The Norfolk High School boys and girls swimming and diving teams improved their dual records to 4-0 with wins over Columbus on Tuesday evening.
The boys defeated the Discoverers 122-61, while the girls downed Columbus 113-62.
“I was really impressed with how well we swam considering how difficult our practices have been; we’ve been really pushing it hard this week, because this is the time of the year when you need to be working hard,” Panthers coach David Nelson said. “There were a lot of good things I saw, but one of the highlights was the diving performance of Cayd McCarter who broke the school record with a score of 420.60.”
“Cayd broke a record that was set in 2009 by Travis Reeves, a really good diver who placed third at the state meet,” Nelson said. “Cayd is one of the better divers in the state by far; he’s learning how to be a more competitive diver, and we’re really proud of how successful he’s been, and we’re looking forward to him finishing his junior year on a really high note.”
McCarter is working with new coach Rebecca Munson, Nelson said, which means there are “new things which Cayd and our divers are adapting to.”
“The fact that we got our only girl diver, Kiran Walker, qualified for state today, and Nate Hopkins hit a score again which would qualify for state — along with Cayd’s score — is a testament to how hard they’re working,” he said. “We also have another boy who is getting closer to qualifying.”
McCarter, who finished 10th at state as a freshman when the Panthers finished as the state runnerup, missed out on competing at last year’s state meet because of injury.
“We were planning on him being among the top eight divers at state last year, which could have helped us improve on our top five finish,” Nelson said. “And this year we’re thinking he can be among the top six at state, or better. He’s shown a lot of dedication by diving in the offseason as part of a club team in Omaha.”
McCarter’s reaction to breaking the school record reflected on the dedication Nelson described.
“I’m so happy that all my hard work finally paid off,” he said. “I couldn’t have done it without the support of my teammates and coach.”
Another highlight of the Columbus dual, Nelson said, was the overall performance of Caleb Harthoorn who won the 200-Individual Medley and the 100-Freestyle, as well as helping the 200-Freestyle and 400-Freestyle Relays to first-place finishes.
“Caleb’s leadership is impressive; he’s working every practice as hard as he can,” Nelson said. “He’s a major leader for the program because he’s been there during our success, has continued that, and has risen to new levels every year. The tricky thing, because he’s so diverse, will be deciding what events he’s going to swim at state — whatever is best for him, but also for the team.”
Harthoorn, who will be continuing his swimming career at South Dakota State after graduation, said that ever since his freshman year in the program he’s tried “to be the best he can be and benefit the team.”
“There were some junior and senior guys that I looked up to, the way they approached things and their leadership,” he said.
Now, as a senior — since the events he will compete in at state are yet to be determined — his goals are still to do the best that he can and score as many points for the team as possible.
“I’m not sure what events I’m going to do; I have a couple of options, but I just want to do my best — wherever that places me,” Harthoorn said. “As a team, we’re good; we’re lacking a little depth, but when it comes to invites — like conference and state — I think we’ll really shine there.”
“We lost one senior from last year, but we have some freshmen who are looking good,” he said. “Being in the top five at state as a team is definitely one of our goals. Right now we’re right where we need to be.”
Nelson said the girls squad also qualified its third relay for the state meet, and added that the team had benefited by the return of Audrey Stelling from an injury that had prevented the senior from taking part in cross country in the fall.
“Another highlight was the girls 400-Freestyle relay qualifying for state today,” Nelson said. “That relay hadn’t qualified yet, and we had Audrey Stelling back swimming again for the first time — that is a game-changer. We had some kids that were injured and are now cleared to come back and compete.”
Columbus boys 61 Norfolk 122
200-Medley Relay: 1. Norfolk, 1:47.85 (Kellen Carney, Israel Klafter, Derek Carlson, Mason Olmer); 2. Columbus, 4. Norfolk, (Benjamin Bugenhagen, Rylan Rasmussen, Cameron Korth, Trey Foecking). 200-Free: 1. Nate Liess, Norfolk, 1:56.96; 2. Hayven Krepel, Columbus; 3. Nathan Filipi, Norfolk; 5. Rylan Rasmussen, Norfolk. 200-IM: 1. Harthoorn, Norfolk, 2:03.16; 2. Ben Spray, Norfolk; 3. Cameron Korth, Norfolk. 50-Free: 1. Olmer, Norfolk, 23.30; 2. Konner Kudron, Columbus; 4. Carlson, Norfolk; 5. Bugenhagen, Norfolk. Diving: 1. Cayd McCarter, Norfolk, 420.60 pts.; 2. Nathan Hopkins, Norfolk; 3. Ian Matteo, Norfolk. 100-Butterfly: 1. Spray, Norfolk, 59.25; 2. Haden Miller, Columbus; 3. Bugenhagen, Norfolk; 3. Korth, Norfolk. 100-Free: 1. Harthoorn, Norfolk, 49.59; 2. Olmer, Norfolk; 4. Liess, Norfolk. 500-Free: 1. Carney, Norfolk, 5:26.68; 2. Klafter, Norfolk; 5. Jeffrey Jensen, Norfolk. 200-Freestyle Relay: 1. Norfolk, 1:33.41 (Harthoorn, Spray, Liess, Carney); 2.Columbus; 4. Norfolk (Korth, Foecking, Filipi, Jensen). 100-Backstroke: 1. Krepel, Columbus, 1:01.55; 2. Carlson, Norfolk; 4. Rasmussen, Norfolk; 5. Jensen, Norfolk. 100-Breastroke: 1. Kudron, Columbus, 1:06.09; 2. Carney, Norfolk; 3. Klafter, Norfolk; 6. Filipi, Norfolk. 400-Freestyle Relay: 1. Norfolk, 3:25.90 (Olmer, Liess, Spray, Harthoorn); 2. Norfolk (Bugenhagen, Klafter, Carlson, Rasmussen; 4. Norfolk (Wyatt Ash, Filipi, Foecking, Jensen).
Columbus girls 62 Norfolk 113
200-Medley Relay: 1. Norfolk, 1:57.09 (Annika Harthoorn, Joslyn Jacobs, Anna Windedahl, Taylor Rossman; 2. Columbus; 4. Norfolk, (Arin Bach, Jenna Craven, Kiran Walker, Leah Vanderheiden); 6. Norfolk (Sydney Phipps, Beth Windedahl, McKenzie Curtis, Saskia Thielen). 200-Free: 1. Maddisen Schulz, Columbus, 2:17.07; 2. Katherine Meuret, Norfolk; 3. Morgan Herley, Norfolk; 5. Maggie Waddington, Norfolk. 200-IM: 1. Walker, Norfolk, 2:38.81; 2. Makayla Clouse, Norfolk; 5. Curtis, Norfolk. 50-Free: 1. Harthoorn, Norfolk, 24.93; 2. Courtney Flohr, Norfolk; 4. Audrey Stelling, Norfolk. Diving: 1. Walker, Norfolk, 358.80 pts. 100-Butterfly: 1. Anna Windedahl, 1:10.53; 2. Rossman, Norfolk; 4. Malaysia Grimm, Norfolk. 100-Free: 1. Harthoorn, Norfolk, 55.65; 2. Salerno, Columbus; 3. Herley, Norfolk; 6. Meuret, Norfolk. 500-Free: 1. Jacobs, Norfolk, 5:52.19; 2. Schulz, Columbus; 3. Flohr, Norfolk; 4. Waddington, Norfolk. 200-Freestyle Relay: 1. Norfolk, 1:51.92 (Flohr, Bach, Herley, Meuret); 2. Norfolk (Stelling, Anna Windedahl, Vanderheiden, Waddington); 4. Norfolk (Clouse, Marisela Mora, Craven, Lindsey Marotz). 100-Backstroke: 1. Jacobs, Norfolk, 1:04.58; 2. Anna Windedahl, Norfolk; 6. Marotz, Norfolk. 100-Breastroke: 1. Emily Miksch, Columbus, 1:14.08; 2. Morgan Johansen, Columbus; 3. Rossman, Norfolk; 5. Craven, Norfolk; 6. Clouse, Norfolk. 400-Freestyle Relay: 1. Norfolk, 3:49.00 (Stelling, Jacobs, Flohr, Harthoorn); 2. Columbus; 3. Norfolk (Vanderheiden, Marotz, Curtis, Bach).