CRAWFORDSVILLE -- Andrew Bretscher took his rapid improvement to a new level in the three-day Indiana Senior Short Course Championship swim meet that concluded Sunday at the Crawfordsville Aquatics Center.
The senior from Greencastle, swimming for Sugar Creek Swim Club in its home pool, won the 100-yard backstroke, was second in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle and third in the 100 butterfly. Bretscher also was ninth overall, the winner of the B finals, in the 200-yard free and 400 individual medley and was a member of three relays that finished in the top six.
"Andrew had a great meet," Sugar Creek Swim Club Coach Mark Hesse said. "What was most impressive about Andrew's overall performance was his versatility. He showed a wide range of abilities. He opened a lot of eyes. To win the 100 back in this meet was a great achievement."
Bretscher posted three times that qualified him for the short course (raced in yards, rather than the long course standard of meters) national championships at Federal Way, Wash., from March 28 to April 1. They were 50.55 seconds in the 100 back, 20.67 in the 50 free and 45.77 in the 100 free.
Paul Bretscher, Andrew's father and coach at Greencastle, isn't sure his son will have time to go to Federal Way. There has been a massive increase of interest from college recruiters in recent weeks.
"It's up in the air whether he'll go," Paul Bretscher said. "Lots of colleges want him and he may need the time to make some visits. He wasn't on anybody's radar a year ago and now big-time schools are after him."
Andrew Bretscher has an appointment to the Air Force Academy that is contingent upon resolving a medical issue. "Even if he gets the medical issue straightened out," his father said, "I'm not sure he'll accept."
Auburn, Purdue, Indiana, Purdue and Ohio State are among the schools interested in Bretscher, his father said.
"Andrew is improving so fast, he's going to make some college coach look like a genius," Paul Bretscher said.
The Senior State championships is a meet open to any swimmer. Bretscher's second place in the 50 free was to Mike Payne, a 24-year-old former IU swimmer. Payne swam 20.13 seconds to Bretscher's 20.67.
"Andrew had one heck of a meet," Paul Bretscher said. "Every swim was his best time. Every swim was faster in the finals than the prelims."
The Senior State is the top competition among club teams in Indiana.
"For Andrew to win the 100 back in this meet," Hesse said, "is a great achievement."
Bretscher swam in nine events in three days. He swam with Sugar Creek teammates Jeremy Kline, Cameron Hobson and Alex Snyder to second in the 400 medley relay in 3:32.38, and to third in the 800 free relay in 7:06.39. In the 400 free relay, Bretscher combined with Snyder, Kline and Dane Mishler to finish sixth.
Bretscher was the top point scorer for Sugar Creek, which finished third in the men's competition and seventh in the combined.