NOBLESVILLE — At the end of the Noblesville Girls Swimming Sectional on Saturday, Northwestern’s squad stood fourth in the standings. That was some cause for celebration. Finishing on top of the local heap was the best that could be hoped for after a day in which no local swimmer qualified for the state meet. One Tipton diver reached the diving regional.
State superpower Carmel won the meet with a score of 574, followed by Indianapolis suburban schools Noblesville (376) and Westfield (356). Northwestern led the six local schools, taking fourth with a score of 172. Maconaquah was fifth (160), Tipton sixth (133), Western seventh (127), Kokomo ninth (83) and Eastern 10th (72).
“The big deal is we’re back where we need to be and that’s at fourth place overall as a team,” Northwestern coach Donita Walters said. “Obviously within that team goal there are many individual goals. Unfortunately we didn’t meet all our individual goals. We were a little flat.
“We’ve got to change the mindset that we can’t race with these ladies [Carmel, Noblesville and Westfield]. We just didn’t have the same fire and intensity that we had at conference.”
The Tigers won the Hoosier Conference meet last month.
The 200 medley relay squad of Catherine Bath, Jaylyn Harrison, Ann Bourff and Lauren Martin finished fourth in 1:55.72, setting a new Northwestern record.
Harrison was third in the 50 freestyle (:24.41) to post Northwestern’s top result. She was fifth in the 100 free (:54.34). Bath was sixth in the 100 backstroke (1:01.11).
In other individual results: Kaylynne Fernandes was 16th in the 200 free (2:14.36); Madyson Baxter was 12th in the 200 IM (2:32.02) and Bourff was 14th (2:33.45); Martin was 16th in the 50 free (:28.18); Camber Fillenwarth was sixth in diving (302.2) and Kayleigh Wiley ninth (264.0); Bath was ninth in the 100 butterfly (1:02.15) and Bourff was 14th (1:09.76); Martin was 16th in the 100 free (1:01.34); Fernandes was 13th in the 500 free (5:57.45) and Baxter 14th (5:57.92); and Ashley Ream was 16th in the 100 breaststroke (1:19.11).
In relays, Bourff, Lauren Longshore, Alex Rosales and Martin were ninth in the 200 free relay (1:53.36) and Longshore, Bath, Baxter and Harrison were fifth in the 400 free relay (3:53.22).
“Some exciting things happened with some of these races and hopefully we’ll use that fire to build and work on things to move forward,” Walters said.
“These ladies had a tremendous season. They had one dual meet loss.”
Western’s best result individually was Jenaka Hawkins taking seventh in the 100 breaststroke (1:09.47).
In individual events for Western: Anna Moore was 13th in the 200 free (2:07.61); Hawkins was ninth in the 200 IM (2:21.9) and Emma Shoemaker 11th (2:29.06); Delaney Lupoi was 11th in the 50 free (:26.53) and Chase Hayes 15th (:27.79); Grace Knolinski was 10th in diving (240.0), Olivia Green was 13th (217.65) and Madison Connolly was 15th (212.05); Lupoi was 12th in the 100 free (:57.67); Moore was 11th in the 500 free (5:44.87); Genesis Everling was 13th in the 100 backstroke (1:08.59); and Emma Shoemaker was 12th in the 100 breaststroke (1:16.45) while Olivia Shoemaker was 15th (1:17.75).
In relays, Western’s team of Everling, Hawkins, Lupoi and Moore were 50th in the 200 medley relay (1:58.29) and the team of Hayes, Emma Shoemaker, Everling and Lauren LaFever were seventh in the 200 free relay (1:50.65).
“[I’m] just exceptionally proud of my girls. All around as a team they swam exceptionally well,” Western coach Brad Bennett said. He was “really happy with our divers. I think Westfield was the only [other] team with three divers and having all three of those girls place was really special.
“Jenaka in the breaststroke was our top individual finish of the day. She had a tremendous race. She went out and did everything she needed to do and finished well.”
Bennett said the sectional final day is bittersweet.
“It’s kind of a happy-sad day,” he said. “Really sad to see this senior class go. They have really contributed a whole lot to the program over the last four years — great leaders, great teammates, great swimmers, really set a great example of how Western swimmers operate. But I was also excited to see the freshmen starting to pick up where those girls are leaving off. Chase Hayes is a freshman, Anna Moore is a freshman. Those two swam some really great times in a really high-pressure meet.”
Top individual results for Maconaquah were from Alaina Simmons (seventh in the 200 free, 2:02.62) and eighth in the 100 butterfly (1:02.93); Abby Shrock was seventh in the 100 backstroke (1:01.42). Also the Braves’ team of Simmons, Shrock, Kaylinn Teegardin and Erika Baber were fourth in the 400 free relay (3:51.05). And the team of Simons, Janet Johnston, Anna Borden and Baber were fourth in the 200 free relay (1:45.0).
Macee Reckard scored a pair of top-eight finishes for Kokomo, taking eighth in the 200 freestyle (2:02.86) and eighth in the 100 backstroke (1:02.15)
For Tipton, Ashlyn Vehikite was eighth in the 50 free (:25.92) and Megan Phifer finished fourth in diving with a score of 237.2. Phifer will compete in the Fort Wayne South Side Diving Regional on Tuesday.
Eastern’s Brittany Eckart was 15th in the 100 freestyle (1:00.52); Lauryn Shane was 12th in the 500 free (5:53.42); Lola Williams was 15th in the 100 backstroke (1:09.43); and McKenLee Morgan was 11th in diving 238.9.
Eastern’s best relay finish was the team of Eckart, Shane, Ella Kantz and Cora Kendall taking seventh in the 400 free relay (4:15.65).