Andrew Bretscher did it this time.
Bretscher, who has been the Tiger Shark to beat all season, set a standard at Greencastle that will be hard to overcome. He won two second-place medals and received the IHSAA mental attitude award at the end of the boys' high school state meet Saturday.
"This is as good of an ending to a season as you could ask for," Bretscher said.
Until Saturday, Bretscher had won every race he swam as an individual and almost went undefeated in the 50-yard freestyle for the season. Bretscher was neck-to-neck with Bryan Chovance of Munster in the last leg of the 50 and it came down to who ever had the longest reach.
"It was too close to call. I had to look at the scoreboard to see who won the race," GHS Coach Paul Bretscher said.
Bretscher came in second, missing the blue ribbon medal by only a two hundredths of a second.
A proud coach and father was there to greet Bretscher as he looked up at the board and saw his finish.
"You never get a perfect 50, but it was a heck of a race," the elder Bretscher said. "He had a little trouble with his starts Friday, but he corrected for (Saturday)."
Bretscher's day only got better.
With not having to worry about swimming in any relays, Bretscher was able to set another standard for Greencastle, winning two medals in one day.
Bretscher clinched the second medal of his career when he swam a 46.33 in the 100-yardfreestyle, winning another second-place medal. Going into the race, Bretscher was seeded fifth and had to go up against Peter Jameson of North Central who won the blue ribbon medal in the 200-yard freestyle with a record time. But that never phased Bretscher. In fact, it probably encouraged him. Bretscher's 46.33 in the 100 freestyle was nearly a second faster than his preliminary time and was a GHS record along with his 50 freestyle time of 20.83.
"He was undefeated up until (Saturday), with his only two losses coming today and his last two races of his career turn out to be his best and school records," the elder Bretscher said.
Andrew's two second-place finishes gave Greencastle its best team finish in the state meet in school history, placing 18th with 34 points.
Bretscher couldn't ask for a better ending to his high school career by winning two red-ribbon medals, but it got better.
As the 400-yard freestyle relay racers stepped off the podiums, they announced the winner of the IHSAA Mental Attitude Award and it was Bretscher.
"I had no idea I was getting this," Bretscher said. "This award means a lot to many people and it means a lot to me."
Bretscher got a plaque and Greencastle got a $1,0000 scholarship.
The athlete that receives the award has to be nominated by their coach and their principal and have to excel in scholarship, mental attitude, leadership and athletic ability in the winter.
Bretscher ranks 19th in his class with a cumulative G.P.A of 3.66 and is member of several academic clubs.
"I am very proud of him," GHS Principal Susan Phillips said. "He has earned it. He is a school leader as well as an athletic leader.
"We will have our leadership group here at the school decide what we will do with the scholarship but it will have something to do with the kids," Phillips added.
Bretscher's father was nearly speechless after his son received the award, but said that this day will be one to remember.
"It's been a heck of a day and it's an incredible honor for Andrew," the elder Bretscher said. "I've coached him for four years and each year he has gotten stronger."
Bretscher has been one of the strongest swimmers at Greencastle and his presence will be missed next winter, but the elder Bretscher isn't worried.
"Mark Jedele is going to be a good leader for this team next season and Dustin Wood will be another one that will help this team next year," the elder Bretscher said.
Jedele was also a state qualifier in 500-yard freestyle event and finished 26th.
Bretscher will graduate in the spring and his records will remain on the wall, but the coach wonders how long they will stay there with Luke Crimmins returning next year.
"Luke gets faster and faster each time he swims and he is going to be valuable to the team and I have to wonder how long Andrew's records will stay on the board," the Elder Bretscher said.
IHSAA State Finals
50 Freestyle --2. Bretscher (GHS) 20.83
100 Freestyle -- 2. Bretscher (GHS) 46.33