NEW PALESTINE — Connersville won the gold. Greenfield-Central claimed the glory.
Saturday at the New Palestine Sectional, the Cougars acquired their first-ever team championship — without winning a single event.
It was also a story of redemption for two swimmers who will represent Hancock County in Friday’s State Finals at IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis.
Mt. Vernon’s Maddie Powell shook off a string of runner-up finishes at past sectional meets to win titles in the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly. As for New Palestine’s Erin Trimpe, she triumphed in the 100 breaststroke a year after taking second in that event to her older sister.
G-C tallied 395 points in its breakthrough triumph. For the second season in a row, the Marauders (347 points) were second — finishing in the top two for the sixth consecutive year.
Despite winning eight of the 12 events, 2013 champion Connersville took third with 344 points.
New Castle, New Palestine, Centerville, Richmond, Hagerstown, Eastern Hancock and Rushville rounded out places four through 10.
Entering the season, the Cougars were short 2013 seniors Carly Fernandes and Taylor Johnson — a pair of swimmers who garnered nine school records and five sectional crowns between them — off a squad that took fourth at the 2013 sectional.
And three weeks ago at the Hoosier Heritage Conference Meet, G-C didn’t look the part of a sectional contender, finishing sixth.
But Emily Logan knew all along that her group had sectional potential, even if the Cougars didn’t buy what their second-year coach was selling at first.