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Written By StaceyPageOnline / Sports on Thursday, February 9, 2017

Wawasee’s Paige Miller, center, and Northridge’s Katie Hughes, lane 6, return to the state finals in the 500 freestyle, to which both finished in the top four in the race in 2016. Miller is the top seed in the event, Hughes in fifth entering the weekend. (Photo by Mike Deak)

INDIANAPOLIS – Wawasee has had this scenario happen before, and hope to cash in once again.

Paige Miller is the top seed in the state in the 500 freestyle heading into the IHSAA Girls Swimming State Finals at IUPUI this weekend. The super senior claimed the sectional title, setting a meet record of 4:55.47, which puts Miller in the driver’s seat for the prelims this Friday night as the top sectional time around the Hoosier state.

Wawasee most recently has the state’s top seed in 2014 when Bre Robinson took the top backstroke time to state (54.65) and came up second, and also in 2012 when Brittany Robinson entered with a 53.86 in the butterfly, then set the state meet record at 53.41 during her state championship performance.

Miller finished fourth at the state finals a year ago with what is still her lifetime best swim of 4:54.37. She also is seeded sixth in the 200 freestyle with a 1:51.02, that being a sectional championship swim at Northridge last weekend as well. Lauryn Parrish of Fishers has the top 200 freestyle at 1:48.98.

Warsaw’s best chances for a podium finish likely lie with senior Brenna Morgan, who is entering the 100 freestyle 16th (52.08) and the 50 freestyle 23rd (24.10), but the 50 has the top time held by Bloomington South’s Grace Haskett at 23.27. Morgan is making her fourth appearance in both events, winning the consolation of the 100 and was fifth in the state in the 50 last year. Kelly Pash of Carmel holds the top 100 time at 50.22.

Warsaw also has its medley relay team active, but are 28th coming in at 1:51.57. Sophomore Delaney Wihebrink returns to Indy in the backstroke (28, 59.45) and the individual medley (29, 2:13.20). Wihebrink was 31st in the IM and 26th in the backstroke as a freshman. Lauren Kuhl is eligible in the 500 free after winning the sectional with a 5:37.92.

Only six other top-10 seeds are held by area teams or swimmers.

Northridge has the sixth-fastest medley relay at 1:44.93 and the seventh-fastest 400 freestyle at 3:30.17. The Raiders also have a 200 freestyle relay sitting 13th at 1:37.36.

Raiders Katie Hughes and Sydnee Emerson have top-10 times heading into the weekend, Hughes’ 4:58.78 sitting fifth in the 500 free and Emerson’s 2:03.95 in the individual medley for tenth overall. Hughes is also 13th in the 200 (1:52.82), Emerson 12th in the butterfly (56.20) and Lauren Miller 12th in the backstroke (56.76).

Concord’s Olivia Trout has the top time for the kelly, her 1:04.84 in the breaststroke is eighth. Concord has all three relays active, the medley (18, 1:48.13), the 200 (26, 1:40.26) and the 400 (16, 3:35.06), Maddisen Lantz is eligible in two events in the 50 (28, 24.23) and the backstroke (16, 57.06) and MaKayla Miller is set to swim the 100 free (25, 52.80).

Elkhart Central’s Sydnee Dygert is seeded eighth in the butterfly with her time of 55.82. Dygert was 23rd in the state in the event a year ago.

Diving concluded its regional round Tuesday night, and emerging locally from the Mishawaka Regional were the Northridge trio of Sara Troyer, Rylee Dahlman and Mary Grossman as well as Concord’s Lauren Boone. All four finished in the top 12 last year at the state finals, Grossman the best of the bunch with her eighth-place set of dives. Troyer won the Mishawaka Regional with a score of 489.40.

Warsaw’s Brenna Morgan receives a hug from Rochester’s Madelyn Sailors after Morgan won the 50 freestyle at the Warsaw Sectional this past weekend. (Photo by Nick Goralczyk)

Posted In: Girl's Sports > Swimming and Diving