For first time in school history, seven Summit High swimmers head to states | SummitDaily.com

For first time in school history, seven Summit High swimmers head to states

Summit High School swimmers who qualified for Thursday and Friday's state championship swim meet down in Thornton include (back row, left to right) senior Emily Sandberg, sophomore Molly Nikkel, sophomore Hannah Anderson and sophomore Logan Simson. Also qualified (front row left to right) are junior Abbey Lau, senior Payton Weinman and senior Katernina Lee.

For the first time in Summit High history, seven swimmers will compete in the Colorado state championship swim meet.

The "Summit Seven" headed down Thursday to compete in the 12-event state championship meet, scheduled for Thursday and Friday evenings at the Veterans Memorial Aquatics Center in Thornton.

Those who qualified for Thursday's preliminary rounds include: seniors Katernina Lee, Emily Sandberg and Payton Weinman; junior Abbey Lau and sophomores Molly Nikkel, Hannah Anderson and Logan Simson. The top 16 swimmers for each event qualify for Friday's final rounds.

"I've been a coach here for 16 years," Summit High head coach Jenny Wischmeyer said Thursday morning. "This is the second year in a row the team has gone and this team — they are just exceptional. They broke five (school) records at the conference meet last weekend in Grand Junction.”

“They are just exceptional. They broke five (school) records at the conference meet last weekend in Grand Junction.”Jenny WischmeyerSummit HIgh head swim coach

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Sandberg, the Western Slope Conference swimmer of the year and a star in the 100- and 200-meter freestyle events, leads the group of seven into states after she's compiled four school records during her time at Summit High.

School records set last weekend in Grand Junction include a time of 2:03.83 in the 200-meter medley relay, by Lau, Nikkel, Simson and Weinman, and a time of 1:48.59 in the 200-meter freestyle relay, set by Lee, Anderson, Lau and Sandbery.

As for individual records set, Sandberg's 58.24 broke the previous 2004 record time of 58.46 set by Kylie Nilson. In the 50-meter freestyle, Lee's time of 26.52 broke the 2004 time of 26.46 also by Nilson. And in the 100-meter breaststroke, Nikkel's time of 1:16.85 broke her own record time from last year.

"They came with some swimming experience when they joined the team," Wischmeyer said, "but to have three months of very intense training where they are all at the same level has brought the level up higher on the team."

"In the past I've had one swimmer that's really good and makes states," the coach continued, "but maybe she doesn't have someone around her to push her to be better. I think this is a unique team in that sense, because they have each other."