Two friends take four wins

Longtime pals Chelsea Nauta and Tommy Wyher each earn two state championships .

Published November 5, 2006

FORT LAUDERDALE - Congratulatory hugs were in order, as has been the case during their mirrored careers, between Tampa Prep's Chelsea Nauta and Jesuit's Tommy Wyher.

Exchanging hugs and places on the medal stand were lifelong friends who entered Saturday's meet with five state championships each. The seniors capped stellar careers by increasing that total to 14: Nauta won the 100-yard freestyle and 200 free; Wyher took first in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke.

"We have a bond like no other," Nauta said. "It's a friendly rivalry. I want him to do well, and he wants me to do well."

Wyher said winning state titles at the same meets for the past four seasons is "nice, because we're like brother and sister."

While Nauta and Wyher also relished competing for 10 years as Tampa Bay Aquatics teammates and taking recruiting trips together, a lot will change next year. Wyher orally committed to North Carolina, and Nauta said she chose Georgia on Tuesday.

Jesuit had the county's highest finish, third in the boys meet, and the Tampa Prep girls placed a county-best fourth.

Tampa Prep's boys were fifth, and both Berkeley Prep teams were in the top 20 with the boys placing 10th and the girls 16th. The Academy of the Holy Names girls were 20th.

Jacksonville Bolles dominated, as the boys won their 19th straight title and the girls their 16th in a row.

Sully Lynch contributed to Jesuit's effort by taking third in the 100 fly and fourth in the 200 individual medley. Teammate Stephen Sheridan had a fourth in the 50 free.

Tampa Prep's Grace Fredlake was a runnerup in the 500 free and fourth in the 200 IM.

Tampa Prep's boys had their best finish in the final event, third in the 400 free relay that included Jason Khoury, Matt Tucker, Matt Stumpf and Ryan Stumpf. Matt Stumpf took fourth in the 100 breaststroke and 100 free.

In boys diving, Tampa Prep's Eli Bobo was fourth and Berkeley Prep's Kyle Dent finished ninth.

Berkeley Prep divers Marni Tuchman and Caitlin Karniski placed seventh and eighth, respectively.

Steve Lee can be reached at lee@sptimes.com or 352 754-6517.