It was a banner end to a brilliant prep career.
Whitney Weisz finished her Little Falls Flyers swimming career in the most appropriate place Nov. 19 — on top.
The five-time Class 1A state swimming entrant won the 100 freestyle and finished second in the 50-yard free. More fitting than those two individual accomplishments was her participation in her fifth 200 freestyle relay. The senior anchored the Flyers to 15th place.
Weisz called her involvement in the 200 relay her most memorable achievement.
“I’ll remember our relays going to state the most just because when my swim coach (Tim Corbett) first got here it was a shock to anyone that we could make it to state,” said Weisz. “That relay has been to state every year since he’s been here.
“It’s nice to have the individual success, but my teammates work just as hard and they deserve that state experience, too.”
Weisz’s big week started before the Class 1A prelims. On Nov. 15, she signed her NCAA national letter of intent to swim at the University of Wisconsin. She said she was relieved to make the decision, which was between Wisconsin, the University of Minnesota, Purdue and Indiana University.
“It felt so great because there was a lot of pressure and a lot of colleges contacting me,” said Weisz. “It was almost overwhelming for a 17-year-old student. But it’s nice to know where I’m going. I’m super happy.”
With the future known, it was time to work on the present and that meant the state tournament, which Weisz entered as the No. 1 seed in both freestyle events.
During the prelims she swam Automatic All-American times in both events to remain in the No. 1 seed.
“I was pretty confident,” said Weisz. “I was super excited, but being down there five times and being a senior really helps. I was relaxed and not too nervous at all.”
Weisz slipped to second in the 50 free, but the drop was expected. Despite falling to second, Weisz was exhilarated with her time and prepped for the 100 free.
“I knew if I could get out there and swim like I could that I would have a shot at winning it,” said Weisz. “I figured there would be some girls that would push me, but I was pretty confident. I wanted to swim super fast. I beat my life-time best by .05. I didn’t think I could swim that fast.”
Weisz won the 100 free in 50.57 or .01 seconds off Fergus Falls’ Heidi Busack’s Class 1A state record.
“It was pretty special moment to see her on top of the podium,” Corbett said. “It was a culmination of a lot of preparation over a lot of years. As a coach that’s the top thing in swimming, to have someone stand on top of the podium and it’s just kind of cool.
“I’ve been trying to impress upon everyone that that is a possibility. You hope the seventh graders see that and try to qualify for a section spot and the older kids try for section points. This helps build that believability that anyone can win a state title and you don’t have to be from Sartell. Whitney just worked really hard to make that happen”
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5856.