A year after being shut out of the state finals, the Vikings swimming team made good on the year-long slogan of #HungryForMore during the 2021 Nebraska Swimming and Diving State Championships, held February 27, at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. The Vikings advanced four individuals and two relays to Saturday’s finals, with the boys placing 11th overall and the girls 29th of the state’s 40 swimming and diving teams. The boys’ team finish was the best by the Vikings since a 9th place finish in 2002.
Vikings’ placings at the state championships:
Lauren Sitzman: 200 Freestyle (27th) and 100 Backstroke (14th)
Ben Mills: 200 Freestyle (16th) and 100 Freestyle (7th)
Nate Schlader: 100 Freestyle (26th) and 100 Backstroke (18th)
Davion Scott-Bell: 200 Individual Medley (19th) and 100 Breaststroke (16th)
Caiden Williams: 100 Butterfly (14th) and 100 Backstroke (27th)
Richard Throckmorton: 200 Individual Medley (26th) and 100 Breaststroke (28th)
Seamus Cavanaugh: 100 Breaststroke (19th)
Boys 200 Medley Relay: 4th
Boys 200 Freestyle Relay: 5th
Boys 400 Freestyle Relay: 23rd
Girls 200 Medley Relay: 20th
Girls 200 Freestyle Relay: 29th
Mills, Scott-Bell, and Williams each set school records in individual events during the state meet and joined Schlader in posting school records in two relays.
The senior class contributed to a successful four-year run for the Vikings: Vienne Kemper, who as a 9th grader, ended an 11-year state medal drought for the Viking girls; Teresa Gibbons, who competed at three state meets; Schlader, a member of two school-record relay teams and also a school record holder in baseball; Cavanaugh and Throckmorton who finished 4th and 6th all-time for the school breaststroke; and John Dawes who made his only appearance at state as a senior.
The updated Vikings’ team history, including the current team records poster, top all-time performers in each event, and a year-by-year summary, is available on-line at http://tinyurl.com/OPSVikingSwimHistory.