DUNLAP – Inside the ‘war room’, or the ‘hospitality room’ – whichever suits – page after page of the Concord Boys Swim Sectional prelims were being printed and stacked Thursday evening for the coaching staffs and media to grab. As several flipped through the sheets, about the sum of most remarks became clear: Saturday’s championship is anyone’s game.
For years, 15 to be exact, Northridge has won the team title and did so for most of those years without much pushback from the field. That likely won’t be the case Saturday, where five different schools will come in with a top seed, led by four from Elkhart Central and three from Wawasee. The Blue Blazers have the top flier in Eric Kelm (51.93) and the top 100 freestyler in Carter Rief (48.28) as well as the middle lane for the 200 and 400 free relays. Wawasee has Brady Robinson at the apex of the individual medley (1:54.61 – a state cut time) as well as the backstroke (53.23) and Jared Krugman well out in front of the field in the 500 free (4:45.82).
Elkhart Memorial has the top medley relay (1:44.50) as well as Mitchell Rockrohr in the breaststroke (58.57) while Concord’s Garrett Roberts is the top seed in the 50 free (21.76) and Northridge’s Nick Dibley leads the field in the 200 free (1:44.79).
NorthWood’s Jason McNeil is among the contenders in both the IM and the 500, his distance swim (5:01.95) netting the second seed to Krugman.
Northridge, however, has the lead as far as performers in the finals with 16 individual swims and all three relays in play, with Concord (12/3), Elkhart Central (10/3) and Wawasee (7/3) in contention. Northridge, however, does not have a diver in what will be a slim field with just 10 overall, where Concord and Wawasee both have two.
The diving prelims start at 9 a.m. Saturday and reconvene Saturday with the swim finals at 1 p.m. at Concord. The top individual in each event as well as any state cut times will advance to the IHSAA State Finals next weekend in Indianapolis. The top four divers will advance to the Mishawaka Diving Regional on Tuesday.