By Jim Rueda
Free Press Sports Editor
As Danielle Nack stood on the first-place podium at
the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center, the public address
announcer read off her accomplishment: The junior from Mankato West
had set a Minnesota all-time record in the 100-butterfly with a
time of 52.41.
The fans on both sides of the elevated pool bleachers roared
their approval. Gradually, they got to their feet until, within a
few seconds, Nack was being treated to a standing ovation.
"That's absolutely incredible," Nack said later when asked about
the response from the fans. "I have no words to describe it.
You never expect anything like that."
Nack's time in the fly broke her own Class A record of 53.97 set in
last year's state meet. It was also the highlight of a banner day
for Danielle and her sister, Chantal, who helped the Scarlets
garner four state championships and two runner-up medals at
Saturday's Class A competition.
The Nack Attack began in the second event of the meet when
sophomore Chantal improved on her fourth-place preliminary time to
win the 200-yard freestyle in 1:51.64. Chantal trailed
going into the final 25 yards but caught Northfield's Claire
Walters on the final lap.
"I thought I had a chance after the prelims," Chantal said. "I knew
I still had some time to cut. We got into the final leg and I just
reached for another gear."
Two events later, Danielle Nack won her first of three state
championships by clocking a Class A record time of 22.82 in the
50-yard freestyle. She set the previous Class A record last year in
"That was my goal, to set the record again," Danielle said. "I
didn't feel very nervous before the race. I was more excited than nervous."
After a break for the diving competition, Danielle came back to win
the butterfly and then, a short time later, Chantal delivered a
second-place time of 5:02.31 in the 500-freestyle.
Both Nacks then joined with Nicole Lohman and Madi Bacon in the
200-free relay. The foursome turned in a runner-up time of 1:37.48.
That set the stage for West's final state championship. Danielle,
Chantal, Bacon and Lohman combined to win the 400-free relay in
"I really thought we had a better chance in the 200 than the 400
(relay)," Danielle said. "I think we all did. But sometimes weird
things happen at state."
When it was over, Danielle may have summed it up best: "This is what
you work for all season. It was a nice way to end it."