Pats ring Bell, sweep Corydon

Photo by Corey Stolzenbach/The Herald
Kyan Bell collects himself after winning the 50 freestyle Monday night in Lincoln City. Bell won or combined to win four events for Heritage Hills, helping the Patriots to a 127-20 win against Corydon Central on the boys side. The girls were also winners, 121-45.


LINCOLN CITY — Sometimes, for a swimmer, it's their night, and for Heritage Hills, Monday was Kyan Bell's night.

Bell won or combined to win four events on the boys side against Corydon Central in Lincoln City. He teamed with Josh Halvorson, Garrett Nix and Kyle Eubank to win the 200 medley relay. Bell also partnered with Halvorson, Drew Foertsch and Braylon Caldwell to prevail in the 200 freestyle relay. He triumphed in two individual events by taking first place honors in the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle.

Bell helped Heritage Hills pull off the 127-20 win on the boys side, and the girls did the same with a 121-45 win on their end.

"I was trying to try my best, and I was trying to swim fast," Bell said. "I always want to go for personal bests, like always. Sometimes, you can't get them all, but you just got try enough, and you got to try hard — and you got to swim fast, of course."

"Kyan's always ready to race," Pats coach Gary Ayer later added. "That's something that some of our younger kids on both sides - boys and girls - should be looking at. You should always be ready to race. That's Kyan."

Yet, Bell was just one of multiple Patriots on both sides who won multiple events against the Panthers. Halvorson also won the 200 freestyle. and 100 backstroke to go along with his two relay victories for four wins himself. Eubank, meanwhile, prevailed in the 200 individual medley and 400 freestyle relay.

Caswell pulled off this feat by winning the 500 freestyle and also combining to win the 400 freestyle relay to go with the 200 freestyle relay. Foertsch also helped his team to victory in the 400 freestyle relay to go with his 200 freestyle relay win.

Lily Gogel and Jada Banks did this on the girls side when they both swam to victory multiple times. Gogel enjoyed wins in the 200 medley relay with teammates Avery Vinson, Riley Ayer and Alexa Fleck. She also came through in some individual races by reigning supreme in the the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke. Vinson later claimed victory in the 100 breaststroke, as did Claire Coleman in the 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relay.

Banks was the first girls swimmer to win multiple events, however, doing so in the 50 freestyle and the 100 butterfly. She'd come away with another win in the 400 freestyle relay with Fleck, Coleman and Bridget Flannagan — who also won the 500 freestyle.

"I thought Bridget Flannagan's 500 freestyle tonight was really good," Gary said. "She's getting to where we want to be this time of year. I thought she had a really good race, I thought she had a really nice time in her 500 free."

The Pats were the only ones to field competitors in 11 of their events Monday against the Panthers. They were guaranteed wins on the boys side in the 200 medley relay, 200 individual medley, 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 500 freestyle, 200 freestyle relay, 100 backstroke and 400 freestyle relay.

Heritage Hills also scooped up some guaranteed wins on the girls end in the 200 freestyle, diving and 100 backstroke.

Yet, even the automatic wins only played a part in the business the Pats took care of in their first competition in a week. Heritage Hills claimed victory in all but one event heading into the diving segment of the night, with some teammates competing against one another for the win. The girls 200 freestyle, for instance, was a dead heat between Sidney Ayer and Coleman, but in the end, the latter came out on top in just under two seconds.

Gary told the Herald after the team's Dec. 14 sweep of Southridge that the swimmers need to work on her turns. He followed that up on Monday by putting it succinctly that some of his competitors improved on their turns quite a bit, while it wasn't so much the case for others.

"We still got a lot of work to do on turns," he said. "That's going to be a work in progress."

The holiday season is upon us, and the Pats will have Thursday and Friday off of practice, while returning to the pool to practice on Saturday. Heritage Hills is scheduled to only get Jan. 1 off next week. Gary noted that some of his swimmers will be on vacation, but will still have access to a pool to practice in.

Monday's race was the final one that Heritage Hills had of the 2020 calendar year, and the Pats are next set to be back at it Jan. 4 at home against Evansville Mater Dei.

"(We got to) keep improving, keep doing what we're doing, working on the things that we've been after them to work on," Gary said. "I saw some kids doing that tonight, even though they weren't too happy with their times, but some of the mechanics that we've been working on - I saw that tonight. And we just got to keep building on that."

More on