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Whitnall's Bell dives for third

Feb. 25, 2014

Senior diver Nick Bell captured third place for Whitnall at the WIAA Division 2 State Meet on Friday in Madison.

Bell recorded a personal-best 362.1 points to finish behind only Joe Kaszubowski of Whitefish Bay and Henry Carman of Monona Grove in the 16-man competition.

He was diving at state for the third straight season. As a sophomore, Bell finished 13th, and as a junior, he came in sixth.

"He finished his high school year on a great note," head coach George Guddie said. "Diving coach Laura Citro was pleased with his finish and was proud of his season."

Senior Jake Hodel also enjoyed a strong state meet, taking sixth in the 100 breaststroke at a personal-best 1 minute, 1.06 seconds, and ninth in the 100 freestyle with 49.83 seconds.

"Jake added another event this year and qualified for the 100 freestyle, which ended up being a great race for him," Guddie said.

The 200 medley relay unit of sophomore Michael Beckman, Hodel, senior Jack Larson and freshman Ben Bell placed 11th with 1:44.12.

"The team looked great and the exchanges were right on," Guddie said.

The same four took 11th in the 400 freestyle relay with 3:25.12, missing 10th place by 0.12 seconds.

Larson placed 13th in the 100 butterfly at 55.86, dropping one second off his sectional time from the previous week.

"The competitiveness of the meet was intense," the coach said. "The difference in time between 13th and ninth places was only 0.5 of a second."

Whitnall tallied 66 points for 12th place in the 34-team meet.

"That was a great finish," Guddie said. "We were only four points out of 11th and 14 points out of 10th."

The Falcons lose seniors Nick Bell, Larson and Hodel but return Beckman, who should be strong in the 100 backstroke and 200 individual medley, and Ben Bell for the 50 and 100 freestyles.

"Both of these guys were on the state team this year in relays, and I am expecting great things from them next year," Guddie said.

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