By GENE PHELPS / NEMS Daily Journal
BILOXI – The state record in the 200-yard freestyle was set in 2008 by a swimmer wearing a now-illegal bodysuit.
That record time of 1 minute, 43.72 has now gone the way of the outlawed Speedo.
Tupelo senior John Servati smashed the clocking with a blistering 1:41.95 Saturday in the MHSAA Swim Championships at the Biloxi Natatorium.
“I did it without a bodysuit,” a proud Servati said moments after his victory. “I knew the record was 1:43, but all I was thinking about was getting out ahead of the field and winning.”
Servati, who has made recruiting visits this fall to Alabama, Florida State and Louisville, beat teammate Mihailo Nikolic, who came into the meet with the state’s best time – 1:47.52 – in the event this season.
Servati, who rarely swims the 200 free, had a previous best clocking of 1:49.07 in the event.
Nikolic’s second-place time Saturday was 1:45.11.
“I can’t remember two of our guys swimming that fast in one heat,” Smith said. “That was smoking.”
Record relay win
n Prior to his record swim in the 200 free, Servati joined teammates Rick Deaton, Colton Fremont and Jackson Nabors to win the 200 medley relay in a state record-busting time of 1:38.60.
The previous state record was a 1:40.78 set last season by Tupelo. Servati, Deaton and Nabors were members of that unit.
“We owned everybody today,” Servati said. “We really came together. That record will be there for a long time.”
Smith called his unit a special group.
“Who knows how long that record will hold up,” he said. “Those are four of the fastest guys ever. That’s not every day talent.”
Contact Gene Phelps at 678-1593