NEW PALESTINE — For Emily Logan, last year’s sectional championship was bittersweet.
The Greenfield-Central girls swimming coach was, of course, proud of her squad for claiming its first-ever team crown. But, since the Cougars did not champion a single event, and only sectional first-place winners advance to the State Finals, their season was over.
Entering Saturday’s sectional meet at New Palestine, Logan’s mission was to avoid reliving the mixed feelings of the previous season.
“We had set out goals back at the beginning of the year,” she said. “We had wanted to win another sectional, but we really wanted to send someone to state. That was the next step. We wanted to win it again, but we also wanted to keep going a little longer.”
Story continues below gallery
Along with pulling out their second straight team title, Cougars sophomores Krista Zornes (100-yard freestyle) and Kortney Hodnett (100 backstroke) earned invitations to the state championship meet at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis on Friday and Saturday. Divers Shyanne Milne and Ava Dickmann also punched a pair of tickets to tonight’s regional at Brownsburg (diving has a regional, while swimming does not).
The Cougars blew away the competition, scoring 444.5 points, in familiar fashion. Much like last year, they capitalized on a deep, talented roster, notching a bevy of top-five finishes to pull away from the field.
Hoosier Heritage Conference rivals Mt. Vernon (368 points) and New Palestine (285.5) completed the top three, while Connersville (224.5), New Castle (221), Centerville (179), Hagerstown (160.5), Richmond (99), Eastern Hancock (78) and Rushville (60) rounded out the field.
“I’m pretty excited,” said a hoarse and soaking-wet Logan after the meet — in keeping with tradition, the coaching staff of the winning team jumped into the pool with their team.
“They had a fantastic day. It was a little beyond our wildest expectations. We had hoped maybe to get out in the breaststroke, but we didn’t in our wildest imagination expect Krista (Zornes) to get out in the 100 free. It was a great surprise.”
Zornes finished eighth in the 100 free at the HHC meet in mid-January, was seeded third in Saturday’s sectional competition, yet she managed to hold off the event favorites.
“I honestly didn’t believe I had won once I had finished,” Zornes said. “It is so overwhelming. I wanted to win, but I knew there were some really fast girls in the pool. It’s just feels amazing to have won.”
Hodnett was a little more confident than her teammate. She had a good feeling she would be pleased with Saturday’s results after a week’s worth of watching motivational videos that had her prepared and self-assured.
“I wanted to be confident, so I just watched those videos and kept telling myself, ‘You can do this. You got this,’” Hodnett said. “And I did. I got it.”
Second-place finishes for the Cougars were delivered by Hannah Reynolds (100 backstroke), Taylor Young (500 free), the 200 medley relay team (Reynolds, Hodnett, Ashley Finney, Zornes) and the 200 free relay team (Finney, Samantha Stanley, Young, Zornes). Young (200 free), Hodnett (200 IM) and Milne (diving) also notched third-place finishes.
Greenfield-Central’s Dickmann came in fifth overall in the diving event, but since the first-place finisher — Richmond’s Mariam Khamis — decided to drop out of the state meet, Dickmann will advance with three girls in front of her.
“I’m excited for them to come back and repeat as sectional champions,” Logan said. “It’s exciting for them to know that they’ve started building their dynasty — just like the boys.”
Tierney shatters sectional mark to lead Marauders
Mt. Vernon knew its chances of overcoming Greenfield-Central in the team competition were slim. The Marauders have top-flight swimmers, first year coach Matt Kruse said, but they just don’t have enough to seriously challenge the Cougars for a team title.
Instead, Kruse said, he had his team set its sights on qualifying as many girls for Indianapolis as possible. He thinks changing targets might be why the girls performed as well as they did Saturday.
Including star freshman Lydia Tierney, who will swim at the state meet in four events, Mt. Vernon will send on a meet-high six different swimmers to compete in Indianapolis.
“We kind of saw of things were going to turn out as far the team competition went,” said Kruse, who was named coach of the year after the meet. “I think that might have allowed us to swim so well today. We were just swimming for ourselves. We weren’t about swimming against anyone else. I think that helped us.”
The Marauders shot out of the gate in the meet’s opening event, claiming the 200 medley relay by two seconds against the Cougars and immediately guaranteeing state trips for Gloria Gonzales, Samantha Case, Haley Moore and Tierney, though she would take care of her own business in short order.
Just two events later, Tierney took to the pool in the 200 IM, where she proceeded to not only blow away the competition, but to shatter the New Palestine sectional record, previously owned by 2013 Greenfield-Central graduate Carly Fernandes (2:12.33). Tierney bested her by four seconds, finishing the medley in 2:08.40.
Tierney wrapped up her day by winning the 100 butterfly by more than four seconds — keeping her individual event record unblemished — and helping the 400 freestyle relay team (Samantha Gawrys, Anne Marie Keeler, Gonzales) claim a six-second victory to close the meet.
“I think it’s very good for her to see she can put up times like that at sectionals,” Kruse said. “It put her in a good mood and showed her that she’s going to have a great state meet as well. I don’t think she was even expecting to go those times yet. She’s pretty happy.”
The other happy Marauder was Gonzales.
After barely missing out on the 200 freestyle crown, Gonzales bounced back with a more than one second win in the 100 backstroke.
“Gloria is one of the most passionate swimmers I’ve ever seen,” Kruse said. “The drive is there. The will to race is there. It’s all there. She just does what needs to be done. She just rocked it today.”
Also racking up solid finishes for Mt. Vernon was Haley Moore, who finished second in the 100 IM behind Tierney and third in the 500 free.
Maxwell proud of Dragons’ showing
Though New Palestine will not be sending any girls onto the state meet, Dragons coach Steve Maxwell said he was more than happy with the results Saturday, calling his girls’ showing one of the top three or four performances in his 15-year tenure at New Palestine.
“We were really pleased with our performance,” Maxwell said. “We knew we would be in the 240-250 point range, so to score to 285, that became a very good score for us.”
The Dragons were led by a pair of top-three finishes by Erin Trimpe. The senior was less than a half second off the winning time in the 50 freestyle, as her 26.03 was good enough for third.
She also came in a second behind the Cougars’ Hodnett the 100 backstroke, where a win would have advanced to state for the second straight season.
Other top finishes for the Dragons were accrued by Kayla Jameson, Trimpe, Kenzie Wells and Leah Bare, who finished fourth in the 200 medley relay, Kara Mustard (fourth, 100 butterfly) and the team of Rachel Wineman, Anna Doolin, Trimpe and Alex Jacobs (fourth 200 free relay).
“They all want to do better than what they did,” Maxwell said. “But they all know that what they did was beyond expectations.”
Eastern Hancock girls break multitude of team records
Eastern Hancock swimmers set new school milestones in five events during Saturday’s meet.
Shelby Kell’s record-breaking 50 (26.88) and 100 free (59.00) times paced the Royals. She also helped both the 200 (1:53.47) and 400 (4.15:84) free relay teams set new marks.
The other school-record-breaking performance was achieved by Tatum Profitt in the 100 breaststroke (1:21.90).
“The girls had an excellent showing and performance overall at sectionals this year,” first-year Eastern Hancock coach Derek McCormick said. “Overall we had five more lifetime bests today, five school records, and scored in four individual events. The girls did a great job of racing today, improving on times and placing. I’m so proud of the girls and the efforts they put into their swims.”s
Here are the results from the Feb. 7 Sectional 15 meet at New Palestine High School. Winners from each swimming event advance to the state meet (Friday, Saturday) at the IUPUI Natatorium. The top four divers advance to regionals at Brownsburg.
1. Greenfield-Central 444.5 points
2. Mt. Vernon 368
3. New Palestine 285.5
4. Connersville 224.5
5. New Castle 221
6. Centerville 179
7. Hagerstown 160.5
8. Richmond 99
9. Eastern Hancock 78
10. Rushville 60
200 yard medley relay
1. Mt. Vernon 1:54.68
2. Greenfield-Central 1:56.27
3. New Castle 2:02.72
1. Riece Drew, Connersville 1:59.91
2. Gloria Gonzales, Mt. Vernon 2:04.49
3. Taylor Young, Greenfield-Central 2:07.84
1. Lydia Tierney, Mt. Vernon 2:08.40#
2. Haley Moore, Mt. Vernon 2:22.75
3. Kortney Hodnett, Greenfield-Central 2:23.25
1. Brooke Madden, Centerville 25.65
2. Courtney Barr, New Castle 25.81
3. Erin Trimpe, New Palestine 26.03
1 meter diving
1. Mariam Khamis, Richmond 511.70
2. Brooke Madden, Cnterville 456.25
3. Shyanne Milne, Greenfield-Central 69.50
4. Beka Elza, Hagerstown 362.05
5. Ava Dickmann, Greenfield-Central 351.10##
1. Lydia Tierney, Mt. Vernon 58.09
2. Ashley Finney, Greenfield-Central 1:02.24
3. Caroline Warner, New Castle 1:05.89
1. Krista Zornes, Greenfield-Central 58.03
2. Tayte Adams, Connersville 58.17
3. Courtney Barr, New Castle 58.99
1. Riece Drew, Connersville 5:27.54
2. Taylor Young, Greenfield-Central 5:37.28
3. Haley Moore, Mt. Vernon 5:44.03
200 freestyle relay
1. Connersville 1:45.04
2. Greenfield-Central 1:46.44
3. Centerville 1:48.38
1. Gloria Gonzales, Mt. Vernon 1:02.14
2. Hannah Reynolds, Greenfield-Central 1:03.76
3. Hannah Hawrot, New Castle 1:05.57
1. Kortney Hodnett, Greenfield-Central 1:10.78
2. Erin Trimpe, New Palestine 1:11.67
3. Krista Zornes, Greenfield-Central 1:13.41
400 freestyle relay
1. Mt. Vernon 3:49.96
2. Connersville 3:55.11
3. Greenfield-Central 3:56.98
#New Palestine Sectional record
## Advances to regionals with Richmond’s Mariam Khamis dropping out.