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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
By BOB PUTNAM and ERIC MUSKATEVC
Published October 29, 2006
FORT MYERS - Jesuit's Tommy Wyher and Tampa Prep's Chelsea Nauta, who have each won five state titles, have put a lot of ground between themselves and what passes for their competition.
So it was expected Wyher and Nauta, both seniors, would have no problem winning their events Saturday at Florida Gulf Coast University.
And in some of the most anti-climatic races, Wyher and Nauta did just that, each winning multiple titles as they geared up for next week's state meet.
Wyher won the 100 fly in 50.97 seconds and the 100 back in 52.
He wasn't the only Jesuit swimmer to do well.
In a dizzying array of backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, freestyle - 10 events in all - the dominant Tigers excelled in just about every one, scoring 450 points to beat Tampa Prep by 162. Jesuit's other individual winners were Sully Lynch in the 200 IM and Steve Sheridan in the 50 freestyle. The Tigers won relays in the 200 IM, 200 free and 400 free.
Berkeley Prep's Jonathan Jordon (200 free) and Kyle Dent (diving) and Tampa Prep's Ryan Stumpf (100 free) and Matt Stumpf (100 breast) also took home titles.
Nauta, meanwhile, won the 100 free in 50.76 and the 200 free in 1:48.75. Her teammate, Grace Fredlake won the 200 IM and 500 free. The Terrapins also won the 200 and 400 free relays.
Berkeley Prep's girls won the team title (276 points), despite having only one champion (Marni Tuchman in diving).
Sickles on to state
SARASOTA - Since the advent of the region meet three years ago, the additional time trial between districts and states has been a chance, for some, to gain entry into the final show.
For others, it has been just one more opportunity to swim their best before the season is over. For a few area schools Saturday, it was that kind of opportunity.
For Sickles, it was a stepping stone to states. The Gryphons finished fifth in both the boys and girls divisions amid windy, chilly conditions at the Selby Aquatic Center, with many on the team surviving to qualify for Fort Lauderdale next weekend.
"Good day, good night, just cold," Sickles third-year coach Jamie Roberts said. "I (was) freezing. I don't know how any of these kids did it."
Conor Swanson finished second in the 100-yard backstroke and third in the 200-yard IM along with helping the Gryphons' 200-yard medley relay team to third place.
For the girls, Sickles' Veronica Case won the 50-yard freestyle and helped Megan Cook, who scored well, on the second-place 200-yard free relay team.
Wharton's Greg Stevens and Jordan Rees each qualified for state while setting school records as did Alonso freshman Kristen Kerr.
"This is a great way to prove yourself against some of the best swimmers in the entire country let alone the state," Wharton coach Marcie Scholl said. "I'm so proud of these kids for just being here."