CRAWFORDSVILLE -- On a night where the buzz around the Crawfordsville High School aquatic center was just as much about the Saturday forecast as the swimming, Greencastle, South Putnam and North Putnam saw their girls compete in the IHSAA sectional prelims Thursday. All three schools will send swimmers back on Saturday, with several already qualified for the finals.
While Crawfordsville looks odds on to be the overall team champions, Greencastle head coach Luke Beasley, while celebrating his birthday, is certainly interested in his swimmers' approach to the finals.
"It was a great meet across the board. We needed to have good swims," Beasley said. "For us, it started with the 200 medley, and continued right on with Alison Howard in the 200 free. That was awesome for her to get a top six finish. It was a nice surprise, and put us in good shape. It was really an awesome swim. Sara Culler also had a personal best in the race, which was exciting."
"Natasha Aring did what was needed to get into the top six in the 200 IM. Sydney Terry is a big meet swimmer. She steps up every year in the sectional and was in the top six in the 100 backstroke. Sarah Dory also had a nice last meet for us. She has been very consistent and did well for us."
The competition on Beasley's mind, though, involves senior Melissa Ball.
"Melissa took care of business in the 50 free. I'm really excited about Saturday to see how fast she'll be. Probably the best race of the meet will be her against (Victoria) Fairfield from Crawfordsville in the 100 butterfly. She'll be close to breaking her school record again, and I'm excited to see how fast she can go. I have a lot of confidence in her and the rest of the swimmers," Beasley said.
"I don't think we have a great shot at getting the team win. But swimming is an individual sport, so we told them to do what they needed to do to get a personal best. They took the message to heart and are ready to rock. We have a couple of divers that will score some points and we'll look to have good swims Saturday."
South Putnam head coach Emily Coers was also upbeat about those swimmers coming back Saturday.
"We swam pretty well. All three relays are in the consolation swims, as well as Kate Sherwood and Sarah New. Jessica York got fourth in the 100 breaststroke and was .12 off the school record," Coers said.
"We're a pretty young team, and it might have been a bit overwhelming for some of them. We had a lot of personal bests, and the relays were almost there," said Coers, referencing that all three relays finished 7th, and all a second or under from making the finals.
"Samantha Tomasino had a really good meet tonight. She was out all of last year and did well in the 400 relay and 200 IM. Amanda Lund has been consistent all year and has been reliable in all the relays. For a lot of these kids, it was their first time in the sectionals, and it's kind of a big deal. They now have an idea of the competition around the area, and with the medleys and our individual racers, they'll know what to expect Saturday and be ready to go."
North Putnam head coach Wes Richardson had sentiments similar to Coers.
"We did well tonight. Several of the swims went well, but I think we'll have better times on Saturday," Richardson noted.
Halfway through the meet, a swim off thrust Cougar sophomore Michelle Harper back into the pool unexpectedly as she tied Fountain Central's Andrea Wilson with identical 1:05.05 marks. The tie, for the twelfth place spot, forced the meet to a standstill for an extra race, one that Harper was able to come out the victor.
"I felt bad for the Fountain Central swimmer. Shelly out touched her and got into the consolation rounds, which was a plus for us."
"We worked hard all year, all season. We only have one senior, Miranda Preecs, who swam in the 200 free and 400 relay. For a couple of swimmers, it was their first time in the sectional, and they did well, though it might have a bit overwhelming at times."
"Saturday, we hope to see improvement in our times but also have fun. It's also Mandy's last meet, so we want it to be memorable for her," Richardson said.
The finals will be Saturday, starting at 9 a.m., with the finals starting a 1 p.m. Beasley, however, said it best just before leaving the aquatic center.
"We need the weather to be, not great, but manageable."
IHSAA Crawfordsville Sectional
At Crawfordsville HS
200 medley relay -- 1:59.26 Crawfordsville (Missy Robinson, Becca Howland, Kelly Menzel, Shelby Conrad); 2. 2:00.23 Greencastle (Sydney Terry, Melissa Ball, Melanie Bittles, Natasha Aring); 3. 2:03.63 North Montgomery (Lakyn Riley, Jana Amstutz, Kelly Thompson, Taylor Simpson); 4. 2:06.70 South Vermillion (Holley Smith, Katellyn Roberts, Dayci Millikan, Payton Thomas); 5. 2:07.37 Southmont (Victoria Burkhart, Kelsey Bowman, Cassie Parker, Susan Ward); 6. 2:09.47 Seeger (Tylan Leonard, Taler Leonard, Megan Tarter, Jordan Haddock).
Consolation -- 7. 2:09.78 South Putnam (Sarah New, Jessica York, Kate Sherwood, Amanda Lund); 8. 2:12.66 Fountain Central (Mackenzie Sheldon, Hannah Ireland, Bailey McGrady, Madison Link); 9. 2:17.58 Western Boone (Kate Emmert, Alexandra Heegedus, Natalie Lowe, Sydney Riegel); 10. 2:19.29 North Putnam (Halsey Foltz, Ashley Novak, Caroline Byrd, Michelle Harper).
200 freestyle-- 2:04.89 Victoria Fairfield CR; 2. 2:10.55 Abigail Emmert WB; 3. 2:13.16 Mackenzie Sheldon FC: 4. 2:16.69 Meghan McGee WB; 5. 2:17.02 Alison Howard G; 6. 2:17.76 Holly Hunt CR.
Consolation-- 7. 2:18.08 Lyndi Hollis SE; 8. 2:20.77 Sara Culler G; 9. 2:22.82 Holley Smith SV: 10. 2:25.29 Jessika Zachary SM; 11. 2:26.35 Carolyn Trueblood FC: 12. 2:26.90 Chelsea Brindle WB.
200 IM -- 2:13.34 Missy Robinson CR; 2. 2:27.63 Kelly Menzel CR; 3. 2:30.22 Victoria Burkhart SM; 4. 2:35.07 Emily Jarvis SM; 5. 2:35.52 Natasha Aring G; 6. 2:39.18 Dayci Millikan SV.
Consolation -- 7. 2:40.82 Bailey McGrady FC; 8. 2:42.96 Alexandra Hegedus WB; 9. 2:43.22 Elizabeth Guinter CR; 10. 2:44.38 Michelle Harper NP; 11. 2:45.79 Heather Biesecker FC; 12. 2:45.94 Kassandra Hensley SE.
50 freestyle -- :25.48 Melissa Ball G; 2. :25.60 Blaire Kinslow WB; 3. :26.14 Taylor Simpson NM; 4. :26.98 Payton Thomas SV: 5. :27.52 Tori Gregory CR; 6. :27.57 Jennifer Haddock SE.
Consolation -- 7. :27.67 Melanie Bittles G; 8. :28.29 Cassie Parker SM: 9. :28.31 Tylan Leonard SE: 10. :28.34 Susan Ward SM; 11. :28.41 Sarah Beams G; 12. :28.55 Allison Zimmerman WB.
100 butterfly -- 1:00.62 Victoria Fairfield CR: 2. 1:01.36 Melissa Ball G; 3. 1:06.71 Kelly Menzel CR: 4. 1:08.75 Jana Amstutz NM; 5. 1:09.35 Emily Jarvis SM; 6. 1:09.38 Melanie Bittles G.
Consolation-- 7. 1:11.16 Kate Sherwood SP; 8. 1:11.19 Dayci Millikan SV: 9. 1:11.41 Allison Zimmerman WB; 10. 1:11.61 Sarah Beams G; 11. 1:11.88 Cassie Parker SM; 12. 1:13.74 Natalie Loew WB.
100 freestyle -- :57.24 Blaire Kinslow WB: 2. :57.62 Taylor Simpson NM; 3. :59.94 Haley Horner CR; 4. 1:00.68 Payton Thomas SV: 5. 1:00.95 Jennifer Haddock SE; 6. 1:01.08 Sydney Terry G.
Consolation -- 7. 1:01.61 Tori Gregory CR; 8. 1:02.29 Alison Howard G: 9. 1:02.34 Meghan McGee WB; 10. 1:03.97 Susan Ward SM; 11. 1:05.02 Morgan Piper A; 12. (tie) 1:05.05 Michelle Harper NP and Andrea Wilson FC.
12. 1:04.99* Michelle Harper NP; 13. 1:06.03 Andrea Wilson FC. (* = won in swim-off)
500 freestyle -- 5:41.84 Rebecca Howland CR: 2. 5:47.45 Shelby Conrad CR: 3. 5:48.16 Abigail Emmet WB: 4. 5:56.93 Kelly Thompson NM; 5. 6:09.86 Lyndi Hollis SE: 6. 6:12.41 Bailey McGrady FC.
Consolation-- 7. 6:13.26 Natasha Aring G; 8. 6:22.55 Sara Culler G; 9. 6:27.89 Jessika Zachary SM; 10. 6:36.30 Mallory Carver FC: 11. 6:40.27 Carolyn Trueblood FC: 12. 6:44.58 Katie Mathison NM.
200 freestyle relay -- 1:49.24 Crawfordsville (Kelly Menzel, Haley Horner, Tori Gregory, Rebecca Howland); 2. 1:51.36 Western Boone (Allison Zimmerman, Meghan McGee, Blaire Kinslow, Kate Emmert); 3. 1:52.89 Greencastle (Melissa Ball, Melanie Bittles, Sarah Beams, Natasha Airing); 4. 1:54.11 North Montgomery (Jana Amstutz, Jessica LeJeune, Abbi LeJeune, Kelly Thompson); 5. 1:54.33 Seeger (Tylan Leonard, Lyndi Hollis, Megan Tarter, Jennifer Haddock); 6. 1:56.17 Southmont (Kelsey Richards, Emily Jarvis, Susan Ward, Cassie Parker).
Consolation -- 7. 1:57.32 South Putnam (Josalynn Farmer, Lyndie Beasley, Samantha Tomasino, Amanda Lund); 8. 2:03.03 Fountain Central (Madison Link, Carolyn Trueblood, Julie Lowe, Andrea Wilson); 9. 2:06.94 North Putnam (Halsey Foltz, Ashley Novak, Caroline Byrd, Michelle Harper); 10. 2:14.93 Attica (Ashton Crawford, Molly Fisher, Megan Allen, Morgan Piper); 11. 2:26.93 North Vermillion (Katie Byrum, Jessica Barnes, Cassie Larrance, Yurie Hall).
100 backstroke -- 1:07.10 Shelby Conrad CR; 2. 1:07.33 Sydney Terry G; 3. 1:08.45 Holly Hunt CR: 4. 1:08.81 Victoria Burkhart SM; 5. 1:09.57 Mackenzie Sheldon FC: 6. 1:10.44 Lakyn Riley NM.
Consolation -- 7. 1:14.49 Elizabeth Guinter CR: 8. 1:15.09 Natalie Lowe WB: 9. 1:15.84 Sarah New SP; 10. 1:16.21 Mackenzie Shumaker FC: 11. 1:16.39 Ashley Venis NM; 12. 1:16.46 Katie Byrum NV.
100 breaststroke -- 1:05.76 Missy Robinson CR; 2. 1:13.69 Jana Amstutz NM; 3. 1:13.84 Haley Horner CR; 4. 1:16.47 Jessica York SP; 5. 1:20.16 Katellyn Roberts SV: 6. 1:20.53 Alexandra Hegedus WB.
Consolation -- 7. 1:22.19 Yurie Hall NV: 8. 1:22.21 Julie Lowe FC: 9. 1:23.06 Hannah Ireland FC: 10. 1:23.23 Jessica LeJeune NM; 11. 1:23.78 Taler Leonard SE; 12. 1:23.81 Clancy Wolf CR.
400 freestyle relay -- 3:59.90 Crawfordsville (Rebecca Howland, Victoria Fairfield, Tori Gregory, Shelby Conrad); 2. 4:08.21 Western Boone (Abigail Emmert, Meghan McGee, Allison Zimmerman, Blaire Kinslow); 3. 4:11.62 North Montgomery (Kelly Thompson, Lakyn Riley, Rebecca Priebe, Taylor Simpson); 4. 4:18.62 Greencastle (Alison Howard, Sara Culler, Sarah Dory, Sarah Beams); 5. 4:20.26 Fountain Central (Mackenzie Sheldon, Heather Beisecker, Bailey McGrady, Andrea Wilson); 6. 4:25.21 Southmont (Kaitlyn Cody, Jessika Zachary, Emily Jarvis, Victoria Burkhart).
Consolation -- 7. 4:25.90 South Putnam (Josalynn Farmer, Kaelynn Cox, Samantha Tomasino, Amanda Lund); 8. 4:37.76 Seeger (Lyndi Hollis, Kassandra Hensley, Brandi Davis, Megan Tarter); 9. 4:39.02 South Vermillion (Harley Hamke, Kathleen Foltz, Meghan Reardon, Holley Smith); 10. 5:26.24 Norht Putnam (Katelyn Lasiter, Kierstan Kaufman, Ashley Novak, Miranda Preecs); 11. 5:32.91 North Vermillion (Katie Byrum, Jessica Barnes, Cassie Larrance, Yurie Hall).