Kirsten Nitz, Sydney Sell top performers at region

By Linda Younkin Published:

VERSAILLES – Preliminaries can be for more than making the finals – at the Region 3 swim meet Friday they were a chance to break records.

Western Hills’ Kirsten Nitz set two records and Sydney Sell one on Friday, and the pair broke their day-old records Saturday in the finals. 

Nitz, a senior, and Sell, a freshman, both won two events in the finals at Falling Springs Natatorium, qualifying for the state swim meet Feb. 24-25 at the University of Louisville.

They also swam on two relays that qualified for state by finishing second at the regional meet – the 200-yard medley relay with Kendall Stiens and Anna Hawkins, and the 200-yard freestyle relay with Katherine Caldwell and Sydney Bratcher.

The top two finishers in each event automatically qualify for state, but others could advance based on their regional times.

Those with a chance to qualify based on their times include WHHS’ Robert Sell in the 100-yard backstroke, the WHHS boys 200 and 400 freestyle relays, the WHHS girls 400 freestyle relay, and Franklin County’s Emma Bryan in the 100 backstroke.

The Lady Wolverines finished third at the meet, and Western Hills placed third in the combined team standings.

“Our superstars swam super races,” said WHHS swim coach Kelly Caldwell, who also coaches Frankfort High and Franklin County, “and we have a group of kids who really stepped up and contributed in big ways.

“A lot of them cut time and swam great races. They did a great job.”

Last year Sell set a regional record of 59.29 seconds in the 100-yard backstroke.

This year she swam the prelims in 58.35 seconds and took the finals with a time of 57.35 seconds.

Sell also won the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 53.61 seconds.

“I wanted to get the 100 free regional cut and break the record again in the 100 back,” Sell said. “I didn’t get the 100 free record like I was hoping to.

“I was hoping to get a good seeding for state this year,” she added, “and I had to do really well here.”

Sell swam in the same two individual events last year at state, winning the consolation final in the freestyle and finishing eighth in the championship final of the backstroke.

Nitz, who was home schooled until this year, was competing in her first regional meet.

“I was really nervous, but I was excited,” she said. “It’s fun to do something new.”

Nitz won the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly Saturday.

Her winning time Saturday in the 50 free was 23.94 seconds, breaking the record of 24.10 she set in Friday’s preliminary race.

She swam the 100 butterfly final in 55.30 seconds, 33/100ths of a second faster than her record-setting time Friday.

 “The atmosphere was so different,” Nitz said. “It was so loud with everyone cheering. It’s a lot different in USA (swimming) where people are more low-key.

“This was so exciting,” she added. “This has been a great experience. It’s really been a blessing to be able to do this.”

The WHHS girls 200 medley relay finished second in a time of 1 minute, 56.25 seconds, and the 200 freestyle relay was second in 1:43.80.

Nitz was named the outstanding swimmer of the meet, and she and Sydney Sell were named to the all-region team.

Nitz and Robert Sell were the winners of the outstanding sportsmanship award.

Saturday’s results

GIRLS

200-yard medley relay – 2. WHHS (Kendall Stiens, Sydney Sell, Kirsten Nitz, Anna Hawkins) 1:53.74.

200-yard freestyle – 11. Sydney Bratcher (WH) 2:14.95.

200-yard IM – 7. Kendall Stiens (WH) 2:28.81, 8. Dove DeNigris (WH) 2:30.56, 15. Alex Silvernail (WH) 2:47.80.

50-yard freestyle – 1. Kirsten Nitz (WH) 23.94, 10. Anna Hawkins (WH) 27.55, 15. Sydney Bratcher (WH) 29.11.

100-yard butterfly – 1. Kirsten Nitz (WH) 55.30.

100-yard freestyle – 1. Sydney Sell (WH) 53.61, 5. Emma Bryan (FC) 56.94, 11. Anna Hawkins (WH) 1:00.72.

500-yard freestyle – 7. Katherine Caldwell (WH) 5:53.27.

200-yard freestyle relay – 2. WHHS (Sydney Sell, Sydney Bratcher, Katherine Caldwell, Kirsten Nitz) 1:43.80.

100-yard backstroke – 1. Sydney Sell (WH) 57.35, 4. Emma Bryan (FC) 1:04.12, 15. Dove DeNigris (WH) 1:08.96, 18. Katherine Caldwell (WH) 1:11.49.

100-yard breaststroke – 10. Kendall Stiens (WH) 1:19.53.

400-yard freestyle relay – WHHS (Katherine Caldwell, Sydney Bratcher, Kendall Stiens, Anna Hawkins) 4:04.83.

BOYS

200-yard freestyle relay – 7. WHHS (Robert Sell, Eduard Poliak, Jacob Silvernail, Austin Tucker) 1:52.17, 17. FCHS (Adam Gehlhausen, Ryan Halligan, John Eric Santeramo, Caleb Hughes) 2:17.90.

50-yard freestyle – 8. Robert Sell (WH) 24.05, 11. Eduard Poliak (WH) 25.65, 14. Jacob Silvernail (WH) 25.65.

100-yard freestyle – 11. Jacob Silvernail (WH) 57.94, 14. Eduard Poliak (WH) 57.79.

200-freestyle relay – 4. WHHS (Eduard Poliak, Austin Tucker, Jacob Silvernail, Robert Sell) 1:38.83, 18. FCHS (Ryan Halligan, John Eric Santeramo, Adam Gehlhausen, Caleb Hughes) 1:58.60.

100-yard backstroke – 3. Robert Sell (WH) 55.99.

FRIDAY’s results

Girls

200-yard medley relay – 2. WHHS (Kendall Stiens, Sydney Sell, Kirsten Nitz, Anna Hawkins) 1:56.25.

200-yard freestyle – 9. Sydney Bratcher (WH) 2:14.51, 41. Molly Vest (WH) 2:47.98, 43. Samantha Tinnell (WH) 2:48.87, 50. Sydney Bowen (FH) 3:17.88, 51. Jillian Word (WH) 3:23.02.

200-yard IM – 7. Kendall Stiens (WH) 2:30.35, 10. Dove DeNigris (WH) 2:35.52, 15. Alex Silvernail (WH) 2:49.13, 24. Jeri Howell (FH) 2:54.95, 38. Jillian Word (WH) 3:34.61.

50-yard freestyle – 1. Kirsten Nitz (WH) 24.10, 9. Anna Hawkins (WH) 27.41, 14. Sydney Bratcher (WH) 28.19, 56. Claire Stapleton (FH) 33.15, 69. Jamie Beason (FC) 35.15, 72. Maya Burke (FH) 36.32, 80. Noelyn Williams (FH) 37.98, 82. Louisa Krickler (FC) 39.24, 84 Rebecca Ash (WH) 42.30.

100-yard butterfly – 1. Kirsten Nitz (WH) 55.63, 22. Jeri Howell (FH) 1:17.79, 31. Alex Silvernail (WH) 1:23.23, 39. Molly Vest (WH) 1:34.87, 41. Samantha Tinnell (WH) 1:36.83.

100-yard freestyle – 1. Sydney Sell (WH) 53.77, 6. Emma Bryan (FC) 57.33, 11. Anna Hawkins (WH) 1:00.07, 54. Hannah Webber (WH) 1:15.98, 59. Haley Harrod (WH) 1:17.77, 60. Claire Stapleton (FH) 1:18.11, 73. Jamie Beason (FC) 1:24.87, 74. Sydney Bowen (FH) 1:25.76, 78. Louisa Krickler (FC) 1:29.94.

500-yard freestyle – 7. Katherine Caldwell (WH) 5:58.06.

200-yard freestyle relay – 2. WHHS (Sydney Sell, Sydney Bratcher, Katherine Caldwell, Kirsten Nitz) 1:45.16, 20. FHS (Jeri Howell, Macy Hutcherson, Noelyn Williams, Claire Stapleton) 2:21.91, 21. FCHS (Emma Bryan, Jamie Beason, Marci Beason, Louisa Krickler) 2:22.85.

100-yard backstroke – 1. Sydney Sell (WH) 58.35, 3. Emma Bryan (FC) 1:03.64, 17. Katherine Caldwell (WH) 1:10.38, 18. Dove DeNigris (WH) 1:10.71, 21. Melissa Martin (WH) 1:11.97, 51. Marci Beason (FC) 1:33.41, 55. Noelyn Williams (FH) 1:39.46.

100-yard breaststroke – 11. Kendall Stiens (WH) 1:20.72, 21. Melissa Martin (WH) 1:26.40, 27. Haley Harrod (WH) 1:28.01, 47. Sydney Phillips (FC) 1:46.06, 54. Marci Beason (FC) 2:01.41.

400-yard freestyle relay – 3. WHHS (Katherine Caldwell, Sydney Bratcher, Kendall Stiens, Anna Hawkins) 4:05.19, 15. FHS (Sydney Bowen, Maya Burke, Claire Stapleton, Noelyn Williams) 6:01.57.

BOYS

200-yard medley relay – 7. WHHS (Robert Sell, Eduard Poliak, Jacob Silvernail, Austin Tucker) 1:52.65, 17. FCHS (Adam Gehlhausen, Ryan Halligan, John Eric Santeramo, Caleb Hughes) 23:18.14.

200-yard freestyle – 28. Tanner Marcum (WH) 2:43.48.

200-yard IM – 21. Ryan Halligan (FC) 2:40.32.

50-yard freestyle – 7. Robert Sell (WH) 24.07, 12. Eduard Poliak (WH) 25.60, 14. Jacob Silvernail (WH) 25.98, 21. Austin Tucker (WH) 26.58, 55. Caleb Hughes (FC) 30.93, 56. Adam Gehlhausen (FC) 31.24, 77. Justin Lail (FH) 42.30.

100-yard freestyle – 12. Jacob Silvernail (WH) 58.31, 13. Eduard Poliak (WH) 58.32, 23. Austin Tucker (WH) 1:02.60, 32. John Eric Santeramo (FC) 1:05.80, 35. Tanner Marcum (WH) 1:06.43, 47. Caleb Hughes (FC) 1:13.97, 64. Justin Lail (FH) 1:34.47.

200-yard freestyle relay – 6. WHHS (Eduard Poliak, Austin Tucker, Jacob Silvernail, Robert Sell) 1:41.59, 18. FCHS (Ryan Halligan, John Eric Santeramo, Adam Gehlhausen, Caleb Hughes) 1:57.75.

100-yard backstroke – 3. Robert Sell (WH) 55.95.

100-yard breaststroke – 25. Ryan Halligan (FC) 1:23.89, 32. Kenny Dang (WH) 1:27.67, 35. Adam Gehlhausen (FC) 1:31.77.

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