FORTVILLE — Mt. Vernon senior Timothy Broaders couldn’t help but dance along the edge of the Marauders’ swimming pool Tuesday night.
Shortly after Broaders and the Marauders swept past Hoosier Heritage Conference rival New Palestine inside Mt. Vernon Middle School, the sprinter let his rhythmic jig reveal his mood.
“It was a great team win,” Broaders said. “I thought we all did a great job.”
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Broaders’ evaluation was difficult to deny. From top to bottom, the Marauders were more than great, they were efficient. Of the 24 combined events, the Mt. Vernon girls won seven overall, while the boys placed first in six.
The visiting Dragons weren’t far behind with five wins in the girls races and six in the boys, but the Marauders’ depth came into play, leading to a 100-85 girls victory and a 97-79 boys win.
“This is our fourth meet now. We started out good against Richmond and with each meet we’ve gotten better, faster and are building our confidence,” Mt. Vernon head coach Brad Grieshop said. “We’re really becoming a team.”
In 15 events, the Marauders placed two finishers in the top three, which padded the team points totals and countered the young Dragons attempt to keep the dual close.
Broaders contributed in the 100-yard freestyle, where he finished first in 51.18 seconds; not quite his time of 48.46 from last year’s third-place sectional final flight, but exactly on track toward his goal.
“My goal is to go 45 in the 100 free,” Broaders said. “So I’m trying to build from here and progress. I currently got a 50 right now, but I’m going to keep going from here.”
The school record is 48.29 by Cole Case, set in 2015. Broaders is working to reach the mark, and his effort showed along with his teammates against the Dragons.
The boys 200 medley relay team of Aiden Tierney, Evan Flick, Joseph Shepard and Josh Blackburn were first at 1:48.38. The girls relay of Lydia Tierney, Zoey Musick, Madalyn Mull and Riese Thornton won their race in 2:03.64.
Lydia Tierney captured the 50 free in 25.57 and the 500 free in 5:31.64 — more than 34 seconds faster than the field. Abby Crouch won the 100 butterfly in 1:11.82.
Blackburn took the 100 butterfly in 1:01.46, and Aiden Tierney was first in the 500 free at 5:18.04 — 21 seconds ahead of the pack.
“It’s all the kids. They put in the work. They want to do it for each other,” Grieshop said. “It is about the team and getting that win.”
The girls 200 freestyle relay of Musick, Thornton, Maddie Moore and Lydia Tierney touched the wall in a winning time of 1:51.74. The boys relay of Kaylen Morgan, Elijah Thomas, Flick and Broaders won in 1:40.58.
Mull was first in the girls 100-yard backstroke in 1:15.42. Morgan won the 100 backstroke in 1:03.44, Musick added another victory in the 100 breaststroke in 1:15.35.
Crouch teamed with Elisabeth Salinas, Elizabeth Hiatt and Mull to win the 400 freestyle relay.
“Having a team you want to beat, and being a rival, it brings out a lot of adrenaline and excitement,” Grieshop said. “(The rivalry) definitely helps.”
The Dragons wins on the boys side were spread around. Nicholas Martin was first in the 200 free at 2:02.56, Lago Broullon-Blanco was first in the 200 IM in 2:12.07. Tyler Corey won the 50 free in 24.09, and Austin Lines won the 1-meter diving competition uncontested.
Broullon-Blanco took the 100 breaststroke in 1:04.28 and was part of the first-place 400 freestyle relay along with Corey, Martin and Louis Holbrook.
“We’re really a young program. Of the 53 kids on the team, 17 team of them are juniors or seniors. So there is a pretty steep learning curve for them,” New Palestine head coach Steve Maxwell said.
Maigan Williams won the 200 free for the Dragons in 2:25.18, while Maria Virt was first in the 200 IM in 2:37.07.
Karen Shriver won the diving competition with a score of 212.0, and Jessica Rogers was first in the 100 free at 58.64.
Virt, Anna Doolin, Rogers and Hailee Holberton swam to a first-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay.
“It’s the little things. It’s not their times so much right now as it is, are they doing the things that we’ve been stressing at practice?,” Maxwell said. “I don’t really focus too much on how we’re doing regular season because it has no overall standing, so what we do is train. We try to improve things and technique to prepare for sectional.”
The Marauders host Hagerstown on Thursday. New Palestine hosts New Castle on Thursday.