INDIANAPOLIS – The moment that the Warsaw boys swim team has worked for all season finally arrived on Friday night.
The IHSAA Boys State Finals began with the prelims at The Natatorium at IUPUI. The season came to an end for several Tiger swimmers but two, juniors Jayden Parrett and Spencer Davidson, will compete in the State Finals tomorrow afternoon.
It was a great day on an individual level as there were improvements from all Warsaw swimmers across the board. The improved times and overall attitude of the guys on Friday night made the day a success for Tiger head coach Nate Long.
“I’m incredibly proud of our guys right now,” Long stated. “Top to bottom everybody improved, that’s exactly what you want to see.
“I wouldn’t say we had any one guy that stood out, but two of our relay teams did a great job today. Of our top performances, I would say both the 200 medley and 200 free relay stood out.”
Long was impressed with his 200 medley team, made up of Parrett, Davidson, Zachary Taylor and Matthew Wildman, as the group came into the prelims ranked 20th but then clocked in at an even 1:38.00, placing the team 18th. Warsaw fell just short of making the consoles on Saturday as Noblesville (1:37.70) claimed the last spot. Chesterton set a new State record with its time of 1:30.65.
The 200 free relay caught Long’s eye after the team shaved nearly a second off of its best time, finishing at 1:31.73. Wildman, John David French, Hudson Snyder and Ethan Cook manned the 200 free relay for the Tigers. Penn earned the event’s top spot with a time of 1:24.73.
Outside of the pleasant performances by those two relay teams, the top performances for Warsaw were undoubtedly by record-setting Parrett and Davidson.
Parrett’s first individual event was the 100 free where he shaved some time off of his seed time to finish with a 47.97, but ultimately missed the cut for tomorrow’s finals.
Parrett then turned in a record-setting performance with his performance in the 100 back. Parrett again improved upon his seed time and finished 9th overall with his time of 51.96, placing him as the favorite in tomorrow’s consoles. Parrett’s effort lowered the school mark he set last week at the sectional.
Tyler Harmon of Zionsville claimed the final spot in the top-eight with a time of 51.93 in the 100 back. Joshua Miller also competed in the event for Warsaw but missed the cut, finishing with a time of 54.17.
Davidson made his mark in the 100 breast by clinching a spot in tomorrow’s consoles with a time of 57.30. The time was not what Davidson expected to have, but Long says that will just fuel Davidson for tomorrow’s race as he will aim for “redemption” in Saturday’s meet.
Columbus North’s Cody Taylor stole the show in the event when he broke the previous state record (54.82) with a time of 54.56.
Cook also competed in two other events for Warsaw, the 200 free (1:50.42) and 500 free (5:03.92). Taylor clocked in at 2:02.94 in the 200 IM while the 400 relay team finished with a time of 3:25.41 in the evening’s final event. It seemed that the best was saved for last as Chesterton shattered its own record (3:01.05, 2013) in the 400 with a time of 2:59.36. There were four new records set on Friday evening with more anticipated for Saturday.
Rochester’s Patrick Kays, a sectional champion at Warsaw last weekend, finished 25th in 100 fly with his time of 52.30. Concord’s Stephen Krecsmar finished 22nd in the event with a time of 51.93.
Warsaw’s Northern Lakes Conference foe Northridge will be represented in five finals and four consoles tomorrow. Jon Stoller highlighted the Raiders performance by placing second in the 200 IM with a time of 1:49.42.
As for Long and the Tigers, the coach knows the team will have a better showing than last year’s State Finals so he couldn’t be much happier.
“Last year we scored two points,” Long said. “This year we will at least match that but we definitely should surpass it and do better than last season, and that’s all I can really ask for.”
The diving finals kick off Saturday’s events at 9 a.m. while swimming finals will start at 1 p.m.