Panther boys win; superior depth carries Silver Hawk girls
Norfolk High swimming and diving coach David Nelson has had some especially good days lately.
One was Thursday evening watching the performance of his boys and girls teams against Lincoln Southwest — with the boys defeating the Silver Hawks 100-86 and the girls competing well in a 133-52 loss, unable to overcome Southwest’s depth.
Before that, it was when Nelson discovered that senior Audrey Stelling would be able to return to the girls team following hip surgery. Adding to that, Nelson learned that another senior, Carson Walker, was going to be able to come back, too, after recovering from a knee injury last fall.
“We thought that with all the things I researched, that he researched, that there was no way he’s going to be back,” Nelson said.
But there Walker was Thursday, competing and finishing second in the 100 Butterfly and recording his best time ever in the event.
“It still shocks me that I’m swimming. When it all happened, the doctors were telling me there was no chance of my coming back for swimming,” Walker said. “I can’t explain how much of a difference physical therapy played in my comeback. Finally, at my last doctor’s appointment he said, ‘We’re going to get you back in the pool.’ ”
Walker had good reason for wanting to come back — his teammates.
“One of the reasons why I started swimming at all was the people on this team, my friends; they are absolutely amazing,” he said. “I couldn’t be happier to be back.”
Walker’s return is important because of the “depth role” he plays, Nelson said.
“The boys team winning today against Lincoln Southwest, which has so much depth, was special and gives our boys team a lot of confidence,” Nelson said. “To win, we had to have the right kids in the right events, and Carson was one of those kids who stepped up in a special way.
Nelson said Walker will help strengthen the Panther relays at state, which could, overall, improve the team’s finish by two or three spots.
Nelson said the Norfolk girls also performed well despite the depth mismatch they faced.
Saying the Panthers’ “sprinting really looks good,” he described a win by Annika Harthoorn in the 100-Butterfly as being noteworthy.
“Annika beat a girl in the 100-Butterfly — they might be the top two in the state and at the state meet,” Nelson said. “So, her win against one of her primary competitors was really promising.”
Another swimmer who had an outstanding dual performance was Katherine Meuret.
“Katherine has been swimming for a very long time, and is the last of the Meuret siblings to swim for Norfolk High, so she’s been around the swim program forever,” Nelson said. “She’s developed into a very good swimmer, especially in the breaststroke. Even though she’s a junior, she’s a leader for us with a great work ethic.”
Meuret swam a personal best for the season in both her 100-Breaststroke and in the 50-meter breaststroke split of the 200-Medley Relay.
“My best and favorite race is the 100-Breaststroke, which is the race I’m definitely hoping to qualify for state in,” Meuret said. “My times are very encouraging for me, coming off of a slight leg injury at the beginning of the year, knowing that I’m finally and continually getting faster in that event.”
All in all, Nelson said he felt both of the Panther swimming and diving teams competed well against a Lincoln Southwest program that “always provides quality competition.”
“Today was a really good day for our teams; we had a really good meet — they got excited and amped up,” Nelson said with a smile. “It also helped that I canceled practice tomorrow morning.”
Dual meet results — boys
Lincoln Southwest 86 Norfolk 100
200-Medley Relay: 1. Norfolk, 1:39.35 (Kellen Carney, Mason Olmer, Carson Walker, Caleb Harthoorn); 2. Lincoln Southwest, 5. Norfolk, (Benjamin Bugenhagen, Israel Klafter, Cameron Korth, Nathan Filipi). 200-Free: 1. Ben Spray, Norfolk, 1:51.39; 2. Nate Liess, Norfolk; 5. Ben Bugenhagen, Norfolk. 200-IM: 1. Olmer, Norfolk, 2:02.42; 2. Chas Nolte, LSW; 5. Korth Norfolk; 6. Klafter, Norfolk. 50-Free: 1. Carney, Norfolk, 22:41; 2. Tommy Palmer, LSW; 4. Walker, Norfolk; 6. Filipi, Norfolk. Diving: 1. Cayd McCarter, Norfolk, 435.20 pts.; 2. Nathan Hopkins, Norfolk; 5. Ian Matteo, Norfolk. 100-Butterfly: 1. Olmer, Norfolk, 55.51; 2. Walker, Norfolk; 4. Carlson, Norfolk. 100-Free: 1. Palmer, LSW, 49.05; 2. Carney, Norfolk; 5. Rylan Rasmussen, Norfolk; 6. Filipi, Norfolk.
500-Free: 1. Harthoorn, Norfolk, 4:59.99; 2. Kael Mlinek, LSW; 3. Bugenhagen, Norfolk; 5. Carlson, Norfolk. 200-Freestyle Relay: 1. LSW, 1:35.86 (Ethan Reida, Vincent Roux, Michael Fraley, Ashton Bailey); 2. Norfolk (Walker, Liess, Carlson, Spray); 5. Norfolk (Filipi, Rasmussen, McCarter, Korth). 100-Backstroke: 1. Harthoorn, Norfolk, 56.55; 2. Reida, LSW; 3. Spray, Norfolk; 5. Liess, Norfolk. 100-Breastroke: 1. Klafter, Norfolk, 1:11.83; 2. Jack Shaffer, LSW; 3. Rasmussen, Norfolk; 5. Korth, Norfolk. 400-Freestyle Relay: 1. LSW, 3:20.47 (Nolte, Mlinek, Fraley, Palmer); 2. Norfolk (Harthoorn, Spray, Carney, Olmer); 4. Norfolk (Liess, Bugenhagen, Klafter, Carlson).
Dual meet results — girls
Lincoln Southwest 133 Norfolk 52
200-Medley Relay: 1. Lincoln Southwest, 1:52.00 (Allie Hathaway, Anna Heinrich, Isabella Morales, Marti Walstad); 2. Norfolk, 1:53.80 (Annika Harthoorn, Katherine Meuret, Audrey Stelling, Courtney Flohr); 5. Norfolk (Sydney Phipps, Makayla Clouse, Anika Wurdinger, Saskia Thielen). 200-Free: 1. Berkeley Livingston, LSW, 1:59.09; 2. Mlinek, LSW; 4. Taylor Rossman, Norfolk; 5. Flohr, Norfolk; 6. Waddington, Norfolk. 200-IM: 1. Morales, LSW, 2:18.37; 2. Peri Heyen, LSW; 4. Lindsey Marotz, Norfolk; 5. Leah Vanderheiden, Norfolk. 50-Free: 1. Harthoorn, Norfolk, 25.00; 2. Hathaway, LSW; 4. Stelling, Norfolk; 5. Morgan Herley, Norfolk. Diving: 1. Peyton Prussa, LSW, 393.25; 2. Aleni Stoakes, LSW; 3. Kiran Walker, Norfolk. 100-Butterfly: 1. Harthoorn, 58.28; 2. Livingston, LSW; 5. Malaysia Grimm, Norfolk; 6. McKenzie Curtis, Norfolk. 100-Free: 1. Hathaway, LSW, 55.09; 2. Marti Walstad, LSW; 3. Flohr, Norfolk; 5. Herley, Norfolk; 6. Windedahl, Norfolk. 500-Free: 1. Heinrich, LSW, 5:26.94; 2. Stelling, Norfolk; 4. Rossman, Norfolk; 6. Meuret, Norfolk. 200-Freestyle Relay: 1. LSW, 1:44.47 (Livingston, Reida, Mlinek, Hathaway); 2. Norfolk, (Flohr, Arin Bach, Windedahl, Herley); 4. Norfolk (Vanderheiden, Clouse, Marotz, Waddington); 6. Norfolk (Jenna Craven, Curtis, Grimm, Marisela Mora).
100-Backstroke: 1. Brady Reichmuth, LSW, 1:07.06; 2. Heinrich, LSW; 4. Windedahl, Norfolk; 5. Bach, Norfolk; 6. Vanderheiden, Norfolk. 100-Breastroke: 1. Heinrich, LSW, 1:07.58; 2. Mlinek, LSW; 3. Meuret, Norfolk; 5. Craven, Norfolk; 6. Clouse, Norfolk. 400-Freestyle Relay: 1. LSW, 3:49.20 (Livingston, Walstad, Morales, Heinrich); 2. LSW (Heinrich, Heyen, Reichmuth, Mlinek); 3. Norfolk (Harthoorn, Rossman, Herley, Stelling); 4. Norfolk (Waddington, Meuret, Windedahl, Bach); 6. Norfolk (Walker, Clouse, Mora, Isabella Steskal).