There were 27 performances this season that made The World-Herald's all-time Top 10 swimming and diving list, including 18 on the boys side as well as Prep's state meet point total of 409.5 points.
For the second consecutive year, before the state meet there were no girls performances this season that qualified for the Top 10 in any event. That's just the second time that has happened in either a boys or girls season since the list was created and first published in 2006.
Elizabeth Howorth of Elkhorn/Elkhorn South changed that on Thursday with her state record of 497.50 points in 1-meter diving. Howorth took down the last remaining girls record from the 20th century with that memorable set of dives.
While a lot was made of Omaha Creighton Prep's Jacob Molacek replacing Chuck Sharpe as the state record-holder in the boys 200-yard freestyle, Sharpe's record has never been the oldest in state history.
In 1976 — one year before Sharpe went 1:39.24 in the 200 free — Dave Keane of Omaha Westside scored 574.74 points to win the 1-meter diving title. No one in 37 years has come within 48 points of that 11-dive total.
Molacek's season didn't begin until Jan. 12 to satisfy the Nebraska School Activities Association's 90-day transfer rule. So in just a four-week regular season and the state meet, Molacek had the best time in state history in four individual events and one relay team and was second, third and fourth in three others. And he still has one season to go.
Here is the complete list of the Top 10, their marks and where they rank in each category. The letter p after a time indicates the performance came in a preliminary round.
200-yard medley relay – 2, Omaha Creighton Prep, 1:32.75; 5, Millard South, 1:33.31. 200 freestyle – 1, Jacob Molacek, Prep, 1:37.29 (prelim). 200 individual medley – 4, Molacek, 1:51.73; 7, Ryan Tate, Prep, 1:53.68. 50 freestyle – 1, Molacek, 20.27; 6, Sean Tate, Prep, 20.76. 100 butterfly – 1, Molacek, 48.68; 7, Robert Glover, Millard South, 50.03 (p). 100 freestyle — 2, Molacek, 44.91. 200 freestyle relay – 1, Omaha Creighton Prep, 1:23.45. 100 backstroke – 2, Glover, 49.49; 3, Molacek, 50.06. 100 breaststroke – 1, Molacek, 55.92; 7, Neil Girmus, Millard South, 57.60; 10, Szymon Day, Prep, 57.75. 400 freestyle relay – 2, Omaha Creighton Prep, 3:05.68; 10, Millard South, 3:10.74. Team score at state meet – 2, Omaha Creighton Prep, 409.5 points.
200 individual medley – 7, Elizabeth Amato-Hanner, Omaha Westside, 2:06.69. 50 freestyle – 4, Laura Miksch, Columbus, 23.49. 1-meter diving – 1, Elizabeth Howorth, Elkhorn/Elkhorn South, 497.50 points. 100 butterfly – 3, Erin Oeltjen, Millard West, 56.35; 7, Alexa Goldenstein, Lincoln Southeast, 57.18. 100 backstroke – 4, Erin Oeltjen, Millard West, 57.03. 100 breaststroke – 7, Lauren Pavel, Omaha Skutt, 1:05.15 (p); 8, Miksch, 1:05.67; 9, Sophia Nelson, Lincoln Southwest, 1:05.81.
The breaststroke on both the boys and girls sides was the busiest in recent seasons for Top 10 marks. This year there were three on both sides.
Six of the top 10 boys marks have been set since 2010 while five have been posted on the girls list since 2009.
Laura Miksch of Columbus has positioned herself for a run at the state record next year not only in the breaststroke but also the 50 freestyle.
The younger sister of former Columbus star and current Minnesota freshman Ryan Miksch, who competed in two events at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, had two big drops in her 50 times in Lincoln.
Winning in 23.49 puts Miksch just 0.29 seconds behind the state record of 23.20 by Katie Eckholt of Omaha Marian in 23.20.
Expanding each event to 32 qualifiers and having eight swimmers in both the championship and consolation finals didn't create any on-deck problems or overcrowding either day.
Several years ago how many people were allowed on deck, including the number of coaches for each team, was changed because there were too many non-competitors taking up limited space.
Getting four extra qualifiers competing on Saturday was an idea that worked out well because it gave more athletes the chance to experience the championship atmosphere as competitors, much the same way it has worked effectively at the state track and field championships.
— Steve Beideck