The girls have settled their scores in the pools around the state with the conclusion of last weekend’s IHSAA Girls Swimming State Finals. Now, it’s the boys turn.
At 20 sectionals around the state, Thursday ushered in the preliminary rounds of the boys swimming sectionals, with two sites hosting local teams. Both Warsaw and Wawasee were in action Thursday night, as well as Tippecanoe Valley, positioning themselves for a shot at sectional glory, and in the bigger scope, tickets to the IHSAA Boys Swimming State Finals next weekend at IUPUI.
Not many surprises as far as the favorites are concerned, but there were a couple eye openers among the preliminary times posted.
Northridge hold 10 of the 11 event top seeds heading into Saturday afternoon’s final, but a top time from freshman Jesse Drake (1:03.85) may have been the biggest surprise of opening night. Wawasee’s Zac Hershberger had been the top seed heading into the prelims in the breaststroke, but the junior timed third at 1:04.62. Sophomore teammate Mason Germonprez is fifth in the event at 1:05.63.
“Mason looked really good in practice all week and we thought he could do a 1:04 or 1:05 if he could get his turns down,” said Wawasee head coach Julie Robinson of Germonprez. “We think he can do even better Saturday. Zac is going to have to race, he’s got a little work to do to make up the time from today, but he is in good shape.”
Goshen senior Adam Bratten is the only non-Raider to grab a top seed for Saturday, posting a swift 48.73 in the 100, unseating NLC champion Hershberger, who posted a 50.68. Wawasee junior Luke Smith is the eight-seed at 51.99.
Northridge have all three lead times in the relays, with the medley at 1:43.77, the 200 free at 1:33.26 and the 400 at 3:32.13. Raider freshman Seth Cripe has the top time in the 200 free (1:48.62) and the 500 free (4:56.02) while senior teammate Austin Flager stormed to a 52.08 in the backstroke in the official defense of his state title from last season and Flager also set a pool and sectional record with a 21.15 in the 50 free.
Northridge’s Jon Stoller is also a one seed in two events, leading the individual medley at 1:59.66 and the butterfly at 53.82.
Wawasee overall have 11 individuals and three relays set for championship swims. The medley relay sit at sixth (1:53.35), the 200 relay fourth (1:39.71) and the 400 relay second (3:37.74).
Senior Sebastian List, an NLC champion in the 200 free, is third heading into Saturday at 1:51.28 and is fifth in the backstroke at 57.83. Freshman Logan Brugh is third in the 500 at 5:01.99 and fifth in the fly at 57.67 while senior teammate Andrew Busse is seventh in the 500 at 5:09.29 and seventh in the IM at 2:11.89. Smith swims fourth in the 50 after a 23.03 prelim swim.
“I think when you come in on Thursday night, you focus on place to make sure you are coming back for finals or consoles,” Robinson said. “I think the boys that needed to be in those spots placed themselves where they needed.
“The relays are going to come down to being physically ready and mental as well. Go out there and see if they want it bad enough.”
The Tigers and the Cadets from Culver Academy will go head-to-head in virtually every event to decide who goes to state.
Warsaw have five individuals and the medley with top prelim swims while Culver Academy have both the 200 and 400 free relays and three individual efforts producing top times.
Sophomore Tigers Spencer Davidson and Jayden Parrett both are top dogs in two events heading into Saturday. Davidson posted a 55.13 in the butterfly and 1:02.07 in the breaststroke while Parrett went 54.43 in the backstroke and 22.75 in the 50. Freshman Zach Taylor has Warsaw’s other individual leader, going 2:08.57 in the IM. The Warsaw medley relay posted a 1:42.62 to lead all teams Thursday night.
CMA’s 200 relay posted a 1:34.57 and 400 relay a 3:25.68, with Warsaw fifth in the 200 and second in the 400. Bryan DeVries was a double win Thursday, posting a 1:49.91 in the 200 free and 49.98 in the 100 free. Leopoldo Burguete from the Academy swam a 5:09.46 to lead the 500.
Warsaw have 20 individuals and all three relays working Saturday plus its compliment of divers, highlighted by three swimmers alive for the finals in the 200 free, IM, 100 free and backstroke.
Tippecanoe Valley have just the 200 free relay active in the finals, taking seventh Thursday night. Tommy Alexander will swim three events, including the relay and two console swims in the IM and butterfly. Brandon Maull will swim the 200 free relay as well as a console 100 free.