AREA STARS LOOKING FOR FINAL SHOT AT SWIM GLORY
Ink Free News / Sports on Thursday, February 25, 2021
By Mike Deak
INDIANAPOLIS – The final weekend of the high school swim season is here, and with it, a handful of area swimmers are hopeful to make their mark in the swansong for the 2020-21 campaign.
Four lanes at IUPUI’s Natatorium will be occupied from Kosciusko County swimmers. Warsaw will start off swimming with its medley relay competing in the noon prelims, the state separating the heats into odds and evens based off the sectionals. The Tiger medley relay posted a 1:39.70 to win the title at its home sectional, claimed by Ian Wihebrink, Cooper Archer, Nate Taylor and Michael Ray.
Ray will try his hand in the 100 freestyle, his 48.13 sitting 30th in the state.
Wihebrink will look to continue the family name in the breaststroke, also sitting 30th at 1:00.23.
Wawasee has one entry down state, Nathan Harper making his state debut in the backstroke. His 54.34 championship from Elkhart sits 28th heading into Friday, which Harper will work in the evening prelim round.
The top seed for any area swimmer comes from the Warsaw sectional, where Culver Academy’s Mitchell Schott is tied for second in the 200 freestyle (1:39.17) and is also third in the 500 freestyle (4:31.66). The Academy relays, which Schott helped to a pair of sectional titles, have the 200 and 400 both 26th.
One other area swimmer among the top 10 seeds for the state prelims is Elkhart’s Lucas Byrd, who is eighth in the breaststroke (57.01) and tenth in the 100 freestyle (46.32).
Northridge has four lanes claimed, Concord has three lanes, Goshen’s Nick Zehr is in two events and Three Rivers Conference stars Grant Dale of Northfield and Seth Blossom of Wabash are both in two events.
Concord’s Ethan Smith, Elkhart’s Nick Hardy and Culver Academy’s Reid Omilian all will compete in diving Saturday morning.
Overviewing the preliminary rounds, Carmel is out front with 27 entries heading into Friday, a stark contrast to state powers like Fishers with 12 and Penn with 11.
Prelim round at the Natatorium are at 12 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Diving will compete in full starting at 9 a.m. Saturday with the swim consoles and championship rounds starting at 3:30 p.m.