Elizabeth Amato-Hanner demonstrated again Saturday that she’s not just an average freshman swimmer.
Omaha Westside’s newest swim star won two events and helped lead the Warriors to a runner-up finish at the Warriors Swimming and Diving Invitational. Millard West won the girls meet 309-247.5 over Westside while Elkhorn/Elkhorn South won the boys meet 301-255 over Millard West.
Amato-Hanner won a head-to-head dual with Wildcat senior Erin Oeltjen in the 200-yard individual medley before grabbing the 100 butterfly title in 1:01.82.
In winning the 200 IM, Amato-Hanner moved to the top of the season leaders chart with a time of 2:10.78. Oeltjen wasn’t far off her season best by finishing second in 2:12.71.
Retiring Westside coach Doug Krecklow, who was honored before the meet for his 34 years and 20 team state championships at the school, said Amato-Hanner is an experienced swimmer who is adept at making quick adjustments.
“She’s very skilled, and she has a natural feel for the water,” Krecklow said. “She can take fewer strokes and go faster than a lot of her competitors. She’s racing at a pretty high level.”
On Jan. 12 Amato-Hanner competed in the USA Swimming Midwestern Association All-Star Central Zone meet in Lawrence, Kan. She joined several other swimmers no older than 14.
Amato-Hanner won the 200 IM that day in 2:07.12, a time that would put her at No. 9 on The World-Herald’s all-time list had the event taken place at a high school meet. Krecklow said Amato-Hanner also swam the 100 and 200 butterfly races, the 100 backstroke and the 200 breaststroke in addition to legs on freestyle relay teams.
Krecklow noted that Amato-Hanner was out all last week and didn't travel with the Warriors on their annual trip to Scottsbluff because she was ill. She only had five days of practice before Saturday's meet.
This week Krecklow reviewed some video of Amato-Hanner’s swims in Lawrence, and said he saw that she was able to make some quick adjustments.
“In three minutes of talk and three minutes of doing it, she fixed it,” Krecklow said.
Team scoring: Elkhorn/Elkhorn South 301, Millard West 255, Omaha Westside 203, Ralston/Omaha Gross 186, Grand Island 119, Bellevue West 119, Millard North 109, Scottsbluff-Gering 66, Kearney 65, Lincoln Pius X 49, Hastings 10.
Event winners: 200-yard medley relay: Elkhorn/Elkhorn South (Riley Herchenbach, Michael Mollak, Nick Kirklin, Willy Morris), 1:41.94. 200 freestyle: Mollak, 1:49.08. 200 individual medley: Jesse Holmes, E/ES, 2:06.88. 50 freestyle: Luke Van Wie, GI, 22.44. 1-meter diving: William Gottsch, E/ES, 425.35 points. 100 butterfly: Garrett Cadotte, Ralston/Omaha Gross, 54.09. 100 freestyle: Jon Wiebe, Scottsbluff-Gering, 50.31. 500 freestyle: Mollak, 4:54.69. 200 freestyle relay: Ralston/Omaha Gross (Cadotte, Jacob Quint, Will Ditter, Jake Ryan), 1:31.78. 100 backstroke: Matthew Prophit, MW, 56.07. 100 breaststroke: Zach Ogurek, BW, 1:01.65. 400 freestyle relay: Elkhorn/Elkhorn South (Kirklin, Morris, Holmes, Mollak), 3:22.45. 1,000 freestyle: Chris Beeman, BW, 10:21.62.
Team scoring: Millard West 309, Omaha Westside 247.5, Millard North 227, Elkhorn/Elkhorn South 206, Omaha Marian 178, Grand Island 155, Kearney 65.5, Ralston/Omaha Gross 47, Lincoln Pius X 36, Bellevue West 16.
Event winners: 200-yard medley relay: Grand Island (Cassandra Watts, S'Rah Koubek, Karl Wahlmeier, Edward Wahlmeier), 1:54.19. 200 freestyle: Taylor Korte, MW, 1:59.77. 200 individual medley: Elizabeth Amato-Hanner, Westside, 2:10.78. 50 freestyle: Wahlmeier, 25.51. 1-meter diving: Elizabeth Howorth, 477.95 points. 100 butterfly: Amato-Hanner, 1:01.82. 100 freestyle: Alexa Gross, Marian, 55.85. 500 freestyle: Ashlee Wigness-Lindaman, Westside, 5:21.65. 200 freestyle relay: Millard West (Shea Marcinski, Grace Mueller, Korte, Katherine McGinn), 1:43.36. 100 backstroke: Erin Oeltjen, MW, 59.97. 100 breaststroke: Yuan Yuan Jiang, E/ES, 1:10.42. 400 freestyle relay: Millard West (Korte, Marcinski, Tara Goss, Oeltjen), 3:42.39. 1,000 freestyle: Wigness-Lindaman, 11:00.24.
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