Updated: Horejsi sets state record

Published 3:26 pm Friday, November 16, 2012

Lindsey Horejsi finishes the 100-yard breaststroke in first place at the Minnesota State High School League state swimming tournament. She won by 4.07 seconds. --Brandi Hagen


Lindsey Horejsi turns around and checks the clock after swimming the 100-yard breaststroke on Friday in Minneapolis. --Buck Monson/Albert Lea Tribune

MINNEAPOLIS — The crowd erupted as the freshman lifted herself out of the pool Friday afternoon at the Minnesota State High School League Class A state preliminary round of the 100-yard breaststroke.

Even her opponents reached out to say congratulations and give her a hug.

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Albert Lea’s Lindsey Horejsi set the Minnesota state record in the breaststroke with a time of 1 minute, 0.43 seconds.

“I can’t believe it,” Horejsi said. “I got done and I turned around and thought, “Oh my God, did I really go that fast?’”

The previous record, 1:01.08, was set in 2010 by Abby Duncan of Champlin Park.

Horejsi said it’s just the beginning. As she advanced to the state tournament finals Saturday she had plans to beat the national record which was set at 58.75 seconds.

“I wanted to go under a minute tomorrow but I think I can break a national record instead,” Horejsi said.

All eyes were on Horejsi as she walked the edge of the pool back to the bleachers toward her family, friends and coaches. When she got there, Tigers’ head coach Jon Schmitz clapped his hand on her shoulder and said “Amazing huh? Goll, that’s awesome!”

“We knew she could do that,” Schmitz said. “We had it scheduled for that, and we still think she can go faster. It was just an incredible swim.”

Horejsi’s mom, Sue, cringed from the stands when Horejsi first left the starting blocks. The start was slightly delayed and other swimmers hit the water first, but Horejsi made up for it quickly.

Her first lap was 28.5 seconds and the second was 31.86.

“I was watching the race and I knew she was on,” Schmitz said. “The walls were coming up good for her. She was just doing everything right. She stretched a little bit for one wall but she got it back.”

Schmitz continued to say that people need to know how hard Horejsi works in and out of the pool to obtain her goals.

In addition to her time put in at the high school Horejsi travels out of town to swim in the Atlantis Swimming Federation and puts in hours in the weight room.

The freshman is in her third state appearance.

“She won the consolations in the seventh grade,” Schmitz said. “That’s when we knew we had something special here.”

Horejsi’s Atlantis swim coach, Mark Vininski, was in the stands when she reset the record Friday.

“It’s fantastic,” Vininski said. “When I come here, I come to watch Faribault, Owatonna, Albert Lea and Owatonna – all my girls and it’s awesome.”

During Horejsi’s breaststroke Vininski kept calculating the time.

“I’m thinking, under a minute,” Vininski said. “If she does it under a minute, she’ll be the first girl in Minnesota history to go under a minute. That’s tomorrow. Tomorrow she’ll go under a minute.”

Vininski pointed out a couple things Horejsi could change for her final race.

“She does that, she’s a half a second faster,” Vininski said.

Sue Horejsi said she was calculating too.

“The tears are going to come now,” she said after the race. “I just kept watching the clock, 57, 58, 59 and it was like oh my God Lindsey you’re going to do it! And she did.”

Schmitz said even the Gopher swimmers who were practicing in another pool nearby stopped to watch Horejsi.

“They were watching the time like ‘whoa’,” he said. “It’s a good time. It’s really huge. It was the race of the meet no doubt.”

The Class A finals tournament started at noon on Saturday. 

See the Monday paper and online at AlbertLeaTribune.com to see coverage of Horejsi’s race.