Austin Flager, a senior from Northridge who already owns a state title in the backstroke as a junior, won the 50-yard freestyle championship Saturday afternoon with a time of 20.37 in a race that had all eight finals’ competitors within a second of each other.
Flager nearly added a second backstroke title to his wall, but could not overcome the record-setting Aaron Whitaker of Chesterton. Flager’s time of 49.17 was well ahead of the remainder of the field, but Whitaker, who set the state record Friday night in the prelims, lowered his own standard with a 47.29 in Saturday’s final. Whitaker also broke his own record, set last night, in the butterfly with a 47.33. Northridge junior Jon Stoller was 13th in the fly at 51.87.
Warsaw’s Jayden Parrett completed his state weekend in the backstroke and placed 15th with a time of 53.47.
Northridge’s Stoller was sixth overall in the individual medley with a time of 1:54.49 and teamed with Flager, AJ Bernth and Takoda Friesen to take fifth place in the medley relay at 1:34.44. Northridge’s 200 free relay team, which were seeded fifth entering the day, were disqualified from the finals.
Whitaker’s Chesterton team won the medley relay at 1:32.45, just a half-second off the state record. Blake Pieroni of Chesterton broke Columbus North’s Ryan Wochomurka’s record of 44.36 in the 100-yard freestyle with a 44:28 and the 400 free relay team from Chesterton, which Pieroni started and Whitaker anchored, closed out the day with a 3:04.77 championship in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Overall, Chesterton claimed its third team title with 238.5 points to best runner-up Indianapolis North Central’s 203.5 points. The Trojans won back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2009. Carmel, the three-time defending champion, were third and Penn fourth. Northridge wound up scoring 82 team points to tie Bloomington South for 11th place overall.