The University of Florida and their head coach Gregg Troy continue to be a huge draw for high school backstrokes, with their latest verbal commitment coming from Sydney Sell of the Lakeside Seahawks, according to her coaches.
Sell’s best events are the 100 and 200 yard backstrokes, where she’s been 53.86 and 1:56.79 in yards, both of which are Summer Nationals time standards. She’s also a Summer Nationals qualifier in long course, with bests of 1:02.91 and 2:13.23 in the 100 and 200, respectively.
Much like other great Florida backstrokers of the past, Sell is also a solid IM’er, having been 2:03.74/4:26.24 in yards. Given the dual success that Florida has had with IM’ers, especially backstroker/IM’ers (Ryan Lochte, Elizabeth Beisel), it would be no surprise if her IM’s improved significantly when she arrives in Gainesville.
Sell has been a force on the Kentucky High School swimming scene since before she was even in high school. As an 8th grader, she placed 8th in the 100 back at the State Championship meet. Now the Western Hills High School senior is coming off of a year where she placed 2nd behind sophomore Asia Seidt, and will be battling for the title as a senior.
This summer, she also broke a historic record in the 100 meter backstroke at her home pool: the Lakeside Swim Club. While racing at the Ohio Valley Championships, she swam a 1:03.29 in the 100 meter backstroke. That broke a record that had stood since 1987, set by former Olympian, World Champion, and World Record holder Kim Linehan in 1987.