Led by state qualifier Ayden Stanley, Tipton’s boys swimming and diving team had the highest finish of the KT-area teams in the Noblesville Sectional after the finals Saturday.

Six-time defending state champion Carmel won the team title with a score of 543. Noblesville second (353), Westfield third (285), Tipton fourth (237), Northwestern fifth (179), Western sixth (154), Maconaquah seventh (131), Guerin Catholic eighth (128), Kokomo ninth (114) and Eastern 10th (72).

Ayden Stanley advanced to state in two events. The Blue Devil senior won the 50-yard freestyle in :21.12 and finished fourth in the 100 butterfly in a state-qualifying time of :51.07.

He is the first sectional champion and first state qualifier in team history. The state meet is Friday and Saturday at Indianapolis.

There were more strong individual swims for Tipton. Graham Burton was eighth in the 200 free (1:53.10); Ben Aulbach was seventh inn the 200 individual medley (2:05.04); Shane Conaway took fifth in the 50 free (:22.41); Carter Harrison was eighth in the butterfly (:55.66); Conaway was fourth in the 100 free (:49.25); and Ben Aulbach was sixth in the 100 breaststroke (1:02.81).

In the relays, Ayden Stanley, Aulbach, Harrison and Conaway took third in the 200 medley in 1:42.57, Burton, Harrison, Conaway and Ayden Stanley grabbed third in the 200 free in a school-record 1:30.56, and Burton, Caleb Royal, Ethan Stanley and Aulbach took sixth in the 400 free relay (3:32.30). The third-place finishes are the best relay showings in team history.

Tipton’s Steven Thompson was named the sectional’s coach of the year.

Northwestern’s Caleb Champion and Drew Gingerich scored top-eight finishes in individual events. Caleb Champion was fifth in the 100 breaststroke (1:02.12). Gingerich was eighth in the 100 backstroke.

The Tigers also got points in several other spots. Ethan Champion was 12th in the 200 free (1:56.18) and Will Baxter was 15th (2:01.28). Caleb Champion was 10th in the 200 IM (2:06.76) and Austin Huskey 14th (2:13.39). Hunter Mohr was 15th in the 50 free (:24.36) and was 16th in the 100 butterfly (1:02.91). Drew Gingerich was 13th in the 100 free (:52.86) and Cooper Deck 16th (:54.91). Ethan Champion was ninth in the 500 free (5:12.4), Huskey 12th (5:20.35) and Baxter 15th (5:40.34). Parks Ortman was 15th in the 100 breaststroke ()1:12.96).

Northwestern’s team of Gingerich, Caleb Champion, Huskey and Ethan Champion was fourth in the 200 medley relay (1:44.61) and that quartet was also fourth in the 400 free relay (3:30.66). The team of Kolby Ahnert, Deck, Mohr and Baxter was eighth in the 200 free relay (1:38.03).

“What a fantastic day,” NW coach Donita Walters said. “Our Tigers had exceptional swims. Super proud of where our boys ended their season.”

Pete Bradshaw and Drew Caldwell had the top results for Western individually. Bradshaw was sixth in the 50 free (:22.51) and eighth in the 100 free (:51.18). Drew Caldwell was eighth in the 200 IM (2:08.35) and sixth in the 100 backstroke (:57.23).

Tanner Vance was 12th in the backstroke (1:04.43) and Luke Mawbey 16th (1:07.44). Mason Hill was 13th in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.63). In relays, the team of Caldwell, Mason Hill, Bradshaw and Taylor Rathbun was third in the 400 free relay (3:27.83) and fifth in the 200 medley relay (1:45.88). The team of Avery Berryman, Charlie Conkle, Sam Bowlby and Vance took ninth in the 200 free relay (1:40.04).

“Everybody dropped time in something,” Western coach Brad Bennett said. “Drew Caldwell had a good day, it was the first time swimming in the [Panthers’] sectional as a senior. He was kind of used to Jay County and it was a great challenge for him. I was glad to see he came back and swam well both of his events. It was a really good day for Pete. [He swam in] two of the toughest events that you make a mistake in either one of those and you’re going to pay dearly. He had great races in both the 50 and the 100.

“I was happy to see Tanner Vance drop time in the backstroke. He was really kind of one of the unsung heroes of this whole season. He was so consistent and so solid all season long.”

Getting a third place in a relay event stood out as a major accomplishment.

“The highlight of the day was the 400 free relay,” Bennett said. “They knew going in that Noblesville and some of the other teams were going to be faster and they were prepared for that. I think we ended up maybe dropping [2.8] seconds from Thursday night. So to be able to finish the meet off with great swims like that was a good way to finish the season.”

For Kokomo, Logan Pitner led the way with a sixth-place finish in the 100 free (:49.83) and seventh-place swim in the 200 free (1:51.63). Pitner, Isaac Elkin, Diego Giner and Caleb Smith teamed to take fifth place in the 200 free relay (1:34.99). And Adam Behny, Elkin, Benjamin Hillman and Andrew Jay finished eighth in the 200 medley relay (1:51.08).

For Eastern, Matt Laubenstein finished 14th in the 50 free and 14th in the 100 free. Porter Brovont had won the diving competition a day before.

For Maconaquah, Cole Bretzman was seventh in the 100 breaststroke and 12th in the 200 IM. Walker Hayes was 14th in the 200 free and 12th in the 100 free. Richie Leary was 14th in the backstroke. Hunter O’Connor was 12th in the 50 free. Bryant Teegardin was 15th in the 100 butterfly.



Western wrestlers took home three medals upon the conclusion of the IHSAA Individual Wrestling State Finals Saturday in Indianapolis.

Western senior Braydon Erb took fifth place at 285 pounds, junior Hayden Shepherd was sixth at 145 and freshman Tanner Tishner took eighth at 106. All three wrestled three matches Saturday after winning their opening-round matches Friday.

Erb moved up two places after taking seventh last season at the same weight. In his first match Saturday, Erb lost to Connersville’s Evan Shafer by pin in the second period of their quarterfinal. He advanced through the opening consolation match when Jeffersonville’s Matthew Munoz was an injury default, then Erb beat Franklin Central’s Antoine Alexander 3-1 with an overtime takedown to decide the match.

Erb closed his final season 34-2.

Shepherd lost 12-0 to Avon’s Jaden Reynolds in the quarterfinals, then beat Cowan’s Tony Abbot 3-2 in the consolation round before falling 6-3 to Chesterton’s Ethan Kaiser in the fifth-place match. Shepherd finished his season 34-4.

Tishner started his quarterfinal match with a bang, going up 5-0 after the first period. But he gave up a reversal in the second and was pinned by North Posey’s Blake Zierkelbach. In the consolation round he lost 4-2 to River Forest’s Jeffrey Bailey, and in the seventh-place match he lost 4-2 to Southport’s Nathan Smith. Tishner ended his first season 32-4.

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