WARSAW – There were no surprises for the Warsaw swim team at Thursday’s sectional prelims at Warsaw High School.
The Tigers dominated nearly every category at the prelim meet, placing first in nine of the 11 events. Warsaw will be the overwhelming favorite entering Saturday’s finals at the Warsaw Community Pool.
“We did what we needed to do today,” said Warsaw head coach Nate Long.”Our focus shifts now to getting in the right mindset for winning on Saturday and getting our seeding for State.”
The winning ways for Warsaw started in the evening’s very first event, the 200 medley relay. Warsaw’s Joshua Cardin, Mackenzie Pelo, Zachary Taylor and Matthew Wildman gave the Tigers their first win on the evening with a time of 1:46.72. Warsaw’s seed time coming into prelims was a 1:39.73, slightly off the State cut of 1:38.42.
The Tigers made themselves a heavy presence in the 200 free, placing three swimmers in the top six spots for Saturday. Ethan Cook (1:52.74) edged out teammate John David French (1:56.99) for first place in the event while Matthew Hastings took sixth with a time of 2:00.91.
It was more of the same in the 200 IM for Warsaw as the Tigers took the top three spots in the event. Taylor (2:05.44) and Pelo (2:09.63) took first and second place, respectively. Pelo’s time was a career best for the sophomore. Hudson Snyder claimed third place for the Tigers with a time of 2:09.91.
In the 50 free it was Culver Academies’ Grant Ralston that placed first with his time of 22.22. Rochester’s Patrick Kays took second with a time of 22.33. Warsaw’s Spencer Davidson came in under his seed time of 22.44 and finished third with a 22.39.
Wildman (23.79) and Andrew Gauger (25.89) also qualified for Saturday’s finals for the Tigers.
Kays turned around and won the 100 fly with a time of 53.74. Joshua Miller (56.31) claimed the second fastest time for Warsaw. Tippecanoe Valley’s Tom Alexander seeded himself seventh for Saturday’s finals with a time of 1:03.77.
Warsaw would take top spots in the remainder of the evening’s events.
Warsaw’s Jayden Parrett won both of his races in the 100 free (48.92) and 100 back (53.48). Both of Parrett’s times were fractions of a second away from the state cut times.
Taylor (5:08.15), Snyder (5:12.06) and Cook (5:14.63) finished first, second and fourth respectively in the 500 free. The event is one that Long hopes to see improvement in.
“We could do better in the 500 free and the 200 IM,” stated Long. “We will be okay in both events but in the 500 we have three guys that could all be under five minutes, easily. I don’t know what was going on today, I think they just need to get it through their heads that they can do it.”
Warsaw’s 200 free relay team clocked in at 1:34.80, well ahead of second seeded 1:38.11. The Tigers also had a comfortable gap between its next closest competitor in the 400 free relay. Warsaw finished at 3:31.70 while Rochester had the second fastest time, 3:34.28.
In the 100 breast there was no surprise as Warsaw’s Spencer Davidson clinched the top time with his 59.57. Warsaw’s Wildman (1:04.34) and Pelo (1:04.41) rounded out the top three qualifiers for the event.
Heading into Saturday’s finals Warsaw will have 23 swimmers competing in nine individual events and will benefit from the top seed in both relays. Culver Academies will have 22 individuals and two relay teams swimming in Saturday’s 11 events, but the similar numbers do not spell out a close competition when looking deeper.
20 of Warsaw’s 23 individual qualifiers are seeded in the top eight for Saturday’s finals. The Tigers placed first in seven events on Thursday, CMA placed first in just one and only ave 13 individuals in the top eight. While anything is certainly possible in the postseason, Saturday’s finals look to be well under the control of the sensational Tiger swimmers.
Diving prelims will start at 9 a.m. on Saturday in which the Tigers will have Nicholas Bell, Toby McGehee and Tyler Paskea competing. The swim finals start at 1 p.m.
State Finals will be held next Friday and Saturday in Indianapolis on the campus of IUPUI.