Caroline Theil posted a pair of all-time marks Saturday, which has made it even tougher for her to select her individual events at state.
The Lincoln Pius X sophomore moved from No. 9 to No. 2 on The World-Herald’s all-time chart in the 200-yard individual medley (2:03.18) and solidified her standing at No. 8 all-time in the 100 breaststroke (1:04.52) in helping Pius win Elkhorn’s Fete Fling Invitational.
As the defending state champ in the 100 and 200 freestyle races, Theil might be inclined to take another crack at those events. Her performance Saturday has her flush with options.
“Right now, I’m thinking about the 200 IM, the 200 free, the 100 free and the 100 (butter)fly,” Theil said. “After seeing that big of a time drop today, I’m thinking I can go faster in the IM. It’s something to think about.”
The Thunderbolts edged host Elkhorn/Elkhorn South 456-435, while Omaha Creighton Prep won the boys title with 561 points, well ahead of runner-up Elkhorn/Elkhorn South’s 402 at the 12-team invitational.
Meanwhile at the nine-team Millard South Invitational, Lincoln Southwest’s girls and the Papillion-La Vista/Papillion-La Vista South boys won the first-place plaques. Southwest won seven of the eight individual events and all three relays to outscore runner-up Lincoln East 374-208 for the girls championship.
Silver Hawks freshman Clara Walstad moved from No. 7 to No. 3 all-time in the 100 backstroke with a 56.41.
The Papio co-op edged the host Patriots 268-243 for the boys title. These invitationals were the final big tuneups before the four conference championship meets Feb. 13: the Metro Conference at Millard West, Heartland at Lincoln Southeast, River Cities at Ralston and Greater Nebraska at Hastings.
At the same meet in 2015, Theil won the 200 IM in a then-meet record 2:06.93. That drop of 3.75 seconds, or nearly a full second for each stroke, surprised Theil a bit.
“I’m pretty happy with that time but I was hoping to go 2:02 and get the All-American cut,” Theil said. “I haven’t been having the best luck lately with that event but after that I have to start thinking about my state events a little bit.”
The state record is held by Lincoln Southwest junior Dannie Dilsaver, who posted a 2:01.91 in the 2014 state prelims.
Theil was hoping to go lower than the 1:04.52 she swam Saturday to win the breaststroke.
“I’ve been 1:03 twice in my career but it’s been about two years since I’ve done that,” Theil said. “I’ve been stuck at 1:04-mid.”
There are two more chances for Theil to go lower than the 1:04.52 she swam Saturday in the breaststroke before state. Pius has two meets this week — a Tuesday dual with Columbus and a Friday meet with all of the teams not in a conference at Common Ground.
In the meantime, Theil will continue to fine-tune her technique before she makes those big state meet decisions.
“I’ve been working on my underwaters in the fly,” Theil said. “I’ve been good on top of the water but weak on my underwaters. I’m also working at getting out faster in the 100 free. I just want to get out as fast as I can and hold it to the finish.”
Elkhorn Fete Fling
Team scoring: O. Creighton Prep 561, Elkhorn/Elkhorn South 402, Lincoln Pius X 303, Ralston/O. Gross 294, Grand Island 204, Gretna 127, O. Skutt/Elkhorn Mt. Michael 117, Beatrice/Norris/Fairbury/Freeman 106, Fremont 97, South Sioux City 69, O. Brownell-Talbot/Concordia/Roncalli 20, O. Benson 10.
Event winners — 200-yard medley relay: Prep (Caleb Piti, Irving Delgado, Jalen Nichols, Nick Soltys), 1:40.00. 200 freestyle: Conner Funke, EES, 1:47.30. 200 IM: Piti, 2:03.15. 50 freestyle: Eric Lewandowski, GI, 21.64. Diving: William Gottsch, EES, 586.10 points. 100 butterfly: Matthew Novinski, GI, 51.05. 100 freestyle: Lewandowski, 48.12. 500 freestyle: Funke, 4:52.33. 200 freestyle relay: Prep (Michael Simmons, Piti, Sam Buechler, Jon Gouger), 1:30.40. 100 backstroke: Novinski, 49.33. 100 breaststroke: Irving Delgado, Prep, 1:01.47. 400 freestyle relay: Elkhorn/Elkhorn South (Ryan Patterson, Blake Kernan, Nate Frantz, Funke), 3:21.87.
Team scoring: Pius 456, E/ES 435, O. Duchesne 308.5, Grand Island 262, Ralston/Gross 225, O. Skutt 156, Fremont 135, O. Brownell-Talbot/Concordia/Mercy/Roncalli 119, Beatrice/Norris/Fairbury/Freeman 115.5, O. Benson 24, South Sioux City 22, Gretna 17.
Event winners — 200-yard medley relay: E/ES (Ella Hustad, Ashley Bowen, Elizabeth George, Mackenna WIlkie), 1:54.14. 200 freestyle: Bowen, 1:56.33. 200 IM: Caroline Theil, Pius, 2:03.18. 50 freestyle: Anna Capoun, Skutt, 24.78. Diving: Grace Holst, E/ES, 377.25 points. 100 butterfly: Iz Vlach, GI, 1:01.15. 100 freestyle: Wilkie, 56.22. 500 freestyle: Skyler Clough, Pius, 5:33.08. 200 freestyle relay: Pius (Ally Becker, Morgan Mansheim, Charlotte Welsh, Theil), 1:42.52. 100 backstroke: Abigail Mitchell, Pius, 1:01.17. 100 breaststroke: Theil, 1:04.52. 400 freestyle relay: E/ES (WIlkie, Allyse Bell, Hustad, Bowen), 3:45.25.
Millard South Invitational
Team scoring: Papillion-La Vista/Papillion-La Vista South 268, Millard South 243, Omaha Burke 181, Norfolk 149, Millard West 131, Millard North 117, Lincoln SW 116, Lincoln East 88, Lincoln SE 56.
Event winners — 200-yard medley relay: Papio/PLVS (Julio Quinnoes, Noah Barr, Billy Salber, David Cavanaugh), 1:40.95. 200 freestyle: Cameron Carney, Norfolk, 1:45.26. 200 IM: Barr, 1:59.69. 50 freestyle: Trent Mischo, MN, 22.45. Diving: Vinny Malene, MS, 405.85 points. 100 butterfly: Salber, 52.42. 100 freestyle: Alex Frisbie, Burke, 48.99. 500 freestyle: Riley Olson, Papio/PLVS, 4:51.46. 200 freestyle relay: Papio/PLVS (Cavanaugh, Javier Quinones, Barr, Olson), 1:29.99. 100 backstroke: Carney, 53.69. 100 breaststroke: Austin Monette-Waters, MS, 1:02.29. 400 freestyle relay: Papio/PLVS (Salber, Olson, Paolo Dogliani, Barr), 3:18.81.
Team scoring: Lincoln SW 374, Lincoln East 208, Millard West 161, Papio/PLVS 145, Millard North 128, Millard South 87, Norfolk 87, Lincoln SE 87, Omaha Burke 83.
Event winners — 200-yard medley relay: LSW (Clara Walstad, Anna Heinrich, Alana Palmer, Olivia Calegan), 1:48.20. 200 freestyle: Emma Miller, Papio/PLVS, 2:00.23. 200 IM: Palmer, 2:11.47. 50 freestyle: Walstad, 24.56. Diving: Abbi Rouse, LE, 376.40 points. 100 butterfly: Dannie Dilsaver, LSW, 57.99. 100 freestyle: Calegan, 53.10. 500 freestyle: Palmer, 5:14.46. 200 freestyle relay: LSW (Walstad, Mullendore, Dilsaver, Calegan), 1:38.53. 100 backstroke: Walstad, 56.41. 100 breaststroke: Calegan, 1:06.0. 400 freestyle relay: LSW (Palmer, Mullendore, Heinrich, Vertin), 3:41.20.