The month of February had an extra day this year, but despite some personal records during preliminaries on Friday, February 28, the Vikings did not extend their season to the finals on February 29 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln. Regardless, the Vikings’ state team members had additions to and movement up the school’s all-time Top 10 chart for several events.
Sophomores Davion Scott-Bell and Lauren Sitzman were the highest placing Viking boy and girl at the state meet, both with career-best times. Davion placed 19th in the 100 Breaststroke, ahead of teammates Seamus Cavanaugh (26th place) and Richard Throckmorton (30th place). All three breaststrokers’ times put them in the top 6 on the Vikings’ all-time charts. Lauren lowered her career-best time in the 200 Freestyle to finish 24th. Her time at state was the 6th fastest documented time for the 200 Freestyle event in school history.
Other individual results from Vikings during the state preliminaries:
- 50 Freestyle: Nate Schlader, 27th; Davion Scott-Bell, 30th
- 100 Butterfly: Caiden Williams, 28th
- 500 Freestyle: Ben Mills, 29th
Both freestyle relays for the girls posted season-best times at the state preliminary meet. The 200 Freestyle Relay finished 23rd; the 400 Freestyle Relay finished 20th. Senior AJ Fox led off the 200 relay with a career-best time, entering the Vikings’ all-time Top 12 for fastest 50. Lauren Sitzman led off the 400 relay by tying the fastest 100 time by a Viking girl since 2001. Juniors Teresa Gibbons and Isabel Kolb posted career-best splits with their relay legs.
The boys overcame a disqualification for an early exchange in the 200 Medley Relay to place 18th in the 200 Freestyle Relay and 21st in the 400 Freestyle Relay. The 400 relay team of Ben Mills, Caiden Williams, Eric Manuel, and Nate Schlader was the fastest for the Vikings since 2002, ranking third on the school all-time chart.
With the exception of seniors AJ Fox and Eric Manuel, the other ten Vikings who competed at state, including all 7 of the individual qualifiers, are current 10th and 11th graders. For the season, the boys’ team broke two school records (200 Medley Relay and 500 Freestyle) and won three invitationals.
The Vikings’ team history, including the current team records poster, top all-time performers in each event, and a year-by-year summary, is now available on-line at http://tinyurl.com/OPSVikingSwimHistory.