It was a successful opening week of the season for the Beatrice Co-op swimming and diving team.
They set a new school record, they had 20 personal best times, two automatic state qualifiers and seven new secondary state qualifying times.
"It was a great way to start the season," said Beatrice coach Marian Wallen. "We can't wait for the rest of the season to see what this young and talented swim team has to offer."
Wallen said with 54 total athletes on their team, they have to get creative with workouts and dryland training. She said this team is very driven to improve each week.
"We have pushed some of the young swimmers out of their comfort zone by putting them in events they may not believe they can compete in," Wallen said. "But we have always told them that you may not know what you are capable of doing well in if you do not try other events."
On Thursday, freshman Maya Moran broke a 24 year school record in the 100-backstroke in a dual against Lincoln Northeast.
"Maya is a very dedicated athlete and works hard at each practice, Wallen said. "Being so early in the season and her career, I am sure she will continue to set new records."
During the Beatrice Invite on Saturday, Beatrice faced Lincoln Pius X, Ralston-Gross and Brownell Talbot-Concordia-Mercy and Roncalli.
Pius was able to come away with the win on both the girls and boys side, but the Beatrice girls finished second.
"Pius always has many talented swimmers, so we were pleased with the second place finish," Wallen said. "Having many capable swimmers and placing them in different events, helps to spread the points out and improve our overall score."
The boys team finished third and were only four points behind second place Ralston-Gross.
"We look forward to next Thursday when we have a dual against Ralston-Gross to see if we can come away with a win on both the girls and boys," Wallen said.
Automatic state qualifiers include Junior Trey Billesbach, who qualified for state diving and finished in second place; Freshman, Mikwena Lierman, who qualified in the 50 freestyle.
"Mikwena is a very determined swimmer and has been a great asset to the team this year," Wallen said.
Secondary state qualifiers include Freshman Maya Moran in the 100 freestyle, Junior Colton Starck in the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle and the girl’s 200 medley relay team of Maya Moron, freshman Crystal Craft, Senior, Maddy Wagner and Mikwena Lierman.
Medaling at the meet were Mikwena Lierman finishing second in the 50 Freestyle, Colton Starck finishing second in the 50 freestyle, Faith Kelly finishing second in diving, Trey Billesbach finishing second in diving, Maya Moran finishing first in the 100 freestyle and Maddy Wagner in the 500 freestyle,
Also earning medals was the girls' 200 free relay of Maddy Wagner, Makalah Scheele, Maya Moran and Mikwena Lierman finishing second, Crystal Craft finishing third in the 100 breaststroke, Maya Moran finishing third in the 100 backstroke, and the girl’s 400 free relay team of all freshman, Elle Lenners, Morgan McCubbin, Josi Mans and Crystal Craft finishing second.
Those performing personal best times today include: Matilda Saunders in the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke; Blaine Kujath in the 200 freestyle, David Gray in the 200 freestyle, Josi Mans in the 200 individual medley, Erik Holloway in the 200 individual medley, Cailey Biesecker in the 50 freestyle and 100 backstoke, Hannah Essink in the 50 freestyle, Ashley Hemphling in the 50 freestyle, Meg Rhodes in the 50 freestyle, Colton Starck in the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle, Carson Monhollon in the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle, Michael Walsh in the 50 freestyle, Sam Fortner in the 50 freestyle, Tyler Rice in the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle, and Faith Kelly in diving.
"We tell our swimmers that you can’t control what is happening in the lane next to you, you can only try to improve each time and do your personal best," Wallen said.
The Beatrice Co-op swimming and diving team, which consists of athletes from Beatrice, Norris, Fairbury and Freeman, will be in action again will be a dual with Ralston-Gross on Thursday at Ralston High School.