Knights tankers make good impression, advance seven individuals to state
Mills, DeGraff and three divers all go
Making an impression in the meet you're hosting is always a good thing.
And the Nicolet boys swim team did a little better than that last Saturday in the WIAA sectional meet it held, as the Knights advanced an impressive seven entries to this Saturday's WIAA State D1 meet in Madison.
"It was pretty exciting," Knights coach Dwight Davis said. "The kids swam pretty well. It was interesting being in a sectional that fast. It helped provide us with some extra momentum, because the guys who deserved to get through (to state) got through."
The Knights advanced three divers, including multi-time qualifying senior brothers Kyle and Evan Siverhus as well as freshman Jeremy Moser.
In addition, they qualified senior sprinter Jamie DeGraff in the 50 and 100-yard freestyles and sophomore distance swimmer Michael Mills in the 200 and 500 frees.
Diving will get underway at 10 a.m. Saturday while timed swimming finals will begin at 3 p.m. at the UW-Madison Natatorium.
Fourth at sectional
Nicolet's qualifying efforts led them to an impressive fourth-place showing in the 11-team sectional with 227 points as North Shore champion Cedarburg won with 351.
Diving gave the Knights a tremendous start as they went one-two-four in the 13-man field. Evan Siverhus won with a 393.15 point total while Moser was second (369.45) and Kyle Siverhus was fourth (331.4). Kyle's total was the 24th and final qualifying effort in the state.
Mills was very impressive in his qualifying efforts, as he won the 200 free in a season best of 1:47.03 and then came back to post an imposing nine-second drop in the 500 free in turning in a personal best of 4:48.31.
"He gave me a funny statement after the 500," Davis said of Mills. "He had been second for the longest time and then with about 175 yards to go, he just took off. He said 'I don't know where that came from. I just decided to get going.'"
Davis was very pleased for the senior DeGraff as he advanced in the 50 free with a sixth place 22.27 effort and then came in fourth in the 100 with a best time of 48.98.
"Jamie is really quite a bit of a scrapper," Davis said. "He comes back very hard in his races."
The only real disappointment on the day for Davis was the inability of the Knights to advance a relay and he said that's for a simple but difficult reason.
"It's just so deep out there (in terms of relay times) that unless you have someone like (Nicolet Olympian) Garrett Weber-Gale or Steve Cebertowicz (another top-flight Nicolet sprinter), there's no way you can get one in," he said.
Still, all three Nicolet relays turned in season best times. The 200 medley team of Michael Hangsterfer, Evan Siverhus, Greg Horstmeier and Zach Pagel was eighth (1:47.0), while the 200 free team of Pagel, Evan Siverhus, Mills and DeGraff was fifth (1:32.37) and the 400 free team of DeGraff, Danny Lerner, Pagel and Mills was sixth (seven-second season best of 3:25.88).
The closest the Knights got to state with a relay was the 200 free, as that team came up just .44 of a second away from qualifying.
Other good efforts for the Knights included the following: Diving - Hangsterfer, 11th (265.5); 100 free - Pagel, 10th (52.23); 100 backstroke - Hangsterfer, 12th (1:04.3); and 100 breaststroke - Evan Siverhus, 11th (1:09.13). Lerner and Cole McMullough also turned in good showings.
Davis was happy with the turnout at the sectional.
"We packed all the stands, about 350 people," he said. "It's been that way for our best dual meets (Whitefish Bay, Homestead and Cedarburg) too."
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