WARSAW – The Warsaw girls swim team was all smiles at the conclusion of sectional competition Saturday.
The host Tigers had plenty of reasons to smile too.
Warsaw, led by freshman Brenna Morgan, held off two-time defending champion Culver Academies to reclaim the sectional championship hardware.
Coach Nate Long’s Tigers totaled 352 points to edge past the Eagles, who scored 345. It’s the seventh sectional title for the Warsaw ladies program and the first since 2011.
The sectional champion in each of the 11 swimming events Saturday earn a berth in the State Finals Feb. 14-15 at the IU Natatorium at IUPUI in Indianapolis. The top four divers Saturday will compete in the diving regional at Penn on Tuesday, Feb. 11.
Morgan had a record-setting day to lead the charge for the champions. The standout performer picked up right where she left off at the NLC Meet. Morgan set a new sectional standard in winning the 50 freestyle in a top time of 24.24. That effort eclipsed the old sectional record of 24.30 set in 1991 by Elizabeth Zeman.
Morgan also claimed the sectional title in the 100 freestyle with a winning effort of 52.91.
Morgan, for good measure, also swam a leg on a pair of sectional championship relay teams. She teamed with senior Ashley Van Wormer, sophomore Megan Bixler and sophomore Erin Sandberg to win the 200 medley relay event in a time of 1:56.15.
The Warsaw foursome of Morgan, Sandberg, Van Wormer and senior Cynthia Juarez won the 200 freestyle relay title in a time of 1:43.59.
The senior duo of Juarez and Van Wormer capped their careers in the WCHS pool in style. The pair, both of whom were state qualifiers a year ago, each won their specialty to head back to State. Juarez was best in the 500 freestyle in a time of 5:29.54 and Van Wormer won the 100 breaststroke race in 1:07.86.
The Tigers also got key points as Sandberg placed second in the 100 fly and fifth in the 200 IM. Juarez also posted a third-place finish in the 200 freestyle and Van Wormer was fourth in the 200 IM.
Warsaw was first with 352 points with Culver Academies second with 345. Cass placed third with 256 points, followed by Logansport (232), Columbia City (225), Rochester (214), Huntington North (187), Manchester (119), Pioneer (115), Tippecanoe Valley (91), Plymouth (65), Wabash (25) and Whitko (22).