DUNLAP – The Raider reign is finally over, and the arch rivals pulled it off.
Trailing by a point heading into the final 400 relay, Concord put its best foot forward and won the race at 3:10.28, beating both Elkhart Central and Northridge in a raucous finish. The 40 points pushed the Minutemen to its first sectional team championship since 1993, 395-388, and broke the 15-year championship streak Northridge held.
For Wawasee, its fourth-place team finish behind Central, 318-311, saw two of its swimmers qualify for the IHSAA State Finals, one via championship and one via state cut time. Jared Krugman claimed the lone Wawasee title on Saturday with a runaway in the 500 freestyle, winning at 4:41.20, a full 11 seconds better than Northridge’s Tyler Overmyer. Brady Robinson was one of four swimmers to eclipse the state cut (1:55.25) in the individual medley. Kallaghan Findley of Concord won the race at 1:50.90, breaking the pool record while Robinson was second at 1:52.79. Northridge’s Michael VanCoppenoelle (1:53.61) and Trevor Sallee (1:54.43) also qualified for state with their times.
Krugman was third in the 200 at 1:44.05 and Robinson was second in the backstroke at 52.63 to Overmyer’s 52.43, but could get a call as an alternate as the backstroke state cut is 52.46.
Wawasee diver Austin Dunithan is also alive in the state tournament, placing fourth with a 373.90 series to edge out teammate Brady Claassen’s 370.95. Dunithan will compete Tuesday at Mishawaka in the Diving Regional. Central’s Logan Brown sent a strong message he is a legit state contender with a record-setting 564.10, smashing the old meet mark of 525.85.
Wawasee in all had 22 swimmers set a lifetime best at the sectional, something coach Julie Robinson could not believe.
“What an amazing sectionals,” Robinson said. “We had almost all lifetime best performances but not surprising since these are the most driven group of boys I have ever had the fortune to coach. It was so exciting to watch the boys swim so incredibly fast. I am so very proud of every one of them.
“From our freshman swimmers to the true leaders of our group, the seniors. These boys followed their dreams and worked every day towards their goals. I am so proud of Brady and the work he has put in the last four years. He led and pushed Jared this season in practice until the two worked together to get to this point. It should be a fun weekend next week and hoping to have Austin join us in diving.”
NorthWood’s Jason McNeil finished with a pair of finals posts, going fifth in the 500 and seventh in the IM. Diver Cade Jenkins will continue on, placing third with a 384.25 series.
Matt Bond and Garrett Roberts were double winners for the Minutemen, Bond in the 200 free and breaststroke, Roberts in the 50 and 100 freestyles. The Minutemen also won the 200 free relay. Northridge’s Nick Dibley took the butterfly and the Raiders opened with the medley relay title. In all, the meet had 17 swims make state cut times and several individuals and teams on the borderline of callbacks for the state meet, which is set for Friday night at IUPUI.