GIRLS SWIM: Teams attack sectional prelims

Feb. 3—The Carmel Girls Swimming and Diving Sectional got underway Thursday with the preliminary round of swimming events.

In individual events, Northwestern senior Catherine Bath, Kokomo sophomores Aubrey Simmons and Milla Hawkins, Western senior Anna Moore, Tipton freshman Ella Hare and Tipton juniors Sophia Walker and Abigail Hoover all qualified for the championship finals to highlight the KT-area showing in the 10-team meet.

The top eight swimmers in each event in the preliminary round advance to the championship finals and the next eight advance to the consolation finals. The sectional finals are Saturday at Carmel.

Bath made the championship finals in the 200-yard freestyle and 500 free. She was fourth in the 200 in 1:56.24 and fourth in the 500 in 5:14.93. Simmons was second in the 100 backstroke (:56.08) and third in the 100 butterfly (:57.14). Hawkins was sixth in the 50 free (:25.34) and sixth in the 100 free (:55.24). Moore was eighth in the 200 freestyle (1:59.61).

For Tipton, Hare was fourth in the 50 free (:24.58) and sixth in the butterfly (:58.73), Walker was fifth in the 200 IM (2:14.25) and fifth in the 100 breaststroke (1:07.82) and Hoover was eighth in the breaststroke (1:10.85).

Northwestern put all three of its relays in the championship finals. Morgan Binnion, Aubrie Sparling, Kelsie Heintz and Burgundi Purvis took sixth in the 200 medley (2:08.52). Ashley Ream, Lauren Martin, Purvis and Bath took seventh in the 200 free (1:48.92). And Martin, Bath, Sparling and Ream finished fourth in the 400 free (4:00.34).

The Tigers had five individuals earn spots in the consolation finals. Ream was 10th in the 200 individual medley (2:22.49) and 11th in the 100 breaststroke (1:13.37). Binnion was 11th in the IM (2:34.15) and 13th in the 100 backstroke (1:07.95). Martin was 15th in the 50 free (:27.47) and 16th in the 100 free (1:01.85). Purvis was 16th in the 50 free (:27.72). Sparling was 14th in the 500 free (6:02.42) and 13th in the breaststroke (1:16.90).

"We put down a great foundation for Saturday," Northwestern coach Donita Walters said. "We're down here in a powerhouse sectional and we don't get a second chance if we don't do our swims on Thursday. I couldn't ask any more of these girls. There are some things we can fine-tune and we're going to go back to the pool [today] and see if we can't find a little more speed heading into Saturday. We'll see what we can get accomplished with this crew of girls."

Western put all three of its relays in the championship finals. Emily Scott, Autumn Harsh, Cami Maddox and Kacey Bogue took seventh in the 200 medley (2:09.32). Scott, Chase Hayes, Sophia Moreno and Moore took eighth in the 200 free (1:48.95). And Hayes, Moreno, Maddox and Moore took fifth in the 400 free (4:06.03).

The Panthers had three individuals make consolation finals: Moore in the 100 butterfly (ninth, 1:04.22); Autumn Harsh in the 200 IM (2:39.62) and 100 breaststroke (1:18.77); and Chase Hayes in the 50 free (:26.75) and 100 free (1:01.33).

"It was a successful night, but a little bit frustrating," Western coach Brad Bennett said. "It's top 16 to make it and we had four other girls who were 17th so they're just barely out of the finals. But I'm happy with how we swam. We had a lot of season-best times and other good times. For some of them, it was their last night swimming and they went out with a good time."

Kokomo put two relays into championship finals. Paige Wilson, Morgan Rakestraw, Simmons and Hawkins took fourth in the 200 medley (2:00.29). Simmons, Rakestraw, Wilson and Hawkins took fifth in the 200 free (1:46.27).

All three of Tipton's relays had top-eight finishes. Alyssa Hoover, Abigail Hoover, Walker and Hare took third in the 200 medley (1:53.14). Walker, Lylli Tragesser, Abigail Hoover and Hare took third in the 200 free (1:44.46). And Julianna Hoover, Samantha Morris, Amelia London and Tragesser finished eighth in the 400 free (4:12.02).

For Eastern, Ava Kantz and Grace VanBibber (200 IM) qualified for consolation finals. Kantz was 14th in the 200 free (2:11.23) and VanBibber was 15th in the 200 IM (2:39.28).

"Both girls had goals to make it to consolations and they did," Eastern coach Sarah Nibbert said. "I'm proud of how all the girls swam."

Maconaquah's 200 medley relay team of Lucy Loshnowksy, Abby Heath, Kyndal Collins and Laci Winegardner took fifth in 2:08.38. The Braves' 400 free relay team of Zoie Laber, Nevaeh Sebastian, Heath and Chloe Jordan finished seventh in 4:10.79.