INDIANAPOLIS – The state’s best swimmers and divers gathered at the IUPUI Natatorium on Saturday afternoon for the 2014 IHSAA Boys Swimming and Diving Championships.
For the second year in a row it was the Chesterton Trojans that took home the top prize, scoring 240 points to beat out Avon (198) for state swimming supremacy.
The Warsaw Tigers swim team improved upon their performance in last year’s State Finals to finish tied for 36th at this year’s meet.
A year ago, Jayden Parrett was the only Warsaw swimmer to make it past Friday’s prelims and experience the thrill of Saturday’s finals. This season Parrett made it back to the finals as did fellow Tiger swimmer, Spencer Davidson. Combined the two junior standouts were able to give Warsaw a total of 10 team points, a big improvement from last season’s two-point performance. Getting the team to state and finishing better than last season was one of the main goals for the Tigers this season, according to head coach Nate Long.
“We were definitely wanting to finishing higher than last season,” Long stated. “We scored a total of two points down here last season. We knew coming into the finals today that we would do at least that well and probably better, it’s hard to ask for much more out of the guys than that. I’m proud of everyone that competed this weekend.”
Parrett was the first of Warsaw’s two Saturday finalists to swim as he competed in the consoles for the 100 back for the second year in a row. Last season Parrett finished 15th with a time of 53.47. On Friday night Parrett broke the school record for the back with a 51.96 and entered Saturday’s meet as the ninth seed.
Parrett started strong and looked as if he would win the console but ultimately finished 10th (52.19) by a narrow margin as Hamilton Southeastern’s Noah Brenner shocked the heat by finishing first with a 52.10 after coming in as the 16th seed. Chesteron’s Aaron Whitaker set a new state record (47.06) to win the event for the second year in a row.
Davidson broke through to Saturday’s finals after missing the cut last year by clocking in with a time of 57.30 in Friday’s 100 breast prelims. The time seeded Davidson 15th for Saturday’s meet. The Tiger junior swam a little slower (57.81) but managed to earn 14th place for Warsaw. Cody Taylor of Columbus North set a new state record on Friday night (54.56) and again on Saturday (54.24) to take first place in the event.
“Both of those guys did great,” said Long of Parrett and Davidson. “Although Jayden wanted 9th, he still improved a lot from last year when he got 15th. He will be ready to compete for a top podium position next year.
“Spencer did not have the State meet that he wanted to have but he still made the finals and finished 14th. He will be ready, like Jayden, to compete for a top podium position.”
Long knows that the continued success the team had this season is very beneficial for his program.
“Every year we take a team down to state finals it continues the image of Warsaw Swimming and Diving,” stated the proud coach. “We want to build the image by bringing teams down every year that will compete and score points.
“We made a big jump from last year to this year. Next year we bring back everyone of our athletes who swam in an individual event. That is what we have tried to do for the last three season, continue to build on the success of the previous year.
“This team did a fantastic job at performing this year. The talk the whole season has been about competing at the state level. To be able to do that at the end of the season, you have to do it during the season. This season we did an excellent job of that.”
Warsaw competed against six state finalist teams during the regular season, three of which were in the top 10 at the finals. The tough competition is a huge boost for this surprisingly young team.
Of the eight swimmers that competed in nine events for Warsaw over the weekend, only one, John David French, was a senior. The Tigers finished the season at second place in the Northern Lakes Conference, won yet another sectional and had an improved showing at the State Finals. 2013-14 was another big step forward for this already exciting and dominant program being built inside the walls at Warsaw Community High School.
Northridge Reaches Goal; State Finals Wrap Up
Warsaw’s NLC rival Northridge came into Saturday in search of a top 10 finish and accomplished that goal by finishing eighth with a score of 107. Penn (187) finished third while Fort Wayne Carroll (84) finished 10th. Homestead (72) claimed 12th place and South Bend St. Joseph (38) rounded out local teams by finishing in 19th.
The Raiders big finish came with Jon Stoller’s performance in the 200 IM. Stoller claimed third with a time of 1:49.60. Chesterton’s Blake Pieroni (1:46.83) won the event. Pieroni was the recipient of the 2014 Herman F. Keller Mental Attitude Award at the state meet. Stoller also finished fourth in the 100 breast (55.96).
Spencer Lehman claimed seventh and fifth place finishes for the Raiders in the 200 free (1:41.59) and 500 free (4:34.72), respectively. Parks Jones (1:37.11) won the 200 free to give Avon High School its first-ever individual state swimming champion. Penn’s Bowen Anderson (4:25.01) claimed first in the 500 free.
Taylor Berkey finished 15th in the diving portion of Saturday’s meet with a score of 390.15. Hamilton SE’s Cody Coldren won the diving championship with his score of 536.20.
Northridge started its day in the 200 medley relay and finished sixth with a time of 1:35.34. The relay was the first event of the day and was the most impressive race of the day thanks to Chesteron High School. The Trojans 200 medley team clocked in at 1:29.64, a new state record and also the second fastest time in national high school history.
Chesterton also won the 400 free relay with a time of 3:01.65. On Friday night, the Trojans 400 team set a new state record at 2:59.36, shattering their own state record of 3:01.05 set in 2013.
Zionsville’s Kyle Decoursey (20.59) took first in the 50 free while Aaron Whitaker set another state record for Chesterton in the 100 fly with a time of 46.31. Pieroni claimed another first place with a time of 43.81 in the 100 free. Penn’s 200 free relay team took top honors in Saturday’s finals with a time of 1:24.65.
Avon’s Jon Karr was named Coach of the Year. Click here to see Karr and his team accept their runners-up trophy.