Jonathan Novinski

Grand Island sophomore Jonathan Novinski earned his way Friday onto one of the most difficult all-time Top 10 lists to crack. Novinski and Islanders coach Brian Jensen both believe Novinski can get into at least the mid-1:39 range.

Saturday’s state swimming finals will begin just after 11 a.m. and will be broadcast on NET. Here are a few races — in the order they will take place — that you don’t want to miss on TV or online. Of course, those not listed here also will be good.

Boys 200-yard freestyle Grand Island sophomore Jonathan Novinski earned his way Friday onto one of the most difficult all-time Top 10 lists to crack. Novinski and Islanders coach Brian Jensen both believe Novinski can get into at least the mid-1:39 range. Doing that could move him as high as No. 4. Lincoln Southwest freshman Tommy Palmer, brother of Wisconsin freshman Alana Palmer, was the closest to Novinski in the prelims at 1:41.79.

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Both 200 individual medleys Southwest senior Berkeley Livingston gets one more chance to flirt with the two-minute barrier before beginning her Husker career in the fall. She went 2:03.76 Friday, good for No. 6 all-time. Luke Barr of Papillion-La Vista/PLV South has been posting video game-type numbers this month, and it would be no surprise if he goes under 1:50 after his 1:50.16 Friday debuted him No. 2 all-time in this event. Omaha Creighton Prep senior Ross Pantano also would like to go out with a Top 10 mark.

Boys 100 butterfly This is the first of back-to-back races for Prep’s Rush Clark, who laid waste to the state meet record by 1.04 seconds to qualify for the finals with a 47.64. He and his coach, Tom Beck, said Clark shifted down in the final 25 yards; that won’t happen in Saturday’s final. His 50 split of 21.99 earned a collective gasp from the capacity crowd at the Devaney Center.

Girls 100 freestyle If all goes well for Southwest senior Anna Heinrich in the 50 freestyle, she will be aiming for a sweep of the sprint gold medals in this race. Heinrich has some work to do to crack the Top 10s. She’s not far off in the 50 free (0.13 seconds would tie her for 10th), but she’d need to drop 0.57 seconds in the 100 free to match the 51.66 by Amy Tidball of Lincoln High in 1987.

Boys 100 freestyle Part two of the Rush Clark double, with at least 15 more minutes of rest between races than he got Friday. Palmer, the Southwest freshman who qualified second to Novinski in the 200 free, was the only one to top Clark’s tired time of 46.77 on Friday. A full second drop isn’t out of the question, and Clark strongly believes he can get closer to a two-second drop. If it proves to be too much, Palmer and Lincoln Northeast’s Caden Feit will be ready to swoop in.

Both 500 freestyle races Attention, those who were lucky enough to get tickets for the finals — plan your concession stand visit for the break after the 200 free relays instead of during the 500 free. Those of you watching on TV, if you can get to your refrigerator without losing sight of the TV, you’re allowed. Yes, these are the longest races, but Livingston is taking her final stab at the oldest remaining state record and Novinski is trying to lower his own standard he reset in Friday’s prelims. The 4:53.36 by Jenn Kocsis of Omaha Marian in 2006 is the only time remaining that wasn’t reset between 2016 and 2018. Lincoln Southwest swimmers now own all of those.

Both 100 backstrokes Robb and Steph Pantano will be most anxiously watching. Their daughter Isabella of Marian is the top seed and is No. 2 all-time in the girls event at 55.40. This is the final individual high school race for senior son Ross of Prep, and he’s the top seed by 0.01 seconds over Millard West sophomore Mateo Miceli. Ross Pantano is No. 6 all-time, and Miceli is No. 8. Be prepared for lots of cheering.

Both 100 breaststrokes Three girls rank in the Top 10 in this race, led by Lincoln Pius X junior Katie Stonehocker, whose winning time a year ago of 1:02.43 ranks her No. 3 all-time. Marian sophomore Jocelyn Randby has a season best of 1:03.98 (No. 7 all-time) and qualified with a 1:04.21; Papio freshman Olivia Dendinger is No. 8 all-time at 1:04.23 and qualified with a 1:04.29. The boys event is Barr’s second individual event. He moved to No. 2 all-time behind Creighton Prep’s Jacob Molacek in this event as well.

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