By Sean Neary
The LHS Swimming and Diving teams sent eight members to state this year, and although they weren’t #1 on the scoreboard, they definitely represented LHS with pride. “Everybody’s working hard, and everybody’s having a lot of fun,” head swim coach Richard Conradt said, “We gave a lot of great effort and that’s what I go on anyway.” Sophomore Payton Prall competed in diving at state and made it to 13th place. She placed second at the Knight invite earlier in the season, competing against divers from all the Lincoln schools and a couple Omaha schools. She also took first place at the Heartland Athletic Conference, which is a meet against all the Lincoln schools and a couple others, such as Fremont.
“I couldn’t stop smiling,” Prall said. “I’m friends with a lot of the girls that were there and they all told me good job. It was just really cool. The Journal Star actually interviewed me too.” Prall’s event is the 1 meter springboard, which is 11 dives. Last year, as a freshman, she placed second at state. This year she wanted to place podium at state in the top eight for her event, but that wasn’t in the cards. “There’s always next year,” she said.
In individual events, Sander Sieglaff did the 100 Fly, and John Frey swam the 500 Free. In relays, Noah Luedtke, Sander Sieglaff, Garrett Brockman, and Jesse Harvey competed in the 200 Medley Relay. Brockman, Harvey, Frey, and Luedtke also swam the 200 Free Relay, and Frey, Sieglaff, Harvey, and Luedtke fought hard in the 400 Free Relay. Overall, the season went well for junior Jesse Harvey. “I’ve broken a lot of my personal records and I’ve achieved a lot of my goals,” Harvey said. “For the team, the season’s been going great. A lot of people are improving and we’ve really shown up when we’ve needed to. We’ve tried really hard, shown a lot of effort.” Junior Kalli Honnor’s events were freestyle and backstroke during the season. She swam 50, 100 and 200 freestyle, both in relays and as her individual events. She also swam 50 and 100 backstroke, which included relays and individual events as well.
“For my goal, I just wanted to get better at everything and improve at all the strokes,” Honnor said. “But if I had to choose one, I wanted to mostly work on endurance, so that I could hopefully compete in the 500 at some point.” Honnor added that that never happened to her this year. “But maybe next year,” she said. “So I’ll be back.” Unlike Honnor and Harvey, Prall has past dive experience before high school. She dove for eight years at a club here in Lincoln. There was always lots of team spirit. Prall said that there were lots of different signs up in the locker room and on everyone’s lockers, including her own.
Also, all three swimmers and divers and Coach Conradt mentioned that the whole swim and dive team is like one big family. Honnor, Harvey and Prall each specifically said that they’ve made lots of friends that they wouldn’t have made if they hadn’t been on swimming and diving. Swimming and diving, like any team with good bonds, had its funny moments. Prall said that they had a bucket of hot water that they used to dip their shammees in and Cody, one of the boy divers, got her with it. “He dumped all the water on me. I got water in both my ears and I couldn’t hear for a while.” “We were doing dryland, and Coach Luedtke, a couple of the other swimmers and me were laying on the mats by the side of the pool,” Honnor said “And of course we weren’t in our suits. A couple of the boy swimmers were in their suits and they were like ‘Hey, let’s go get coach wet,’ so they ran over and jumped in really close to us. They got us all soaked. It wasn’t funny at the time, but looking back it is.”
“I want the swimmers and divers to appreciate each other and all the hard work they’ve done to get better, and I want them to realize that it’s been a long season and they’ve spent a lot of time together and made friendships that will last a lifetime, and that they’ve also learned valuable lessons about working hard and being disciplined and the good things that come from doing that,” Conradt said.