MIDDLEBURY — It was a good showing for the Wawasee boys swimming team at Saturday’s Swimming and Diving Sectional Championships at Northridge. The Warriors placed fourth in team standings behind Elkhart Central, Concord and champion Northridge. But the highlight of the day for the Green and Gold was watching two swimmers qualify for next week’s state finals in Indianapolis.
“It’s extra special this year,” said Wawasee coach Julie Robinson. “Both Brady (Robinson) and Logan (Brugh) made the decision not to taper all the way down for this meet. Which, as a coach, was scary. But Logan looked at me and said, ‘No regrets.’ So, that’s what we did. It was great to see them swim so fast today not being fully tapered and I’m hoping they can go down and have a lot of fun at the state meet now.”
Brugh, who qualified for state in one event last year and was invited down for another, punched his ticket in both of his individual events this season. This was no easy feat for the senior as he was in the two most competitive events of the meet, the 200 and 500 free.
In the 200 free Brugh clocked in with a personal best time of 1:42.99, good enough for a trip to state. Brugh actually finished fourth in the event with Concord’s Stephen Krecsmar (1:41.45) and Northridge’s Seth Cripe (1:41.81) and Logan Elijah (1:41.86) all coming in just ahead of the Wawasee senior and also qualifying for state.
Brugh had a similar experience in the 500 free. The senior swam another a personal best, 4:39.02, placing him third overall in the event but still qualifying him for state. Northridge’s Spencer Lehman (4:30.87) finished first with a new meet record. Lehman’s teammates Cripe (4:38.54) and Connor Glenn (4:41.31) also qualified for state in the event.
Robinson broke through to state for the first time in his prep career Saturday with a fantastic race in the 200 IM. The sophomore swam a 1:54.94 to come in under the state cut (1:55.42) and would finish second behind Lehman (1:52.07) in the event.
Robinson had somewhat of a bittersweet backstroke performance, but leaned closer to sweet. Robinson got caught up in the lane line in the event which placed him second overall and a second off the state cut. However, the final time of 53.74 was one to be celebrated as it was a lifetime best for the sophomore.
“He had so much pressure on him watching his siblings,” the coach said of her sophomore. “I think he felt that on his shoulders so I’m hoping he can really enjoy the trip to state and have fun with this off his shoulders now.”
Robinson helped the team’s 200 medley relay to a fourth place finish (1:47.03). Helping the cause for that relay were Jared Krugman, Jake Cowan and Chase Ritter. The 200 free relay team of Ritter, Brugh, Ethan Knepp and Brett Willaman also took fourth (1:35.54).
Wawasee took third in the 400 free relay with Robinson, Brugh, Krugman and Knepp carrying the load.
Krugman made the finals in the 200 IM and 100 breast swimming a 2:04.56 and 1:04.15, respectively. Knepp swam the finals of the 100 free, finishing seventh with a time of 51.49. Knepp also swam the consoles of the 50 free (23.65).
In diving Hunter Hlutke (264.15) and Brady Claassan (247.75) had their seasons come to an end finishing outside the top four.
Other Wawasee consoles results: Willaman (1:59.46) and Isaiah Metcalf (1:57.57) in the 200 free. Aaron Troutman (2:21.93) in the 200 IM. Spencer Naugler (58.88) and Cowan (58.34) in the 100 fly. Willaman (54:59) in the 100 free. Owen Donahoe (5:28.67) and Troutman (5:11.73) in the 500 free. Cowan (1:01.53) and Naugler (1:01.01) in the 100 back. Donahoe (1:08.04) and Jacob Krugman (1:09.82) in the 100 breast.
“I think, between Thursday night and today, that we accomplished all the goals we were looking for,” said Robinson of her team. “I’m just so incredibly proud of all the kids. They worked so hard all year, pushed each other and were encouraging. You got to see that across the board from our team this year and all the kids did well.”
State prelims will be held at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis Friday night a 6 p.m.