43. 16, Emma Ryan, Kearney, 25.71.

100 butterfly

Championship: 1, Theil, 56.03. 2, Elizabeth Amato-Hanner, Westside, 56.28 (No. 7 all-time). 3, Nichols, 57.42. 4, Witt, 57.57. 5, Alexa Goldenstein, LSE, 57.75. 6, Schneider, LSW, 58.26. 7, Appleget, 58.46. 8, Ferguson, 58.68.

Consolation: 9, Lindsey Stalheim, MW, 1:00.39. 10, Lunzmann, 1:00.52. 11, Jacobson, 1:00.56. 12, Richardson, 1:00.82. 13, Jenna Gornall, Marian, 1:01.09. 14, Linzie Kreizel, Lincoln Northeast, 1:01.79. 15, Elisabeth Hailu, MN, 1:02.12. 16, Ella Hustad, E/ES, 1:02.16.

100 freestyle

Championship: 1, Calegan, 50.30 (state record, No. 1 all-time, betters 50.43 by Katie Eckholt, Marian, 2001). 2, Mullendore, 52.87. 3, Tate, 53.53. 4, Fox, 53.87. 5, Ellis, 54.09. 6, Kottke, 54.54. 7, Hayley Addison, MW, 54.65. 8, Becker, 54.87.

Consolation: 9, Kayla Gornall, Marian, 54.93. 10, Madison Beal, LSE, 55.06. 11, Oeltjen, 55.31. 12, Gabby McGinn, MW, 55.32. 13, Black, 55.47. 14, Vlach, 55.53. 15, Jacobsen, 55.77. 16, Hodge, 55.88.

500 freestyle

Championship: 1, Alana Palmer, 5:03.98. 2, McCullough, 5:06.22. 3, Miller, 5:07.62. 4, Sutej, 5:08.43. 5, Bayles, 5:10.77. 6, Vertin, 5:11.00. 7, Cassie Palmer, 5:12.31. 8, Heinrich, 5:12.60.

Consolation: 9, Popp, 5:14.20. 10, Bowen, 5:18.17. 11, Makenzie Delgado, LE, 5:18.93. 12, Kreizel, 5:21.46. 13, Porter, 5:24.02. 14, Isabella Miceli, MW, 5:24.03. 15, Hart, 5:25.61. 16, Paige Knight, PLV/PLVS, 5:28.42.

200 freestyle relay

Championship: 1, Lincoln Southwest (Walstad, Heinrich, Mullendore, Calegan), 1:37.92. 2, Omaha Marian, 1:38.52. 3, Ralston/Omaha Gross, 1:39.56. 4, Norfolk, 1:40.49. 5, Millard West, 1:40.80. 6, Omaha Central, 1:41.36. 7, Lincoln Southeast, 1:41.37. 8, Papillion-La Vista/Papillion-La Vista South, 1:41.40.

Consolation: 9, Omaha Burke, 1:42.13. 10, Omaha Duchesne, 1:42.49. 11, Omaha Skutt, 1:43.41. 12, Omaha Westside, 1:43.61. 13, Grand Island, 1:44.39. 14, Lincoln East, 1:44.54. 15, Lincoln High, 1:44.81. 16, Millard South, 1:44.93.

100 backstroke

Championship: 1, Walstad, 55.33 (state record, No. 1 all-time, betters 55.63 by Elizabeth Amato-Hanner, Omaha Westside, 2016). 2, Amato-Hanner, 55.63 (No. 2 all-time, bettered own state record of 55.70, 2015). 3, Mullendore, 56.98 (No. 6 all-time). 4, Stalheim, 58.21. 5, Goldenstein, 58.88. 6, Josie Ford, LSW, 58.94. 7, Schneider, 59.58. 8, Molly Miller, Marian, 59.71.

Consolation: 9, Richardson, 59.99. 10, Jenna Gornall, 1:00.23. 11, Schubert, 1:00.28. 12, Kayla Gornall, 1:00.83. 13, Mitchell, 1:00.96. 14, Kat Keller, PLV/PLVS, 1:01.31. 15, Hustad, 1:01.42. 16, Hall, 1:01.71.

100 breaststroke

Championship: 1, Dilsaver, 1:02.56 (No. 2 all-time). 2, Blake, 1:05.15 (Tied for No. 10 all-time). 3, Sarah Koubek, GI, 1:07.11. 4, Witt, 1:07.14. 5, Harthoorn, 1:10.55. 6, Beal, 1:08.81. 7, Hopson, 1:08.92. 8, Lindholm, 1:08.99.

Consolation: 9, Sydney Slosson, MS, 1:09.01. 10, Averie Frye, LSE, 1:09.42. 11, Peyton Stover, Westside, 1:10.52. 12, Alli Marks, PLV/PLVS, 1:10.53. 13, Kelsey Linzell, LSE, 1:10.57. 14, Betsy Foy, Burke, 1:10.60. 15, Lily Nelson, Marian, 1:10.93. 16, Natalya Nelson, Kearney, 1:11.06.

400 freestyle relay

Championship: 1, Lincoln Southwest (Palmer, Mullendore, Dilsaver, Calegan), 3:31.22. 2, Omaha Marian, 3:36.47. 3, Lincoln Pius X, 3:36.85. 4, Millard West, 3:40.81. 5, Millard North, 3:41.15. 6, Omaha Central, 3:41.45. 7, Norfolk, 3:41.46. 8, Papillion-La Vista/Papillion-La Vista South, 3:42.21.

Consolation: 9, Elkhorn/Elkhorn South, 3:42.26. 10, Omaha Westside, 3:42.53. 11, Kearney, 3:46.30. 12, Grand Island, 3:47.80. 13, Fremont, 3:48.77. 14, Omaha Duchesne, 3:49.26. 15, Lincoln East, 3:49.39. 16, Lincoln Northeast, 3:51.19.

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Please keep it clean, turn off CAPS LOCK and don't threaten anyone. Be truthful, nice and proactive. And share with us - we love to hear eyewitness accounts.

You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.