GREENFIELD — Leaned against the window panes on the north end of Greenfield-Central’s swimming facility, Indian Creek head coach Brad Smith gazed around the crowd with a look of satisfaction.
It was a good day, which Smith has learned not to take for granted. It wasn’t because his Braves finished in third at the Turkey Breast Invitational, either. Saturday wasn’t just another — or normal — day at the pool.
Smith’s son, Chase, a freshman at Indian Creek, is battling his second round of cancer — specifically Ewing’s Sarcoma. This past summer, after successfully battling his first round as a 13-year-old, Chase found another lump in his leg. The cancer came back.
The invite on Saturday, altered by Greenfield-Central head swimming coaches Mark and Emily Logan to directly benefit his fund, raised nearly $700 for his family. The funds, which came in the form of donation buckets, T-shirt sales and a silent auction, will help relieve daunting medical costs.
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“It is beyond humbling, to go through the journey we are going through right now, we just can’t do it alone,” Smith said of the support from Greenfield-Central. “To have the backbone of this community help us out, we totally appreciate it.”
Although a secondary thought, it was a productive day in the water for defending-sectional champion Greenfield-Central. The Cougars used familiar depth to score 148 points and earn a season-opening win.
Sophomore Carley Logan won two events and 2016 state finalist Shyanne Milne, a senior, took first in the diving competition to lead the team. Milne, who finished in 13th at state as a junior, had heart surgery over the summer and appears right on pace, score wise, for another solid season.
But more importantly, the Cougars extended a hand to a swim family in need. Smith, also the school’s club coach like the Logan’s, commonly sees the family friends at meets around the state.
“The swimming world really is a family wherever you go,” Emily Logan said. “We’ve raced against his club teams numerous times, and the kids know each other. It is like an extended family when something like this happens.
“When Chase was first diagnosed, there were teams from all over the country that would send little blurbs or a picture.”
Oak Hill finished in second Saturday with 125 points, while Indian Creek was third with 115. Bishop Chatard rounded out the team scores with 41 points.
Logan, who swam at state as a freshman, took first in the 200-and-500-yard freestyle races. Her teammate, senior Ashley Finney, won the 100-yard butterfly and finished in third in the 50-yard freestyle.
Milne scored a 230.95 to win the 1-meter diving, edging Oak Hill’s Savannah Hart, who scored a 229.00. Greenfield-Central’s Maci Montgomery was third with a 187.55.
The 200-yard medley relay team of Logan, Finney, senior Kortney Hodnett and senior Krista Zornes, finished in second. Freshman Megan Coffin switched with Hodnett in the 400-yard freestyle relay and helped the same trio earn another second place finish.
Coffin also was second in the 200-yard individual medley, while Zornes was third in both the 100-yard freestyle and the 100-yard backstroke.
Depth, again, will be a key component to the Cougars success this season.
“We are pretty excited about our group coming in and the group already here,” Emily Logan said. “They are very versatile. Most of our girls started off the season much faster than last year. We had some great times from our new girls.”
Greenfield-Central returns to the pool at home today at 6 p.m. against Franklin Central.
Turkey Breast Invitational
Amount Raised: Almost $700
Greenfield-Central First Place Finishers
200 Free: Carley Logan
100 Fly: Ashley Finney
Diving: Shyanne Milne
500 Free: Carley Logan
Greenfield-Central – 148
Oak Hill – 125
Indian Creek – 115
Bishop Chatard – 41