DUNLAP – The numbers and the positioning can be deceiving when it comes to preliminaries of the swim tournaments. But getting into the championship rounds are all that matters, and both Wawasee and Warsaw have a handful of swimmers primed to challenge for titles in the Northern Lakes Conference Boys Swimming Championships.
Thursday’s prelim round had Wawasee post the fastest 400 free relay time at 3:26.55 and see both Brady Robinson and Jared Krugman both post top-three efforts to position themselves on inside lanes at the Concord Natatorium. Krugman is sitting second in the 500 freestyle at 4:54.08, less than a second back of Northridge’s Trevor Sallee, and third in the 200 freestyle at 1:49.10, again less than a second back of the leader, Matt Bond of Concord.
Robinson is primed for a run in the backstroke, swimming 55.88 for second and just .03 back of Northridge’s Trevor Overmyer. Robinson should also be in a dogfight in the individual medley, sitting four seconds back of leader Kallaghan Findley of Concord with his 1:59.69, but the two have squared off in exciting duals the past three years.
The Warriors also have Brett Willaman in two championship finals in the 100 and 200 freestyles, sitting third in the 100. Isaiah Metcalf is alive in the final of the IM, Jake Cowan in the 500, Spencer Naugler in the backstroke, as are its medley and 200 relays.
Warsaw’s top showing Thursday came from Alex Cook in the 50 (22.47) and Grant Knight in the breaststroke (59.37), both second-place times, as was its 200 free relay time of 1:36.09. Knight is also alive in the IM, Evan Borchers in both the 200 free and butterfly, Zach LaLonde in the 50 and backstroke, Jacob LaLonde in the 100 free, Ian Deming in the butterfly and Nick Bazzoni in the breaststroke. Warsaw’s medley and 400 relays both finished middle of the pack.
Jason McNeill was the lone NorthWood swimmer to crack a championship final, sliding into the 500 finals in eighth. The Panthers will have all three relays active.
Findley is also the top seed in the breaststroke at 58.80, teammate Garrett Roberts is tops in the 50 (22.16) and 100 (48.66) and the Minutemen have the top 200 free relay heading into Saturday at 1:34.34.
Defending meet champion Northridge has two other event leaders in its medley relay at 1:43.55 and Nick Dibley in the fly at 53.52.
The NLC Championships at Concord will begin Saturday at 1 p.m. which will include the final three dives in that event.