Friday’s 50-yard freestyle will be a quick burst of excitement for area swimming enthusiasts.
The Class 1A state prelim features two of the area’s fastest swimmers as Little Falls’ Whitney Weisz holds the No. 1 seed time of 23.20 and Staples-Motley’s Jaelin Beachy sits at 25.56.
Weisz’s time was a Section 6-1A meet and Flyers’ school record. The senior also won and will compete in the 100 freestyle with a section and school record and the state’s No. 1 seed time of 51.05.
“At this year’s section meet she was relaxed and went after the race,” said Flyers head coach Tim Corbett. “She wasn’t trying to get a certain time and wasn’t worried about anything. She swam a 23.6 in prelims and a 23.2 the second day. Again, she wasn’t worried about time. When she’s swimming like that, good things are going to happen. She’ll be fast for state.”
Weisz’s main competition in the 50 will be Mankato West’s Danielle Nack, who swam a 23.63 for the No. 2 seed. Her closest competitor in the 100 free is Breck’s Chandra Yueh with a 53.56.
Beachy’s goal is to swim on Saturday and her gamble at the Section 8-1A meet paid off. The Cardinal sophomore didn’t taper for the section meet and still won the 50. She also finished second in the 100 breaststroke, an event she’s swam at state the last two years.
“What she did in the section meet, she wasn’t fully rested or tapered,” said Cardinals head coach Bruce Onischuk. “She was swimming some what tired. The goal we put together was to have her swimming her fastest for the state prelims.”
Onischuk said Beachy’s goal time is in the low 1:07 range. She swam a 1:08.53 at the Section 8-1A meet. Beachy will be a lane away from St. Louis Park’s Kathrn Ostrom, who holds the No. 1 seed time of 1:04.92.
Beachy is currently seeded 10th. The top 16 advance to Saturday’s finals.
“Her big goal is to swim on Day Two,” Onischuk said. “Last year, she missed out by .01 as she finished 17th. Right now on the heat sheet she has the 10th-fastest time and she hasn’t tapered yet.”
For Weisz, who signed her NCAA Letter of Intent to swim next year at the University of Wisconsin, this is her fifth state tournament, her fourth time swimming the 50 free and her third time swimming the 100 free. It’s also her fifth time swimming with teammates in the 200-freestyle relay.
The Flyers advanced to the state meet by time standard as the foursome of Diana Kempenich, Kenzie Hanson, Josie Lange and Weisz finished in 1:43.10. They will swim in Lane One of Heat One.
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5856.