If the Lincoln Southwest swimming and diving teams needed a little motivation coming out of the winter break, then duals against two of the state’s top squads couldn’t have come at a better time.
The Southwest girls rolled to a 126-59 victory against defending state champion Omaha Marian, while nine-time defending state boys champion Creighton Prep finished with a 133-52 win against the Silver Hawks on Tuesday at Southwest High School.
“We came off a killer week,” Southwest coach Leigh Ann Fetter-Witt said. “We weren’t quite sure what we were going to get out of them tonight. A lot of them, I think, were excited to get back to racing again.
“Anytime you have two of the best teams coming to visit you … they were already nervous about it (Monday).”
The girls dual was not as close as last year’s, when Southwest won the final event to edge the Crusaders 95-91 on the campus of Nebraska-Omaha. Marian later edged Southwest by half a point for the state championship.
“I think whenever a championship meet is that close, and you’re at the bottom end of it, you tend to remember that, and you kind of use that as fuel,” Fetter-Witt said.
Southwest will not see Marian again until February's state meet.
The Silver Hawk girls won every event outside the diving Tuesday. Juniors Olivia Calegan (50-yard freestyle and 100 butterfly) and Dannie Dilsaver (500 freestyle and 100 breaststroke) and sophomore Alana Palmer (100 and 200 freestyles) each won two events.
Junior Clara Walstad won the 100 backstroke and freshman Anna Heinrich won the 200 individual medley to help Southwest. The Silver Hawks finished 1-2-3 in three events.
Calegan’s time of 24.01 seconds in the 50 freestyle was the state’s fastest time in the event this season. Walstad’s time of :57.30 marked the state's fastest in the 100 backstroke.
“Lincoln Southwest is very fast and they showed that tonight,” Marian coach BJ Christiansen said. “And it doesn’t matter what heat it is. It’s going to be a matter of if we can out-depth them at the end of the year.”
Marian was without two of its top swimmers Tuesday, including Jenna Popp, who was sidelined by illness.
Lincoln Southwest sophomore Jackson Pope won the 200 IM (season-best 2:06.22) and 500 freestyle against Creighton Prep. Southwest’s Nolan Reid added a first-place finish in the 200 freestyle.
Creighton Prep coach Tom Beck was happy with team’s performance following a grueling 40-team invitational last weekend in Minneapolis.
“The guys were very, very tired,” he said. “It’s good we had such good competition here today to force (our team) to come back and be ready to go.”