A memorable day for the state’s two best swimmers made Saturday’s Metro Conference championship meet one that fans won’t soon forget.
Jacob Molacek of Omaha Creighton Prep and Bob Glover of Millard South both had record-setting swims, much to the delight of the capacity crowd at Millard West.
Glover topped his own meet record and No. 2 all-time performance on The World-Herald’s 100-yard backstroke list by winning his specialty in 49.83 seconds. The Indiana recruit also won the 100 butterfly in 50.42 after a scintillating dual with Molacek to open the meet.
The two friends who swim together during club season led off the 200 medley relay for their teams in the 50 backstroke. Glover, who Prep coach Tom Beck said is one of the country’s top 50 backstroke swimmers, edged Molacek 22.68 to 22.84.
Millard South kept the lead until the third leg when the Junior Jays pulled away to set a meet record and vault to No. 2 all-time by winning in 1:32.75. The Patriots were second — and No. 7 all-time — in 1:34.61.
Prep also won the 200 and 400 freestyle relays en route to defending its conference title by scoring 510 points, 170 more than the runner-up Patriots. Omaha Burke was third with 241, and Papillion-La Vista/Papillion-La Vista South edged Omaha Westside 211-209 for fourth place.
Millard West repeated as girls champion and set itself up for a run at a state championship with wins in three individual events and the 400 freestyle relay.
The Wildcats outscored runner-up Omaha Burke 415-340. Defending state champion Omaha Westside edged Millard North 327-323 for third place.
Millard West senior Erin Oeltjen was named the meet’s outstanding female swimmer. She won the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke before anchoring the 400 free relay team to a win in 3:39.16. Oeltjen won the 100 fly in 57.65 — the fastest time in the state this season — and covered the 100 back in 59.19.
Molacek won the boys outstanding performer award. He took first in the 200 freestyle and led off Prep’s two freestyle relay teams. The junior won the 200 free in 1:40.78, one day after swimming the fastest time in state history in that event — 1:38.75.
Then leading off the 200 free relay, Molacek finished his 50 yards in 20.42 seconds for his third all-time state best in the last week. At the Feb. 2 Millard South Invitational, Molacek swam the fastest time in state history in the 100 breaststroke.
Beck said Molacek also had a lifetime best with his leadoff 100 free of 44.91 in the 400 free relay. That mark is No. 2 all-time behind the 44.51 turned in by former Columbus star Ryan Miksch at the 2012 state meet.
“Both his 50 and 100 frees were lifetime bests,” Beck said. “When you’re swimming at a pretty high level like he is, when you get a lifetime best, that means a lot.”
Beck was pleased with the overall performance of the 34 Junior Jays who helped secure their latest conference crown. He compared it to Prep’s 1993 conference meet, one the Junior Jays didn’t win but a meet that helped the program take a significant step forward.
“It could be our best conference meet ever,” Beck said. “It was a big step up for us where everyone had a great meet, very similar to that meet 20 years ago. We just had a great team effort.”
Millard West’s other individual girl winner was sophomore Tara Goss in the 200 individual medley. Goss, the defending state champion in the 100 fly, won the 200 IM in 2:15.79 and finished second to Oeltjen in the 100 back in 1:01.74.
A pair of freshman swimmers also won two events apiece. Jordan McCullough of Papillion-La Vista/Papillion-La Vista South won the 200 freestyle in 1:57.57 before touching first in the 500 freestyle in 5:15.00.
Omaha Westside’s Elizabeth Amato-Hanner won the 100 free in a state-leading 53.58. She followed that by winning the 100 breaststroke in 1:08.96.
Team scoring: Omaha Creighton Prep 510, Millard South 340, Omaha Burke 241, Papillion-La Vista/Papillion-La Vista South 211, Omaha Westside 209, Millard West 197, Omaha Central 158, Millard North 134, Bellevue West 96, Omaha Bryan 42, Omaha North 42, Bellevue East 32, Omaha Benson 21, Omaha South 18, Omaha Northwest 8.
Event winners: 200-yard medley relay: 1, Omaha Creighton Prep (Jacob Molacek, Szymmy Day, Ryan Tate, Sean Tate), 1:32.75 (meet record, betters own 1:33.29, 2011). 200 freestyle: 1, Molacek, 1:40.78. 200 individual medley: 1, Szymmy Day, Prep, 1:57.05. 50 freestyle: 1, Jim Glover, MS, 22.04. 100 butterfly: 1, Bob Glover, 50.42. 100 freestyle: 1, Neil Girmus, MS, 47.63. 500 freestyle: 1, Jack Turman, PLV/PLVS, 4:53.13. 200 freestyle relay: 1, Omaha Creighton Prep (Molacek, Sean Tate, Ryan Tate, Mike Bauwens), 1:24.08 (meet record, betters own 1:24.96, 2011). 100 backstroke: 1, Bob Glover, 49.83 (meet record, betters own 50.71, 2012). 100 breaststroke: 1, Girmus, 58.18. 400 freestyle relay: 1, Omaha Creighton Prep (Molacek, Ryan Tate, Bauwens, Sean Tate), 3:05.68.
Team scoring: Millard West 415, Omaha Burke 340, Omaha Westside 327, Millard North 323, Papillion-La Vista/Papillion-La Vista South 242, Omaha Marian 233, Omaha Central 82, Millard South 72, Bellevue West 66, Bellevue East 63, Omaha Benson 38, Omaha Northwest 30, Omaha Bryan 28, Omaha North 26, Omaha South 8.
Event winners: 200-yard medley relay: 1, Millard North (Mary Kate Luddy, Holly Hopson, Ellen Ellis, Laura Ney), 1:50.34. 200 freestyle: 1, Jordan McCullough, PLV/PLVS, 1:57.57. 200 individual medley: 1, Tara Goss, MW, 2:15.79. 50 freestyle: 1, Hannah Robison, Burke, 24.58. 100 butterfly: 1, Erin Oeltjen, MW, 57.65. 100 freestyle: 1, Elizabeth Amato-Hanner, Westside, 53.58. 500 freestyle: 1, Jordan McCullough, 5:15.00. 200 freestyle relay: 1, Millard North (Ellis, Ney, Hopson, Luddy), 1:40.58. 100 backstroke: 1, Oeltjen, 59.19. 100 breaststroke: 1, Amato-Hanner, 1:08.96. 400 freestyle relay: 1, Millard West (Shea Marcinski, Taylor Korte, Goss, Oeltjen), 3:39.16.
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