INDIANAPOLIS – While there are just three local swimmers seeded within the top 10 heading into the IHSAA Boys Swimming State Championships, there are 42 individuals and relay teams, along with four divers, all with a chance to attain this weekend.
The Northern Lakes Conference will be very well represented, with 31 slots taken among the 12 events which will begin with swim preliminaries Friday evening and diving beginning Saturday morning. Northridge leads that charge with 13 event tickets, followed by Warsaw with eight, Concord with six, Wawasee’s Logan Brugh in two events and Goshen with two divers active.
Warsaw’s run at state could be an interesting one, if only an admitted Warsaw head coach Tony DeBrota deciding to not taper his kids ahead of the sectional. With a little extra mustard geared for this weekend, its possible Warsaw could make a push in its representation.
Currently in the best position to make a run at a state title is Spencer Davidson. The Tiger senior is seeded seventh in the breaststroke at 56.96, but even he shook his head and admitted his sectional record-breaking time last Saturday wasn’t his best effort. Davidson isn’t far off of top seed Ian Finnerty of Bloomington South, who sits atop the pile with a 55.07.
Davidson also made it in the 50 free as an at-large pick-up with his time of 21.85.
Tiger senior Jayden Parrett is also in two events, the 200 freestyle and the backstroke. Parrett, who went to state in the 100 free last year, competes in the 200 for the first time at state. His 1:44.63 wasn’t bad at sectional, but is far from the leader, Fisher’s Glen Brown, at 1:40.36. Spencer Lehman of Northridge is seeded third in the event at 1:40.50.
Parrett barely qualified for the backstroke in a battle with teammate Josh Miller in the sectional finals, but is alive with a 53.17. Joe Young of Hamilton Southeast is the current leader at 49.37.
Miller will work in the butterfly and Zach Taylor will compete in the individual medley.
Warsaw also has outside shots at cracking the top 16 in the medley relay and 200 free relay, both with times in the middle of the pack. Concord is among the leaders in the 200 free relay with its time of 1:26.93, less than a second off Hamilton Southeast’s top seed of 1:26.07.
“The guys have that drive to compete at the highest level,” DeBrota said. “These guys are going to be really hungry heading into state. I know a lot of them were not happy with how the sectional finals went, even with the wins. I think they are looking forward to some faster races with the top-of-the-line teams in the state of Indiana. That is going to push them to the times they want, and that will be exciting to watch.”
Wawasee’s Logan Brugh is seeded 12th heading into the 500 freestyle prelims. The Wawasee junior met the state standard in the Concord Sectional with his 4:39.39, which lowered his school record. The Concord Sectional had four locals qualify for state including a trio of Northridge Raiders in Spencer Lehman (the four-seed – 4:33.03), Seth Cripe (11, 4:38.55) and Chayton Friesen (4:39.76). Rochester’s Eli Pugh is also alive for the 500 after his sectional title.
Brugh was also a state pick-up in the 200 free, where seven locals are swimming in the event. Brugh swam a 1:44.31, which was fourth in the event at Concord, but one of the better efforts state-wide.
“Logan had a really great day all around,” said Wawasee head coach Julie Robinson following the sectional. “He set his mind to his goals and achieved them.”
Northridge will need a big weekend if it wants to finish in the top-five of the team standings, but have the pieces in place to do so. With three relays and Lehman’s two freestyles right with the state’s best, the Raiders have the best shot of anyone local to make a run at the team title.
Swimming for the IHSAA Boys State Championships begins at 6 p.m. Friday at the IUPUI Natatorium. Diving begins at 9 a.m. Saturday in its prelims, and will conclude during the swim finals, which begin at 1 p.m.