Times are posted for the entries in the Pannell Swim Shop/KHSAA State Swimming and Diving Championships.
Read into them what you will.
Western Hills will be sending swimmers in five individual events and four relays, and Franklin County will have one swimmer competing in two events at the state meet, which will take place Friday and Saturday at the University of Louisville’s Ralph Wright Natatorium.
Swimmers qualified for state at their regional meet by either finishing in the top two of an event or based on the time they swam in the finals of an event at the region.
Western Hills senior Robert Sell swam the 100-yard backstroke in 55.99 seconds to qualify for state based on his time.
“I want to go faster and make it back in the finals,” said Sell, who swam in the finals at state last year in the same event.
Sell’s best time in the event is 55.25 seconds.
“Those times are how you did the second day of the regionals,” he said about the times posted for state. “Some people sandbag and go easier at regional and then go really hard at state and end up winning.
“I know I can go faster,” he added. “I want to make the top 16 and not get disqualified.”
Swimming in the final eight last year at state in the 100 backstroke, Sell was disqualified for passing the 15-meter mark before he broke the surface of the water. A swimmer’s head must break the surface of the water by the 15-meter mark.
WHHS senior Kirsten Nitz is swimming in two individual events – the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly – and on two relays – the 200-yard medley relay and the 200 freestyle relay.
Sydney Sell, who finished eighth at state last year in the 100 backstroke, will be swimming in that event again this year along with the 100 freestyle and the same two relays as Nitz.
FCHS junior Emma Bryan will be competing in the 100 backstroke and 100 freestyle.
Nitz was homeschooled prior to this year, and this will be her first trip to state.
She has the best regional time in the 100 butterfly at 55.30 seconds, and her time of 23.94 in the 50 freestyle is the third best coming into state.
“I’m aware of them,” she said of the state times, “but I want to do my best. If I think too much about them I won’t swim as fast.
“I’m working to get ready, and the times will take care of themelves,” she added. “I want to do my best, and with the relays it’s exciting to see what we do with those.”
Anna Hawkins, a junior at Western Hills, will be swimming at state on the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays. She swam last year at state on the 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relays.
“I think we’ve all gotten better as the season’s gone along,” she said, “and our relays have gotten better since we have.
“I think it’s always more fun to go to state with a relay. It’s more fun to go with a group of girls, and you have that team atmosphere.”
Swimming on the 200 medley relay are Hawkins, Nitz, Sell and Kendall Stiens, and swimming on the 400 freestyle relay are Hawkins, Sydney Bratcher, Stiens and Katherine Caldwell.
Members of the girls 200 freestyle relay team are Sell, Bratcher, Caldwell and Nitz.
“I think our progress has really excelled this year,” said Bratcher, a junior, “especially with Kirsten. That helped a lot not only as a competitor but her personality. Everyone on the relays has gotten so close, and we’ve swam together for so long that’s helped too.”
The WHHS boys 200 freestyle relay swam its best time of the year at the regional meet and finished sixth, forcing the team to wait an extra day to find out if it qualified for state.
“I believed we’d go to state,” Austin Tucker said, “but I was a nervous wreck.”
The team swam the event in 1 minute, 38.83 seconds at the regional meet.
“At the beginning of the year we weren’t really fast,” Tucker said, “but at the regions we swam well. I’m excited because we’ve never had a relay go before. I want to do well.”
The members of the 200 freestyle relay team are Tucker, Sell, Eddie Poliak and Jacob Silvernail.
Bryan, a junior at Franklin County, qualified for her two events based on her times at the regional meet.
This is her first year on the FCHS team after being homeschooled until this year. Bryan has been swimming since she was four years old and is a member of TNT swim team.
“My school year and swimming year have been very good,” she said. “I really like it, and it’s been a good experience.”
Her regional time in the 100 freestyle was her best, but she’s gone faster in the 100 backstroke.
“I was nervous,” she said about the wait to find out if her times were good enough to go to state. “I have another year to go, but I really wanted to go this year and get the experience.
“In high school during meets in the regular season there’s a lot less stress,” she said about the difference in high school and club meets, “and at the regional people were a lot more excited than they are at USA meets.”
Bryan’s goal at state is to make it into the finals (top eight) of her events.
“I really wanted to go,” she said about state. “I’m excited about it, but I’m nervous too.”