Doing the little things right in the back half of her 100-yard breaststroke race at Saturday’s Omaha Westside Invitational helped Katie Stonehocker edge season leader Jocelyn Randby.
The race was a rare regular-season dual between the top two swimmers in an event. Randby, who is a sophomore at Omaha Marian, debuted at No. 7 on The World-Herald’s all-time chart in the event last month by winning the Elkhorn Invitational in 1:03.98.
Stonehocker is a junior at Lincoln Pius X and the defending state champion in the 100 breaststroke after finishing second to state record holder Olivia Calegan of Lincoln Southwest as a freshman at the 2017 state meet.
In winning the 2018 gold medal, Stonehocker moved to No. 3 all-time in the breaststroke at 1:02.43, trailing only Calegan (1:01.65) and former Lincoln Southwest star Dannie Dilsaver (1:02.24).
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Past performances were put aside Saturday at the Westside Natatorium as Stonehocker and Randby met for the second time this season. Stonehocker won in 1:06.01, bettering the meet record of 1:06.41 she set in 2017.
Randby, who won the first meeting with Stonehocker earlier this season, finished second Saturday in 1:06.64. Papillion-La Vista/Papillion-La Vista South freshman Olivia Dendinger is the only other swimmer currently under 1:07 at 1:06.29 with less than four weeks to go before the state meet in Lincoln.
“You could tell the two were racing each other,” Pius coach Mike Witt said. “(Katie) is on track right now and she hasn’t rested yet. She’s a workhorse, and that’s where she’s at right now.”
Witt said he was pleased with some technique changes Stonehocker made in the final two laps of Saturday’s race.
“I was very impressed with the back half of the race, she did a lot of little things correctly,” Witt said. “It’s nice to see a lot of those things she’s been working on in practice get implemented and help her swim so well.”
Stonehocker, Isabella Pantano of Omaha Marian and Sydney Cole of Elkhorn/Elkhorn South all won two individual events. Stonehocker’s first win of the day came in the 200 freestyle (2:00.89), while Pantano won the 100 butterfly (58.97) and 100 backstroke (59.98).
Cole won the 200 individual medley in 2:09.56 before touching first in the 500 freestyle in 5:15.00. Marian scored 365 points to win the girls team title. Host Westside was second with 279.
Westside won the boys meet with 347 points as Pius edged Elkhorn/Elkhorn South 195-179 for second.
Randby and Pantano were joined by Maddie Clark and Bethany Bespoyasny to set a meet record in the 200 medley relay in 1:50.06. That time is .23 seconds faster than the previous record set by another Crusaders quartet in 2005.
Team scoring: Omaha Westside 347, Lincoln Pius X 195, Elkhorn/Elkhorn South 179, Grand Island 159, Kearney 144, Omaha Central 131, Hastings 124, Ralston/Omaha Gross 103, Bellevue West 82, Scottsbluff/Gering 18.
1,000-yard freestyle: Jackson Hanus, Westside, 10:18.90. 200 medley relay: Grand Island (Doug Lewandowski, Jonathan Novinski, Kai Wilson, Paul Noble), 1:40.74. 200 freestyle: Novinski, 1:43.98. 200 individual medley: Grant Johnson, Westside, 2:00.15. 50 freestyle: Emmett Black, Kearney, 22.69. 1-meter diving: Michael Huebner, Kearney, 475.00 points. 100 butterfly: Austin Smith, E/ES, 54.79. 100 freestyle: Novinski, 49.04. 500 freestyle: Sam Kelly, Westside, 5:01.31. 200 freestyle relay: Grand Island (Novinski, Lewandowski, Noble, Wilson), 1:30.54. 100 backstroke: Jordan Coffey, Pius X, 53.36. 100 breaststroke: Johnson, 59.43. 400 freestyle relay: Omaha Westside (Jack Bailey, Kelly, Patrick Voller, Thomas Lundin), 3:17.16.
Team scoring: Omaha Marian 365, Omaha Westside 279, Elkhorn/Elkhorn South 241, Lincoln Pius X 205, Omaha Central 125, Hastings 101, Bellevue West 65, Grand Island 31, Ralston/Omaha Gross 29, Kearney 26, Scottsbluff/Gering 11.
1,000-yard freestyle: Rylee Trojan, Marian, 10:57.39. 200 medley relay: Omaha Marian (Maddie Clark, Jocelyn Randby, Isabella Pantano, Bethany Bespoyasny), 1:50.06 (meet record, betters own 1:50.29, 2005). 200 freestyle: Katie Stonehocker, Pius X, 2:00.89. 200 individual medley: Sydney Cole, E/ES, 2:09.56. 50 freestyle: Morgan Baker, Hastings, 25.31. 1-meter diving: Claire Hartley, Marian, 384.55 points. 100 butterfly: Pantano, 58.97. 100 freestyle: Diana Brailita, Hastings, 54.87. 500 freestyle: Cole, 5:15.00. 200 freestyle relay: Omaha Marian (Bespoyasny, Clark, Bella Schinco, Randby), 1:41.42. 100 backstroke: Pantano, 59.98. 100 breaststroke: Stonehocker, 1:06.01 (meet record, betters own 1:06.41, 2017). 400 freestyle relay: Omaha Marian (Bespoyasny, Pantano, Abbie Kellen, Schinco), 3:44.46.
Barr No. 7 on breaststroke list
Papillion-La Vista/PLV South sophomore Luke Barr earned his second spot on The World-Herald’s all-time Top 10 charts this season when he won the 100-yard breaststroke in a quadrangular meet Saturday at Millard West.
Finishing first in 56.85 seconds allowed Barr to debut at No. 7 all-time in the breaststroke. Last month Barr debuted at No. 9 in the 200 individual medley in 1:52.62. Both times also are Papillion-La Vista records.