Many things surrounding Whitney Weisz begin with W.
Obviously, her first and last names begin with the letter, but so does the place where she spends most of her fall.
Weisz is a four-year varsity swimmer for the Little Falls Flyers and a three-time Class 1A state swimming and diving meet competitor.
Which brings us to the next W and that's winner.
The sophomore won the 50- and 100-yard freestyles and anchored the Flyers' 200 and 400 freestyle relays to the state meet at last week's Section 6-1A meet in Sartell.
"I knew the 100 was a lock, but winning the 50 was a surprise," said Flyers head coach Tim Corbett. "(Sartell's) Kate Hellie had gone 24.75 and this was her home pool. She's a senior swimming for the last time at her home pool and she's the defending section champion. I don't know how many times she's gone to state, but it's been several, but Whitney is a competitor and she went after her in the conference meet, but was out-touched.
School: Little Falls
Position: Freestyles, relays
Key stat: Qualified for state in four events
"I knew it was going to be a battle and I didn't know how it was going to turn out. I had to watch the clock because they finished bang-bang. That was an exciting race."
Weisz won the event with a personal-best and school-record time of 24.38. Hellie finished at 24.46.
Weisz won the 100 freestyle in a school, pool and section record of 52.64. She beat the old record, which she set in the prelims (53.06). Her prelim time would have been good for second place.
"In the 50, I was hoping to get my best time and if Kate beat me I didn't care," said Weisz. "I was hoping to get into the 23s, but I'm seeded fifth so that's good.
"In the 100, (Sartell's) Tarin (Anding) gave me a really good race. It was tougher than I thought. I'm happy with the time. 51 is my goal and I'm hoping for that at state."
Weisz is seeded No. 1 in the 100 free and has her No. 1 nemesis Heidi Busack of Fergus Falls right behind as the No. 2 seed.
"Last year she went into state as a section champion and that surprised her a little bit," said Corbett. "Her goal was to win the section, but she came into the state meet in awe for the first time as an individual. It was an experience for her to be standing up there next to eight great swimmers. It takes some adjusting to swim at that level.
"This year she's not going down there to swim at state. She's going with a mission to win.
"She belongs among those people. She's not afraid to go head-to-head. She's got a whole different attitude as a sophomore."
As a freshman, Weisz finished fourth in the 200 free with a 1:58.28 and 12th in the 100 free with a 55.02. She helped the 200 free relay to sixth and the 400 free relay to 11th at state.
Both of those relays return with Weisz finishing them both.
The Flyers' 200 free placed second behind Sartell with a 1:42.13. Megan Voss leads off followed by Macy Olson, Brittany Then and Weisz.
The 400 free advanced by time standard with a 3:48.41, dropping more than seven seconds off its prelim time. That team consists of Voss, Marissa Deml, Stephanie Stumpf and Weisz.
"I love anchoring the relays because then if we're behind I can chase people down and try and catch them," said Weisz.
Said Corbett: "She doesn't like to lose. At the section meet, Sartell won every swimming event except the two Whitney won. For both relays we realized we weren't going to beat Sartell so we had to make it by time standard and each girl rose to the occasion and we did it."
Other notable performances:
Swimming: Jaelin Beachy, Staples-Motley, advanced to the Class 1A state meet by time standard with a time of 1:11.57 and finished third in the 100 breaststroke at the Section 6-1A meet.
Volleyball: Kelsi Crawford and Courtney Volkmann of Wadena-Deer Creek made the all-tournament team as the Wolverines won the consolation championship at the Class 2A state meet.
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5856.
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