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Omaha Metro Conference

Girls swim team wins back-to-back state championships

Lucy Pocras

The Westside girls swim team are now back-to-back state champs taking the victory over the Marian Crusaders 409-272.

Junior Piper Hagen had a phenomenal meet placing first in the 500 freestyle and also in the 400 freestyle relay along with her teammates senior Kate Stevens, junior Elaina Kratky and senior Natalie Harris. Hagen was trailing for most of the 500, Alaira Hadford setting the speed for most of the race. The last 50 yards Hagen flipped a switch and beat Hadford with a time of 5:01.78.

“I just knew I had to save my legs the first 350 and really start picking it up after that. I just remember saying in my head ‘I want this’ and so I just hit that last turn and went for it,” Hagen said.

Kratky, also being a huge contributor to the state title, was a part of the 500 relay win and also placed 3rd in the 100 butterfly. She has been working on many different things this year to improve her times including her technique and her competitiveness.

“This season I’ve focused on the technique of my stroke to improve my times. Especially in my butterfly, I worked all practice on fast and long under waters and also having a powerful kick to propel my stroke,” Kratky said. “I also think that being competitive in practice and always pushing myself to race the people in other lanes helped me to better my times.”

Another swimmer placing at state was junior Cora Dietrich who placed seventh in the 200 individual medley. 

“I have worked really hard to improve my stroke technique and speed in practice and I’m going to continue to work hard in practice and improve my strength through weight training,” Dietrich said.

Even though the 2023-24 season has come to an end, the Warriors are still putting in the work, in the pool. 

“During the offseason, I will go back to club swimming at Swim Omaha and continue to focus heavily on technique,” Kratky said. “We do a lot a drills in club season that hammer on fixing my weakest areas in all of my strokes. In the offseason I also have fun trying different races than I usually swim during high school season. Doing longer races helps my endurance in competing for the reaches that I do swim during high school.”


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