Last week, Estero High girls’ swim coach Jen Seluk was pretty quiet at the district meet.
Friday, she couldn’t contain herself.
Her Wildcats won their first Region 2A-4 title at the FGCU Aquatics Center.
Sophomore Kaitlyn Hauser won the 200- and 500-yard freestyle while she anchored the winning 200-free relay and helped the 400-free relay team take second. Senior Courtney DeVeny joined her on the 400 free and won the 200 individual medley. Freshman Bean Faunce took seconds in the 200 IM and 100 butterfly.
“I’m glowing,” Seluk said. “You feel the spirit and the energy in the races. I’ve been a supporter, motivator, pusher and they’ve exceeded by expectations beyond belief.”
That’s because freshmen contributed heavily to this win and everyone had personal records, she said, despite not tapering.
“It’s not just a winners’ thing but a depth thing,” she said. “They officially stepped up and raced their hearts out. The energy kicks in, the adrenaline kicks in.
“I’m excited for state. It’s like a bag of tricks.”
When Danilea Jordan, Paige Madden, Lauren McLeod and Hauser won the 200-freestyle relay, shattering the school record in 1:39.76, Seluk said, “We all looked at each other and said, ‘We’re gonna do this.'”
Hauser got the Wildcats off to a good start when she won the 200 freestyle in 1:51.41. She later took the 500 free in 4:55.17.
“I think I’m doing so much better,” said Hauser, who credited club coach Paul Yetter with her success. “He has brought out things in me I didn’t think I could do.”
Hauser added she held herself back a little bit, “Just to get to states.”
DeVeny tried a different approach in the 200 IM, starting off fast.
“I took a different stance and it worked out pretty well,” she said.
Faunce said she tried to keep up with DeVeny while she said tried to go for first in the 100 butterfly. She added her club competition prepared her well for regionals.
Cape Coral finished third in the boys meet and fourth in the girls meet. Coach Dianne Kimble said her veterans, Jason Tillotson, Amar Turnadzic and Taylor Tognarine, had solid efforts.
“There’s a lot of great teams here,” she said. “We’re going to get a lot of extra swimmers to state.”
Tillotson (200 IM) and Cory Klemm (100 breaststroke) finished second, the best finishes among Southwest Florida boys swimmers.
“I was pretty happy,” Tillotson said. “There’s some technical things I need to work on. And I haven’t tapered at all. I had morning and afternoon practices (Thursday) as well as dry land. I was real fatigued. Now I’ll get a week of rest.”