INDIANAPOLIS -- With the likes of Carmel going for their 22nd consecutive state title, as well as swimmers from other big schools breaking three State Finals records on Friday night, sometimes it seems good enough for swimmers from a school the size of Greencastle to just be there.
But in the case of the Lady Tiger Sharks' Kelsey Murtagh, she is looking for just a little bit more.
Murtagh swam a 59.15 in the 100 backstroke preliminaries Friday night, narrowly advancing to this afternoon's consolation finals as the 16th seed. Murtagh edged Plymouth's Kenzie Miller by .04 seconds to make today's meet.
"We're really excited. I've talked to Kelsey about it," Greencastle coach Luke Beasley said. "What we want to do is stay loose, have fun and go out and leave it all in the pool. She's got a chance to come in ninth place in the state championship meet."
For the Tiger Sharks' other three swimmers in the state meet, Friday marked the end of the season. However, Beasley was happy with their performances.
The 200 free relay team of Murtagh, Soster, Erika Collins and Melissa Ball swam a 1:44.18 and finished 27th.
Beasley was especially happy with the way Soster finished her GHS career.
"Erica Soster swam her last meet ever as a Greencastle Lady Tiger Shark. We're really proud of Erica and everything that she's done for our program by coming and getting to swim in an individual event and a relay at state," Beasley said.
For the relay as a whole, Beasley was happy with the experience. He is especially excited for Ball, Collins and Murtagh, the three team members who will be returning next year.
In fact, Beasley is excited about all his returnees and their possibilities next year.
"You know, we've had a wonderful year. I'm proud of all of them and I'm excited to see what we can do next year. I'm already thinking about next year," Beasley said.
"We're really excited. They got their feet wet, literally, I suppose," he continued. "I expect to be back here next year in several events once again. I'm hoping we can get a few more girls back to the finals."
An event as big as the state finals in a venue as big as the IUPUI Natatorium can be overwhelming to a group of teenage girls. The coach hopes this was a good experience for his entire team and that they'll be back hungrier next season.
"I think our girls were overawed a little bit. They said coming to a meet like this makes you feel a little small when you see just how many awesome swimmers there are. It's a great learning experience. It gives you perspective and shows you there's always room to improve."
But next year isn't at hand just yet for one Lady Tiger Shark. Murtagh will get to savor one lat meet when she returns to the Natatorium for today's championship and consolation finals. The meet begins at 1 p.m.
"In a sport as competitive as swimming, just getting in the top 16 in an individual event is remarkable," Beasley said. "Kelsey has gone through a lot this year. I'm really happy for her. She's earned the right to be hear and I'm very excited to see what she can do tomorrow."
Girls' Swimming State Finals
Individual Results (Greencastle only)
100 Freestyle -- 34. Erica Soster 57.84.
200 Freestyle Relay -- 27. Kelsey Murtagh, Erica Soster, Erika Collins, Melissa Ball 1:44.18.
100 Backstroke -- 16. Kelsey Murtagh 59.15*.
*--Advances to consolation finals.
Next meet -- Greencastle's Kelsey Murtagh will compete in the consolation finals of the backstroke at the IHSAA State Finals today. The meet begins at 1 p.m.