Schoening, Nielsen lead Bulldogs in 4A state prelims

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(Photo courtesy of JACINDA BOKOWY) Sophomore Aidan Nielsen competes in the 100 fly prelims Friday at the Boise YMCA. Nielsen took first in the event and will be the favorite in the finals Saturday.

BOISE — Senior Mikayla Schoening and sophomore Aidan Nielsen led the way for Sandpoint swimming at the 4A state prelims Friday as the Bulldogs had 13 athletes advance to the finals in their individual events.

The top eight individuals and top six relays in each event advanced to the state finals Saturday.

Schoening took first in the girls 100 free and will be the favorite to defend her state title in the event in the finals. Freshman Emily Ballard and senior Laila Black also placed fifth and seventh in the event.

Nielsen claimed first in the boys 100 fly with a time of 57.49 seconds. He was the only swimmer in prelims to finish under 58 seconds. Sophomore Jack Grzincic also advanced to the 100 fly finals with an eighth place result and captured a sixth place finish in the 100 back.

The girls and boys 200 free relays each placed first in prelims and look primed to claim state titles Saturday.

The girls 200 medley relay team took runner-up to Bishop Kelly in prelims while the boys 200 medley relay team earned fourth.

Schoening also placed second in the 50 free and will look to add a state title in that event to her already impressive resume.

Junior Kate Bokowy took fourth and fifth in the 200 IM and 100 fly respectively. Junior Autumn Morgan grabbed fourth and sixth in the 100 breast and 100 fly to advance to the finals in each event.

The girls 400 free relay earned second in the prelims, junior Kaya Wright secured fourth in the 100 back and freshman Ayiana Prevost placed eighth in the 500 free to round out the finals qualifiers for the girls.

On the boys side, freshman Caleb Norling secured third in the 200 IM and seventh in the 100 free and sophomore Hayden Leavitt raced to sixth place in the 200 free and seventh in the 500 free.

Junior Jake Aitken took fifth in the 50 free and Nielsen advanced to the finals of another individual event with a seventh place finish in the 50 free.

The 4A state finals start 9 a.m. PT Saturday at the Boise YMCA. The girls team will be looking to claim the state title while the boys are hoping to place.

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