G-C’s Black, MV’s Tierney to swim for state titles today

Greenfield Central's Travis Black, right, reacts with Franklin Central's Nathan Boomershine after winning his heat in the 50-yard freestyle during boys state swimming finals prelims at the IU Natatorium on the IUPUI campus in Indianapolis, Friday, Feb. 28, 2020.

INDIANAPOLIS — The table has been set for a productive day at today’s IHSAA Boys Swimming and Diving State Finals.

With strong performances at Friday’s preliminaries at the IU Natatorium, Hancock County will have representation in nine of 12 events.

Eight of those spots were filled during the prelims with Greenfield-Central junior Travis Black and Mt. Vernon junior Aiden Tierney leading the way.

Black earned a second straight trip to the 50-yard freestyle finals. Tierney qualified for the main event in the 100-yard breaststroke.

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Six others, including two relays, earned spots in today’s B (consolation) finals.

Black, Tierney and Greenfield-Central senior Samuel Jennings will each swim in two individual events. Black and Jennings will join juniors Samuel Logan and Anthony Nagel in a pair of consolation relay races.

"You always want a little bit more, but it was a good night," Greenfield-Central coach Mark Logan said.

The Marauders’ Tierney, who sat out his leg of the 200-yard freestyle relay heat to be better rested for the breaststroke, swam a school-record time of 56.76 for the seventh-best overall time.

The top eight in each event qualify for the A final. He just missed the main event last year by finishing ninth in the prelims.

He will also swim the 200-yard IM today, adding a B final with an 11th-best time and school-record swim of 1:50.95. A year ago, he just missed the consolation final by finishing 17th.

“It was a great night tonight,” Mt. Vernon coach Brad Grieshop said. “We’ve got some room to go (Saturday) and I really think he can go faster.”

With his 200 IM record, Tierney knocked off the mark set by his older brother, Dixon (1:51.6).

“I’m really happy with my 200 IM. I wish it would have been a top 8, but I’m just glad that I went that fast,” Tierney said. “It helped (not swimming the relay), that’s a quick transition.

“It helped me get my mind focused (for the breaststroke). I’m ecstatic. I’m hoping to swim a little faster (Saturday), but I am happy to be in that top eight spot.”

Black is back for the second straight year in the 50 free.

The fastest race of the day will have eight competitors ranging from 20.18 seconds (Boonville’s Braden Rollins) and 20.76 seconds (Fort Wayne Carroll’s Finlay Brooks).

Black had the fifth-best time at 20.64, his 20.57 coming in was seeded second among the 32 competitors.

The Cougar junior finished sixth in last year’s state finals.

He will also swim in the consolation final in the 100-yard freestyle.

“I’m really looking forward to (today) and hopefully I can improve from the (prelims),” Black said.

“It was crazy this year (in the 50),” he added. “Everyone had sub-21 (second) insane times. After my race (coach Logan) said one of the main things I need to work on is my turns.

“(There aren’t many turns), but the one you have is pretty crucial.”

Jennings, a senior, set school records in both of his individual races. He will compete today in the consolation finals in both the 200-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle.

He was 15th in the 200 with a time of 1:42.84. He was 11th in the 500, clocking in at 4:39.13.

While Jennings is happy to have a busy day, competing in four events, he would have liked to have had at least one in an A final.

“I am always grateful for the opportunity to swim,” Jennings said. “I would have liked to have had a top 8, but you learn from it and move on.

“It’s exciting to swim in four events (today).”

The Cougar quartet qualified in both the 200-yard medley relay and the 400-yard freestyle relay. The medley group was seeded 12th and finished 12th with a time of 1:35.66.

The 400 crew was seeded 18th. They moved up three spots with the 15th best time at 3:12.92.

All diving preliminaries and finals will be today. New Palestine senior and TCU signee Colin Stacey is coming off a first-place finish in Tuesday’s Brownsburg Regional. His point total of 530.45 was third best in the state in regional competition. Greenfield-Central sophomore Kien Dalton will also compete in the diving competition.