By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
The trio of Sara Nazari, Hunter McEachern and Whitney Livesay, who have teamed to make Enid girls one of the state’s top swim powers, are ready to do some school record breaking.
It probably won’t happen at the team’s first meet of the season today at Harrah, but some long-standing records could be in jeopardy this season.
Nazari has her eyes set on breaking of Amanda Autry’s school records (200-yard individual medley and 500 free) that have stood since 1985.
Nazari just missed Autry’s IM standard of 2:09.10 when she had a 2:09.22 in finishing second at the state meet. She was the state champ as a freshman in 2:09.40.
Autry holds the 500 record with a 5:14.15. Nazari had a 5:16.06 in finishing second at state last year.
McEachern is shooting for Andrea Stevens’ 50-yard free record (24.01) that has stood since 1999. The junior had a 24.64 in finishing second at state last year and a 24.45 in winning it as a freshman.
Livesay, a senior, has her eyes on the 100 butterfly record, currently held by Amanda Stevens, who had a 58.74 in 1995.
“I’m really looking for the IM and 50 free record to go, and maybe the 500,’’ EHS coach Ginny Shipley said. “I know they want them pretty badly.’’
Nazari, McEachern and Livesay have broken the school record in the 400 free relay in back-to-back years in winning the event at the state meet.
They did it with Megan Holthoff, now at Missouri State, two years ago and with the now-graduated Rebekah Pauly last year.
The trio hold the school 200 free and 200 medley records with Holthoff in 2011.
To break those will be a challenge. Shipley is looking for a fourth to swim in the relays with the trio, who led Enid to a third-place finish at state in 2011 and fourth last year.
“Those times (1:41.48, 200 free; 1:58.44, 200 medley and 3:42.31, 400 free) are pretty fast and we’ll have some relatively new people,’’ Shipley said. “Our focus before Christmas is finding the fourth person and go from there.’’
Ashley Valdez, who swam on the 200 medley relay which was 13th, will swim the medley and 200 free relays with the trio today. Also back from last year are Hannah Esquibel, Christie McMeans and Alyssa Shearer
The good news for Shipley is she has 13 girls on the team, which gives her plenty to choose from.
“I have the luxury of being able to use B relay in a couple of places that I haven’t had before,’’ Shipley said. “I’m excited to have this many girls out.’’
The Pacers might have had a shot to break some relay records had Abby Pauly, a state placer in the 200 IM and 100 back as well as the 200 medley relay, not moved away.
“We will adjust,’’ Shipley said.
The biggest thing about having 13 out is EHS now will be eligible to win an academic team championship. OSSAA requires a minimum of 12 members for consideration.
“My girls are not only good swimmers, but they are very smart,’’ Shipley said.
The boys numbers are down, thanks to the graduation of much of last year’s team.
The Plainsmen do return Gabe Sanchez, who placed in two relays (12th, 200 medley and 13th, 200 free) and Jeremy Crise and Michael Johnson, who were a part of a 400 free relay, which was 11th.
Sanchez had state qualifying times in six of eight events a year ago. Shipley gives him the best chance of any of the boys to qualify in all eight non-relay events.
Crise has been working on his breaststroke. Johnson likes the backstroke. Returnee Charles Laws has been showing a “big improvement’’ in the butterfly. Jeremy Swan is the other returnee.
Campbell is a News & Eagle sports writer.