By TRIBUNE SPORTS STAFF
---- — Western’s boys and girls swimming and diving teams made a splash Tuesday in their return to action following the winter break, which was extended a week by the recent snowstorm and sub-zero conditions.
The Panthers swept visiting Hamilton Heights, taking a 134-46 win on the boys side and a 140-43 win on the girls side.
“The [extra] week off was a double-edged sword,” Western coach Brad Bennett said, noting it provided a mental break ahead of the season’s stretch drive. “It allowed them to refocus on their priorities and spend time thinking about what they want to accomplish.”
In the boys meet, junior Connor Hill, senior Asa Sheffer, junior Matt Duke and sophomore Glen Brown provided a highlight by winning the 200 freestyle relay in a school-record time of 1:31.81.
“The former record was set in ‘01 and that time was 1:32.21,” Bennett said. “They were within a couple tenths of that once early in the season. They kind of left no doubt in breaking it [Tuesday]. They didn’t shatter it, but it was legitimate.”
Bennett noted Nick Taylor, Chris Groves, Bryce Hughes and Ted Brown Jr. held the former record.
Individually in Tuesday’s meet, Glen Brown won the 200 free (1:47.42) and 100 breaststroke (1:02.95), Sheffer won the 200 IM (2:14.10) and 500 free (5:30.48), Hill won the 100 free (:53.93), Jim Kelly was tops in the 100 backstroke (1:05.30) and Cody Cox won the 1-meter diving program (199.50).
The Panthers opened with a win in the 200 medley relay. Sheffer, Brown, Duke and Carroll won in a time of 1:48.46, setting the stage for their record-breaking performance in the 200 free relay later.
“Our guys swam well. As good as I hoped, better than I expected [following the layoff],” Bennett said. “We had some good, solid swims all around.”
• In the girls meet, Summer Brown and Brittany Lake each won a pair of individual events to lead the Panthers. Brown won the 200 IM (2:11.12) and 500 free (5:08.47) and Lake was tops in the 200 free (2:13.62) and 100 free (1:01.79).
Other individual winners for the Panthers were: Claire Casner (100 butterfly, 1:09.13); Anna Constable (100 back, 1:13.96); Hattie Johnson (100 breaststroke, 1:23.91); and Christina Wyant (diving, 151.0).
Western swept the relays. Lilly Armour, Lake, Ally Purvis and Johnson won the 200 medley in 2:14.92. Casner, Armour, Danielle Pate and Brown won the 200 free in 1:50.52. Casner, Lake, Pate and Brown won the 400 free in 4:00.91.
“We had some really solid swims,” Bennett said. “Summer’s IM time was within a second of the school record and her 500 free time was her best all season and those times were swimming [without being pushed]. She is ready to swim some races.
“Our girls are working hard and they’re ready to show their stuff at conference. They want to win it. They’ve been working toward it since the first day of practice.”
NW 130, EASTERN 47
The Purple Tigers won 11 events in their first meet back following a long layoff due to last week’s winter storm. The Tigers got things rolling with a victory in the 200 medley relay as Anthony Catt, Drew Harris, Griffin Longshore and Gray Longshore won in 1:52.34. The two Longshores, Kyle Miller and Joel Austin combined to win the 400 free relay (3:48.66), and Austin, Darren Curry, Will Harris and Drew Harris won the 200 free relay (1:40.38).
Griffin Longshore and Drew Harris were quadruple winners with two individual wins to go with their relay wins. Griffin Longshore won the 200 freestyle (2:02.22) and 500 free (5:29.94). Drew Harris won the 100 free (56.61). And 100 breaststroke (1:13.26).
Also for Northwestern, Will Devaul won the 200 IM (2.18.62), Gray Longshore won the 50 free (24:35), Christian O’Donnell took the diving competition (121.15), and Catt won the 100 butterfly (1:02.40).
“We’ve been off, just like everybody else,” NW coach Cindy Britten said. “We’ve had three practices and for the short amount of practices that we’ve had, I thought the guys did an outstanding job, had some good times. We moved some things around, trying some new things out, trying to get times on people in different events. [I was] just really pleased with the outcome and how the guys swam after the big snow storm.”
Eastern’s Shawn Tokarcik won the 100 backstroke in 1:03.32.
KOKOMO 127, CASS 56
The Katfish won every event in the Cass tank.
Tyler Schorm, Jordan Bousum, Josh Church and Philip Heilman won the 200 medley relay. Caleb Cook, Bousum, Logan Hawk and Blake Brookshire won the 200 free relay. And Brookshire, Nathan Banush, Adam Harding and Hawk won the 400 free relay.
Individually, Hawk won the 200 free, Banush won the 200 IM and 100 butterfly, Brookshire won the 50 and 100 free, Schorm won the 100 backstroke, and Alex Whiteman won the 100 breaststroke. Times were not available.
“We’re preparing for our conference meet on Saturday. That got moved and [Tuesday’s meet] couldn’t have gone much better for us,” Kokomo coach Jay Glick said. “We won every event and we had some sweeps in there too. Sometimes it’s harder when you’re getting ready for a big meet to have another meet in that week, but they swam pretty well and I was happy with them.”
NW 126, EASTERN 60
The Purple Tigers won every event in their return to the pool after last week’s snowstorm caused teams to miss practices and meets.
Savannah Gamester, Addie Roth, Jenna Harrison and Jordyn Harrison won the 200 medley relay (2:02.92). Kindra Gingerich, Megan Floyd, Mariah Roberts and Jenna Harrison won the 200 free relay (1:53.28), and Gamester, Gingerich, Roth and Jordyn Harrison won the 400 free relay (4:17.73).
Roth and Jordyn Harrison each added two individual wins to finish as quadruple winners. Roth won the 200 IM (2:32.35) and 100 breaststroke (1:16.42). And Jordyn Harrison won the 200 fly (1:06.6) and 500 free (5:47.46).
In other individual races, Alexandria Millikan won the 200 free (2:23.69).Jenna Harrison won the 50 free (27.53), Rachel Johns won diving (202.25), Gingerich won the 100 free (1:01.21), and Gamester won the 100 backstroke (1:06.75)
“Eastern gave us some good competition, we had some good races, pushed the girls,” NW coach Cindy Britten said. The Tigers are getting back into form after last week’s missed time “so they’re not exactly where we want them, but the times were equivalent to kind of what we expected with being out so long. They weren’t bad, but they showed that we’ve been out of the water a little while. But we’ll get there.”
CASS 104, KOKOMO 79
The Wildkats picked up victories in four events. Hannah Reecer was tops in diving (190.75), Jessica Estep won the 100 freestyle (1:01.66), Brook Dill paced the field in the 100 backstroke (1:12.48), and Autumn Carroll took top honors in the 100 breast stroke (1:23.88).
“The ladies dropped 146 seconds [off their cumulative time Tuesday], and it’s been a while since we’ve seen races with the snow,” Kokomo coach Donita Walters said. “As we move toward the conference [meet], we swam our conference lineup and saw time drops. I think if we see a little more, that will move us up in the conference. We’re struggling with a little bit of depth right now. You don’t ever like getting beat, but I’m pleased with what we’re seeing out of the ladies, granted we haven’t gotten a lot of pool time.”
Kokomo 54, Lafayette Jeff 53
Gabrielle Smith went the length of the floor and hit a mid-range jumper with :05 left to lift the Lady Kats to the 54-53 victory over the visiting Bronchos.
“It was a great win,” Kokomo coach Jason Snyder. “We showed a lot of heart at the end of the game, staying with it and different people stepping up. I’m really proud of the way the bench played.”
Kokomo jumped to an 11-2 lead, but Jeff closed to within 14-11 by the end of the opening quarter. The Kats led 29-27 at halftime. The Bronchos led 45-43 after three quarters.
Jasmine Love led the Kats (8-4) with a nice all-around line of 19 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two steals. She was 5 of 12 from 3-land.
“She had another nice shooting night,” Snyder said.
Smith added seven points and seven boards for the Kats, who have won four in a row. Cierra Tinder and Schnetavia Williams led the bench effort. Tinder hit a 3-pointer to bring Kokomo within one with 2:00 left. She finished with seven points. Williams offered four points and six rebounds, with five of her boards coming on the offensive end.
Tri-Central 63, Clinton Central 24
Tri-Central improved to 7-5 overall and 2-1 in the Hoosier Heartland Conference with the road victory over Clinton Central.
The Trojans bolted to a 20-5 lead by the close of the opening quarter and had control the rest of the way.
“We jumped out on them early,” TC coach Kyle Stage said. “After a long layoff, our effort and attitude were outstanding.”
Kinsey Leininger and Kelli Kingseed led TC with 12 points apiece. Shelby Ramsey added 10.
MADISON-GRANT 38, TAYLOR 34
The Titans led by small margins at every quarter break except the last one. Brie Boehler scored 13 points and Savannah Delgado added 10, but the Titans fell to 2-12.
“It’s a game again we could have won, we lost in the last minute,” Taylor coach Dennis Bentzler said. “It’s not really about Xs and Os right now, it’s a mindset and we’re really struggling. “We’ve just got to keep trying to get better, fundamentally. If you hit most of your free throws and layups in girls basketball, you’re going to win most of your games, and we struggled with both of them.”
Frankfort 45, Western 33
Jacob Allen (145-pound weight class), Dustin Hinkle (152), Corey Hinkle (182) and Russell McDorman (195) recorded pins to lead Western in its match at Frankfort. Also for the Panthers, Dante Graham (220) won by decision and Caleb Maddox (120) won by forfeit.
Western coach Chad Shepherd noted his squad looked a little sluggish as it returned to action following an extended break.
“Our older guys, you could tell after the break, they responded pretty well. I think the younger guys are still maybe on Christmas break. But they’re coming along, we just have to get more aggressive,” he said, noting the Panthers are not at full strength.
Peru goes 3-0
Peru hosted a four-team gathering and posted a perfect record. The Bengal Tigers beat Blackford (78-3), Northwestern (72-6) and Oak Hill (35-27).
The Bengal Tigers had seven grapplers go undefeated — Shane Garretson (106-pound weight class), Connor Quin (120), Kegan Kern (132), Peyton Sturgill (138), Evan Loe (145), Nick Cress (195) and Erik Hobbs (220).