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Area Prep Sports Awards: A look at the 2020-21 swimming and diving nominees
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Area Prep Sports Awards: A look at the 2020-21 swimming and diving nominees

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They shined on the diamond, thrived on the gridiron, stood out on the court. They stood out in 2020-21. Over the next few weeks, the Journal Star will reveal nominees for its Area Prep Sports Awards virtual show. Here are the swimming and diving finalists.

Boys swimming

Kael Mlinek

School: Lincoln Southwest | Year: Junior

Won the 100 freestyle state title in :46.04, and repeated as state champ in his signature event, the 100 breaststroke, winning in a time of :55.09. He also broke HAC meet records in the 100 free (:46.12) and 100 breaststroke (:54.58).

Tommy Palmer

School: Lincoln Southwest | Year: Junior

The Arizona recruit won individual state titles Nos. 4 and 5, taking the 200 freestyle in a career-best 1:39.89, and the 50 freestyle in a career-best :20.04. He also won the 50 and 100 freestyles at the HAC meet and was named All-City honorary captain.

Mason Schroeder

School: Lincoln Southwest | Year: Junior

Schroeder helped Southwest to a state championship with a gold-medal swim in the 100 backstroke, winning in :51.11. He also won the backstroke at the HAC championships.

Girls swimming

Katerina Hoffman

School: Lincoln Southeast | Year: Freshman

The diving standout set several pool records this season. She scored a 494.50 at the state meet to finish second to four-time state champion Megan Carter of Omaha Marian. She also scored a 501.45 to set a HAC meet record.

Isabella Morales

School: Lincoln Southwest | Year: Junior

Morales finished second in the 200 individual medley and sixth in the 500 freestyle at the state meet. She won the 200 IM in 2:10.99 and the 100 butterfly in :58.47 at the HAC meet and was among the state's more versatile swimmers.

Natalya Woods

School: Lincoln Southeast | Year: Freshman

Woods won the 50 and 100 freestyles at the HAC meet, and then had a breakout state meet, winning the 200 freestyle in 1:49.97 and the 500 in 5:05.96. She became only the third girls swimmer in state history to break 1:50 in the 200 free.

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