HOST OF AREA SWIMMERS HEADING TO INDY WITH OPTIMISM
Ink Free News / Sports on Wednesday, February 10, 2021
By Mike Deak
INDIANAPOLIS – There are few guarantees in sports. Michael Phelps winning gold medals, Tom Brady winning Super Bowls. Carmel swimming dominating the IHSAA Girls Swim State Finals.
‘The Carmel Invite’ as dubbed by some in the state swim circuit, the Greyhounds have won 34 straight state titles and likely will win a 35th given it has three swimmers qualified for every event and none seeded lower than 12th. All three of its relays come in seeded first, third and first.
So, getting that out of the way, individual glory is likely the ambition of those descending upon the IUPUI Natatorium this weekend. State prelims for the odd numbered sectionals (including Elkhart) begins at noon Friday, with the even numbered sectionals (including Warsaw) starts at 5:30 p.m. Diving begins at 9 a.m. Saturday and will complete its entirety before swim comes in at 3:30 p.m. for its championship/consolation finals swims.
Here’s a look at what some of the local teams are sending to Indianapolis this weekend.
The Tigers won three events to earn automatic qualification. Warsaw, however, will have to do some major time shaving if it wants to make a second day swim. Warsaw’s medley relay is seeded 31st (1:55.76) and its 200 free relay comes into competition seeded 28th (1:43.14). Taking honors at the Warsaw sectional in the medley were Tigers Rachel Doyle, Macelyn Marcuccilli, Lily Boston and Maddy Morgan. In the 200 medley were Boston, Marcuccilli, Madi Johnson and Marissa Howett.
One other individual swim is going to have black and orange Tiger stripes making waves, that being Doyle in the backstroke, who comes in seeded 33rd (1:02.88).
“I want to see personal best times and I want them to beat someone,” said Warsaw head coach Tony DeBrota. “We are close about one second off of WCHS top 10 times with both relays so that would be rewarding to see. Likewise, Rachel gets a shot to lower her back top 10 time, as does Macelyn in the leadoff of the 200 free relay. I’d love to see a finalist from Warsaw sooner rather than later, but this will certainly be an experience focused trip similar to last year.”
Wawasee went the opposite route, not winning a title but posting times that met at-large standards. Alexis Mishler was part of both, her individual performance in the 50 free (24.07) landed her 14th among the state’s speed swimmers.
Mishler, along with Hayden Neer, Rileigh Atwood and Cammy Kryder posted a 1:50.33 in the medley relay to hold the 26th best time in the Hoosier State.
“Our girls have swam really well, and given how the season has gone with everything outside of the pool, I think considering everything we are in a good position,” said Wawasee head coach Jason Scott.
Ridge, Concord Among Contenders
While they won’t likely pile up enough points to contend for ‘the other state title trophy’, Concord and Northridge will have a say in Saturday’s championship qualifications.
Concord, team champion at the Elkhart sectional, will take 10 lanes up Friday in the state prelims. All three of its relays are seeded among the top 10 and Grace Brenneman has a real shot at a pair of titles, coming in fourth in the 50 and seventh in the 100 freestyles. Kiran Stauffer is also a top 10 seed in two events, listed seventh in the 500 freestyle and ninth in the 200 freestyle. Ella Lantz gives the Minutemen another top 10 seed, sitting seventh coming into the backstroke prelims along with an 18th seed in the 100 free. Concord also has diver Ryleigh Robinson riding down on the bus to compete.
Northridge doesn’t have the frontline times coming into the prelims, but has a load of at-large spots filled along with a trio of top-12 relays in line. Anna Yeater, Alaina Yeater, Makena Mount and Sydney Nethercutt will all swim in two events, Nethercutt’s 11 seed in the 200 free the highest Raider position among its individuals. In all, Northridge grabbed 12 state spots.
Where Ridge will likely make its money is in diving, where the trio of Jiselle Miller, Kaitlin Simons and Mila Opacich will all head to the boards, Miller and Simons posting some of the top scores in the state in the diving sectional and regionals.
Culver Academy’s Autumn Baumgartner will swim in three events. The Warsaw champion in the 50 and 100 freestyles comes in seeded 26th and 30th, respectively, and will power the 400 free relay. Eagle Emily Heim has a spot in the 500 free.
The Briner sisters from Manchester will compete in two events each, Halle in the 200 free and breaststroke, and Josie in the IM and butterfly.
Bremen’s Kaia Podlin will also come in with second day aspirations, sitting ninth in the butterfly and 11th in the breaststroke.