MIDDLEBURY – The 2013-14 campaign came to an end for the Wawasee boys swim team at the IHSAA Northridge Sectional.
No Warriors advanced to next weekend’s State Finals as the team would finish in fourth place with a score of 221. Wawasee’s Northern Lakes Conference foe, Northridge, surprised nobody by winning 10 of the 12 events and cruising to its 12th consecutive sectional title with a score of 540 on Saturday afternoon.
“This is our place,” said Northridge head coach Joe Keller. “We came out and acted like this was our house today and we won because of it. There were some good teams here today, this was an exciting task for us.”
The Raiders established early on that they are still the team to beat. Northridge won the first five events of the day, including the diving portion. Wawasee was not expecting to be much of a factor early on, knowing its best case scenario would be to advance one or two swimmers on to State.
Wawasee’s 200 medley relay team, made up of Danny Allen, Mason Germonprez, Logan Haessig and Jaxon Bame, bested its prelim time (1:50.36) and kept its fifth place standing with a finals time of 1:49.69.
Haessig had a very good day in the pool for his team. The Warrior junior won both of his console races to finish ninth overall in both the 200 IM (2:09.01) and the 100 fly (57.97). Wawasee head coach Julie Robinson attributed the great sectional showing by Haessig to the hard work the junior puts in.
“Logan (Haessig) stuck out the most to me today,” said Robinson. “He was phenomenal each and every time he hit the water today. He is just one more of our guys that work so hard. We had so many dedicated guys this year, that is what made this season such a great one with this team.”
One of the hard working swimmers Robinson referred to was Logan Brugh.
Brugh’s 500 free was the best chance that Wawasee had in getting a swimmer down to State coming into Saturday. Brugh was seeded fourth in the event for the finals and finished fifth with a time of 4:52.45. Northridge took the top three spots in the event, all with State qualifying times. After missing the cut, Brugh shared an emotional moment with his coach.
“I told Logan (Brugh) something that I will tell a lot of the kids in that situation,” Robinson said. “I use the metaphor of the little kid falling off of a bike. The kid falls and gets hurt but eventually forgets the pain and gets back on. That’s how they learn to ride.
“I told him to take that lesson and apply it to his life. When you fall down, you can learn from your mistakes then get back up and try again. The people that do that the ones that are most successful in life.”
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The talk must have reached Brugh as he swam on the Warriors 200 free relay team in the next event and recorded a 23.36 during his 50. The rest of the team was made up of the three Warrior seniors.
Austin Krizman, Caige Wahlgren and Zac Hershberger all swam as Warriors for the final time on Saturday.
Krizman enjoyed success on both of his relay teams while Wahlgren won his conolse race in the 200 free (1:56.33). Hershberger, a 2013 State Finals qualifier, won the console race in the 50 free (22.96) and placed seventh in the 100 free (50.13).
Robinson spoke highly of the senior class and had one message for them as they move on in life.
“So many life lessons can be learned in swimming,” stated Robinson. “If they can take all of the work ethic they’ve learned and apply that in life, then they will all be so successful.”
Wawasee looks to return 11 swimmers and divers for next season. Three relay teams and 11 individuals will advance to next weekend’s State Finals. State Prelims will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday night on the campus of IUPUI.
Northridge’s Taylor Berkey (447.60) won the diving portion of Saturday’s meet. Berkey and three Goshen Redkins divers, Hudson Kay, Sam Bower and Jacob Isnogle, will advance to the Penn Diving Regionals on Tuesday.
Wawasee’s Mylon Betts led the Warrior dive squad with a score of 282.20. The total earned him eighth place on Saturday. Making the podium in his first season of diving was something that Robinson singled out as a highlight for the team on Saturday.