WARSAW – Warsaw primarily did its job Friday evening at the Warsaw Boys Swimming Sectional preliminaries. The Tigers will be the top seed in seven of the 11 swim events, but have some company as the finals approach Saturday.
Warsaw, which entered the sectional the top seed in 10 of the 11 swim events, are in prime position to claim its 16th team title and eighth in a row with 21 individuals and all three relays ready to go tomorrow in the finals. The Tigers, however, have some company as Culver Academy and Rochester have top seeds sitting in front of Warsaw names and relays.
Spencer Davidson set the only sectional record Friday night, lowering his breaststroke record of 1:00.27 in 2012 to 59.60. The Tiger senior is looking for his fourth breaststroke title, and is a full six seconds ahead of the field. Davidson, however, is the two-seed in the 50 free after Grant Ralston of Culver Academy slipped in at 21.74 to Davidson’s 21.92.
Ralston is also the top seed in the 100 free at 49.06, with Warsaw’s Ethan Cook right behind at 50.10. Cook is in an unusual position, swimming in succession the 100 free, the 500 free (two-seed, 5:03.71) and a leg of the 200 free relay, to which Warsaw is the top time at 1:31.39. Eli Pugh of Rochester is the top seed in the 500 at 5:02.89. Pugh and his Rochester teammates swam a 3:26.28 to take the No. 4 lane for Saturday 400 free relay final, with Warsaw in the No. 5 lane second at 3:31.68.
“We knew we were going to put Ethan in the two-free relay, but he had to decide between the 200 and 100 frees,” said Warsaw head coach Tony DeBrota. “Jayden chose the 200 so he preferred to take on the 100 free and battle Matt (Wildman). I think he is probably best suited for the 500, and he hit a lifetime best today so I’ll take it.”
Warsaw’s Jayden Parrett is the top seed in two events, his accustomed backstroke at 54.01, and in the 200 free at 1:47.30. Parrett had switched between the 100 free and 200 free throughout the season, and felt his better chance at state came in the 200.
Josh Miller’s 55.02 is tops in the butterfly, Zach Taylor’s 2:07.28 in the individual medley and the Tiger medley relay should come home with a title after its 1:40.82, a full four seconds ahead of CMA.
Tippecanoe Valley did not fare well against the competition Friday night, with just Tyler Ross getting into a final after his 23.99 claimed fourth in the 50 free. Valley has just Chase Brower working the 50 and 100 consolations, Daniel Alexander in the 500 consoles and its 200 and 400 free relays in consolation rounds.
With the meet being pushed back to Friday with weather shutting things down Thursday, the sectional will have less than 16 hours to turn it around for the finals, which begin at 1 p.m. Saturday. Diving’s prelims begin at 9 a.m. with Warsaw’s Tyler Paseka, Liam McCarrick and Nick Bell slated to work along with Valley’s Tom Solano. The diving finals will begin between the 50 and butterfly championships.
“We definitely did a lot of light work yesterday and I told them today and tomorrow will be exactly how state is,” DeBrota said. “Some people might see it as a blessing in disguise. My worry is some guys will expect some rest, but I’m hoping the urgency of a sectional final will take care of that, but I saw a lot of good swims tonight so we should be OK.”