Sunday, February 11, 2001

N.Ky. regional swim meet

No stopping Notre Dame, CovCath

By Ray Schaefer
Enquirer contributor

        TAYLOR MILL — Near the end of Saturday's Northern Kentucky regional swimming meet, the only suspense at Scott High School was Notre Dame's and Covington Catholic's margins of victory.

        Notre Dame won its 20th regional title in 21 meets by a score of 395-239 over Scott. CovCath won its third straight and fifth since 1995, 409-259 over Scott.

        “Our whole conversation (Saturday morning) was that we would have no regrets about our results,” CovCath coach Steve Durkee said. “We were going to lay it all out there, and you saw the results.”

        It was a different kind of Notre Dame team that won Saturday. Pandas coach Karen Bresser-Jones has had teams strong in one or two strokes but never one with overall depth.

        “We had four people in the final heat of the 50(-yard) freestyle, three in the finals of the 100 free, 100 backstroke and 200 (individual medley),” Bresser-Jones said.

        Notre Dame has been ranked third in the state behind six-time defending champion Louisville Sacred Heart and Lexington Paul Dunbar. Sophomore Nicole Culbertson, who won the 50 freestyle, said the Pandas have a shot in Lexington in two weeks.

        “I hope so,” she said. “We have a lot more swimmers going downstate.”

        Two others swimmers, Scott senior Ann Isaacs and Beechwood sophomore Wesley Swafford, won two individual races. Isaacs won the 200 freestyle in 2:00.53 and the 500 in 5:20.81; Swafford took the 200 individual medley in 2:10.26 and 100 freestyle in 54.70.

        The Pandas and Colonels dedicated their seasons to the memory of Cynthia Culbertson, the mother of Nicole and CovCath freshman Conrad. Cynthia Culbertson died in November.

        CovCath has won meets with big-name stars (Sydney Olympian Nate Dusing and Auburn sophomore Brad Knueven) before, but the past two seasons CovCath has won the region and finished second at state with relative unknowns.

        “This year we have quantity and quality” senior Philip Rugari said.

        The Colonels had senior Matthew Bertke - he won the 200 freestyle in 1:45.35 and the 500 freestyle in 4:41.34. Bertke spent the last two seasons watching former Scott star Andy Seitz and Tim Wera of Beechwood win state titles.

        “Finally, after Wera and Seitz are gone, it's my turn to shine,” Bertke said.

        Like Notre Dame, CovCath started with a win in the 200 medley relay. Bertke followed with the 200 freestyle, Rugari took the 200 IM, and sophomore Sean Pharr's 21.77 in the 50 freestyle set a regional record Seitz had held.

        “I'm just flattered it was Andy Seitz's record,” Pharr said. “I always used to watch him.”

        CovCath won nine events. Only Scott junior Zach Niehaus in Friday's 1-meter diving and Dixie Heights senior Michael Day's wins in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke Saturday prevented the sweep.


        Team scores: 1. Notre Dame 395; 2. Scott 239; 3. Beechwood 181; 4. Highlands 115; 5. Ryle 76; 6. St. Henry 59; 7. Covington Latin 56; 8. Villa Madonna 52; 9. Ashland Paul Blazer 50; 10. Holmes 43; 11. Simon Kenton 40; 12. Conner 32; 13. Dixie Heights 31; 14. Rose Hill 18; 15. Holy Cross 6; 16. Campbell County 2.

        Individual results

(top two automatically advance to state meet Feb. 23-24 at the University of Kentucky)

        200-yard medley relay: 1. Notre Dame (Mallory Neltner, April Fioreli, Stephanie Doellman, Amanda Hudepohl), 1:56.88; 2. Scott (Lyndsey Longshore, Dana Smith, Amy Isaacs, Megan Nutini), 2:02.33.

        200 freestyle: 1. Ann Isaacs (Scott), 2:00.53; 2. Courtney Swafford (Beechwood), 2:03.56.

        200 individual medley: 1. Wesley Swafford (Beechwood), 2:10.26; 2. Mallory Neltner (Notre Dame), 2:13.96.

        50 freestyle: 1. Nicole Culbertson (Notre Dame), 25.19; 2. Sarah Stevens (Beechwood), 25.38.

        100 butterfly: 1. Stephanie Doellman (Notre Dame), 1:01.07; 2. Meredith Loechle (Beechwood), 1:01.75.

        100 freestyle: 1. Wesley Swafford (Beechwood), 54.70; 2. Leigh Ann Myers (Scott), 56.43.

        500 freestyle: 1. Ann Isaacs (Scott), 5:20.81; 2. Leah Kirn (Notre Dame), 5:32.72.

        200 freestyle relay: 1. Notre Dame (Emily Oberjohn, Mallory Neltner, April Fioreli, Nicole Culbertson), 1:42.84; 2. Beechwood (Sarah Stevens, Courtney Swafford, Meredith Loechle, Wesley Swafford), 1:43.47.

        100 backstroke: 1. Mallory Neltner (Notre Dame), 59.99; 2. Stephanie Doellman (Notre Dame), 1:02.47.

        100 breaststroke: 1. April Fioreli (Notre Dame), 1:11.32; 2. Nicole Culbertson (Notre Dame), 1:11.30.

        400 freestyle relay: 1. Beechwood (Sarah Stevens, Courtney Swafford, Meredith Loechle, Wesley Swafford), 3:45.21; 2. Notre Dame (Nicole Culbertson, Stephanie Doellman, Amanda Hudepohl, Emily Oberjohn), 3:47.11.

        All-region team: Wesley Swafford (Beechwood); Mallory Neltner (Notre Dame); Nicole Culbertson (Notre Dame); Stephanie Doellman (Notre Dame); Meredith Loechle (Beechwood); Ann Isaacs (Scott); Sara Stevens (Beechwood); Emily Oberjohn (Notre Dame); Robyn Karlage (Holmes).

        Outstanding performer: Wesley Swafford, Beechwood.


        Team scores: 1. Covington Catholic 409; 2. Scott 259; 3. Highlands 187; 4. Dixie Heights 153; 5. Simon Kenton 49; 6. Ashland Paul Blazer 47; 7. Campbell County 46; 8. Ryle 37; 9. Russell 25; 10. Rose Hill 22; 11. Villa Madonna 21; 12. St. Henry 17; 13. Fleming County 9; 14. Covington Latin 2.

        Individual results

        200-yard medley relay: 1. Covington Catholic (Philip Rugari, Chris Hudepohl, Sean Pharr, Matthew Bertke), 1:40.08 ; 2. Scott (Chris Seitz, Tim Sievers, Jason Vadney, Brian Alden), 1:43.11.

        200 freestyle: 1. Matthew Bertke (Covington Catholic), 1:43.35; 2. Jason Vadney (Scott), 1:47.28.

        200 individual medley: 1. Philip Rugari (Covington Catholic), 1:59.81; 2. David Van Epps (Highlands), 2:02.48.

        50 freestyle: 1. Sean Pharr (Covington Catholic), 21.77 (regional record); 2. Brett Hoersting (Covington Catholic), 21.98.

        100 butterfly: 1. Michael Day (Dixie Heights), 51.31; 2. Chris Seitz (Scott), 54.51.

        100 freestyle: 1. Brett Hoersting (Covington Catholic), 48.13; 2. Sean Pharr (Covington Catholic), 48.51.

        500 freestyle: 1. Matthew Bertke (Covington Catholic), 4:41.34; 2. Jason Vadney (Scott), 4:51.01.

        200 freestyle relay: 1. Covington Catholic (Sean Pharr, Matthew Bertke, Brett Hoersting, Matt Wilson), 1:29. .06 (regional record); 2. Scott (Jason Vadney, Bobby Ahlers, Chris Seitz, Brian Alden), 1:33.06.

        100 backstroke: 1. Michael Day (Dixie Heights), 52.22; 2. Chris Seitz (Scott), 53.37.

        100 breaststroke: 1. Chris Hudepohl (Covington Catholic), 1:01.99; 2. David Van Epps (Highlands), 1:03.69.

        400 freestyle relay: 1. Covington Catholic (Brett Hoersting, David Hine, Matt Wilson, Philip Rugari), 3:22.05; 2. Dixie Heights (Kyle Bright, Kevin Mayleben, Darren Matchison, Michael Day), 3:32.35.

        All-region team: Michael Day (Dixie Heights); Matt Bertke (Covington Catholic); 3. Brett Hoersting (Covington Catholic); Sean Pharr (Covington Catholic); Chris Seitz (Scott); Philip Rugari (Covington Catholic); Chris Hudepohl (Covington Catholic); Zach Niehaus (Scott).

        Outstanding performer: Michael Day, Dixie Heights.

        Combined (boys and girls team scores): 1. Scott 498; 2. Highlands 302; 3. Dixie Heights 184; 4. Beechwood 181; 5. Ryle 113; 6. Ashland Paul Blazer 97; 7. Simon Kenton 89; 8. St. Henry 76; 9. Villa Madonna 73; 10. Covington Latin 58; 11. Campbell County 48; 12. Holmes 43; 13. Rose Hill 40; 14. Conner 32; 15. Russell 25; 16. Fleming County 9; 17. Holy Cross 6.

        Mike Bresser Memorial Sportsmanship Award: Dixie Heights.

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