Though Lincoln Southwest, Omaha Creighton Prep and Omaha Marian all were coming off two days of hard practices following the NSAA’s five-day holiday moratorium, several swimmers still posted fast times Saturday in the annual dual meets featuring some of the state’s top programs.
Prep defeated the Southwest boys 122-63 while Marian edged the Silver Hawk girls 104-82 at UNO.
Southwest coach Leigh Ann Fetter-Witt said the expectations aren’t as high for this meet as they are for others because of where it falls on the schedule. But the intensity level is still high, especially in the girls meet, where the two schools have combined to win the past five state team titles.
“The first day back after that break they always look awful in the water while they try to find their bearings,” Fetter-Witt said. “This is a hard time of the season. We did doubles the last two days, then we have them come out and race.”
Marian won two of the three relays while both girls programs won four of the eight individual swimming events. Southwest senior Berkeley Livingston won the 200-yard individual medley and 500 freestyle, senior Anna Heinrich won the 100 freestyle and freshman Allie Hathaway touched first in the 200 freestyle.
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The Crusaders had two swimmers win a pair of individual events. Junior Isabella Pantano debuted on the season leaders list in the 100 butterfly and also finished first in her specialty, the 100 backstroke. Sophomore Jocelyn Randby won the 50 freestyle and her specialty, the 100 breaststroke.
“After coming off the moratorium, it’s always a little bit weird getting back on track,” Crusaders coach BJ Christiansen said. “What it comes down to is we just want them to go out and race. We don’t have another meet until January 15, so that will give us a chance to do some hard training the next couple of weeks.”
Prep won all three relays and six of the eight individual boys swimming events. Junior Rush Clark continued to prove that he’s working toward becoming the state’s best all-around swimmer by the time the state meet rolls around in late February.
Clark debuted at No. 2 on the season leader’s list in the 500 freestyle in his first crack at the event this season and won the 100 backstroke by exactly six seconds in 52.44.
“That was a lifetime best for Rush in the 500 by quite a bit,” Junior Jays coach Tom Beck said. “We’ve had him in the distance training lane at practice, so it was good to see him have such a strong swim.”
Beck also said senior Ross Pantano had a good meet, winning the 200 freestyle and finishing second to Southwest’s Chas Nolte in the 100 breaststroke. Pantano moved into the season leaders list in both events with his Saturday performances.
Nolte was the lone individual event winner for the Silver Hawks as he also touched first in the 100 breaststroke.
Team scoring: Omaha Creighton Prep 122, Lincoln Southwest 63.
200-yard medley relay: Omaha Creighton Prep (Rush Clark, Ben Goeman, Kayden McCullough, Danny Perry), 1:39.45. 200 freestyle: Ross Pantano, Prep, 1:47.23. 200 individual medley: Chas Nolte, LSW, 2:03.84. 50 freestyle: McCullough, 23.03. 1-meter diving (six dives): Jimmy Rosenthal, Prep, 161.55. 100 butterfly: Perry, 52.98. 100 freestyle: McCullough, 50.42. 500 freestyle: Clark, 4:44.95. 200 freestyle relay: Omaha Creighton Prep (Pantano, Andrew Hood, Sal Goaley, McCullough), 1:31.13. 100 backstroke: Clark, 52.44. 100 breaststroke: Nolte, 1:01.81. 400 freestyle relay: Omaha Creighton Prep (Clark, Perry, Noah Peake, Pantano), 3:19.27.
Team scoring: Omaha Marian 104, Lincoln Southwest 82.
200-yard medley relay: Omaha Marian (Maddie Clark, Jocelyn Randby, Isabella Pantano, Amanda Allbery), 1:49.04. 200 freestyle: Allie Hathaway, LSW, 1:58.60. 200 individual medley: Berkeley Livingston, LSW, 2:12.21. 50 freestyle: Randby, 24.65. 1-meter diving (six dives): Claire Hartley, Marian, 215.80 points. 100 butterfly: Pantano, 58.97. 100 freestyle: Anna Heinrich, LSW, 55.45. 500 freestyle: Livingston, 5:17.58. 200 freestyle relay: Omaha Marian (Randby, Clark, Bethany Bespoyasny, Isabella Schinco), 1:40.73. 100 backstroke: Pantano, 57.56. 100 breaststroke: Randby, 1:07.17. 400 freestyle relay: Lincoln Southwest (Marti Walstad, Heinrich, Livingston, Hathaway), 3:41.22.