MANKATO — Last year, the Mankato West girls swim team capped the best season in school history with a fourth-place finish at the Class A state meet. Today, when the 2013 state meet begins in Minneapolis, the Scarlets are hoping to do even better.
“It will be difficult to do what we did (in 2012),” West head coach Dave Burgess admitted. “We had some very good swims at state last year.
“But there’s no reason we can’t do at least as well or better. The goal from Day 1 this year has been a Top 3 finish.”
The coach’s optimism is based mostly on the fact that the nucleus of last year’s state tournament team has returned in tact. The Nack sisters — senior Danielle and junior Chantal — along with junior Maddie Bacon are not only back but are swimming well.
Bacon will compete in two individual events, the 100-yard backstroke and the 100-individual medley as well as on two relay teams. The junior failed to crack the Top 8 in either of her two individual state events last season but plans to change that this week.
“I’m seeded fifth in the back (59.90) and sixth in the IM (2:12.84),” Bacon said. “If I can get in the Top 8 in both of those that will be more team points than we had last year.”
Danielle Nack is already the most celebrated swimmer to come out of Mankato. She holds the state’s all-time best time in the 100-butterfly (52.41) and has Class A’s fastest time in the 50-freestyle (22.82). She is the two-time defending state champion in both events.
One thing in her favor this time around is a little less pressure. She signed a national letter of intent last week to attend and swim for the University of Minnesota next year.