Austin's Helen Heimark celebrates her time in the preliminaries of the Section 1A Swimming and Diving Meet Wednesday at Ellis Middle School. -- Eric Johnson/

Heimark is going out in style

Published 7:10pm Thursday, November 8, 2012

When Austin senior Helen Heimark gets in the pool at Ellis Middle School in the Section 1A swimming in diving finals Friday, there will probably be quite a few things on her mind.

First, she’ll probably think of the school record she has a chance to break. After posting a career best time of 54.20 seconds in the 100-yard freestyle in the section prelims, Heimark needs to take just .42 seconds off her time to break the AHS record.

Second, she’ll probably think about getting back to state. Heimark has a solid chance to qualify for state in the 100-yard freestyle, the 200-yard freestyle, the 400-yard freestyle relay and the 200-yard freestyle relay.

Lastly, she’ll probably take a long look back at all the great moments she’s had in the Ellis Middle School pool.

“The whole season has been kind of surreal and it didn’t really hit me until I sat down and realized Friday night will be my last time competing in our pool,” Heimark said. “It’s emotional, but emotional in a good way. Friday night should be pretty wild.”

No matter how she does on Friday, Heimark will graduate with a decorated swimming career. She’s swam in four state meets already and competed in a total of nine events. While she hasn’t reached a state final in an individual event, she did get to the podium when she swam on the 200-yard medley relay team that placed sixth at state in 2010.

“It’s almost a requirement and I definitely want to go to state,” Heimark said. “It’s such an amazing experience and you get to hang out with your teammates. We’re actually really good friends with a couple of girls from Albert Lea and Mankato West, so we’d get to hang out with them too.”

Heimark is uncertain if she’ll swim at the college level, but she’d entertain the idea of trying it if she ends up going to a Division III school. But either way, she’s not likely to stay away from the water for too long when her high school career is over as she’s always had a love for getting in the water.

“I was always in the water and my grandparents always called me a little fish,” said Heimark. “So I tried doing it competitively. I love swimming and I live for it, it’s so amazing.”

The Section 1A finals will begin at 7 p.m. in Ellis Middle School.


2011: Heimark took 15th place in the 200-yard freestyle at the state meet with a time of 2:01.33. Heimark also swam on Austin’s 200-yard freestyle relay team that didn’t make it to the finals after taking 20th in the prelims.

2010: Heimark swam on the 200-yard medley relay team that placed sixth at the state meet with a time of 1:53.36. Heimark also missed the consolation finals in the 200-yard freestyle as she finished 18th with a time of 2:00.83 in the prelims.

2009: Heimark swam on the 200-yard medley relay team that placed 13th with a time of 1:54.90. Heimark took 22nd in the 200-yard freestyle prelims with a time of 2:02.98 and Heimark took 23rd in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:36.80. Heimark also swam on the 200-yard freestyle relay team that took 19th in prelims with a time of 1:43.49.

2008: Heimark swam on the 200-yard medley relay team that took 18th in the state prelims with a time of 1:55.81.

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