By James Howell Jr./For Daily Reporter
GREENFIELD — The early stages of the 2021-22 swimming and diving season kicked into another gear Tuesday night for the Greenfield-Central Cougars and New Palestine Dragons as both the boys and girls teams for both schools met in the pool at Greenfield-Central natatorium.
At the end of the night, it was the Cougars’ girls team picking up the victory, 132-52, and the Dragons’ boys team winning a tight one over the Cougars, 91-84.
The meet proved to be an early-season, measuring stick for how far each swimmer and diver has come and still has to go to reach peak performance near the end of the season.
For the Cougars, girls head coach Emily Logan made the evening a “prove yourself night” for many of her swimmers, including her underclassmen.
“We had a lot of fun tonight,” Emily Logan said. “Before the meet started, we agreed to have some fun but really push ourselves, and we did both of those things. We switched up the relay teams a little with under and upperclassmen to make things even more competitive for ourselves, and it turned out to be really fun.”
The ultra-competitiveness of the Cougars led to a near-clean sweep of all events on the night. Beginning with a win in the 200-yard medley relay, the Cougars B relay team held off the A team by nine-tenths of a second.
Freshman Rachel Stutz, won two individual events for the Cougars, placed first in the 100 backstroke and the 200 free. Norah Johnson and Mary Ellen Stratman also each won two individual events for the Cougars.
Cecilia Duffy-Johnson won the 100 free in 58.05 by edging out Adrianna Huston of the Dragons. Alyssa Osborn claimed the win for the Cougars by more than 12 seconds.
“There were a few girls that really stepped up, but nothing that I could personally point out,” Emily Logan said. “The whole team really showed up tonight and made this a great meet against a county opponent. We always look forward to pushing ourselves against New Pal and Mt. Vernon, and tonight, the whole team did just that.”
In the boys competition, the Dragons clawed back at the Cougars with a win of their own. In a back-and-forth battle all night, fans anxiously awaited the razor thin final results at the end of the night.
The Dragons and Cougars close competition started early with the 200 medley relay. The Cougars team of Derek Noah, Jaeden Peters, Tyler Swango and Alexander Jahrsdoerfer edged the Dragons team of Dawson Lynch, Aidan Kingery, Liam Fuller and Ashton Turner by just 18-hundredths of a second.
The close finishes continued in the 200 free with Noah picking up another Cougars win by edging Colten Mayberry and Ben Miesse of the Dragons. The trio finished within half of a second of one another.
“Our guys really stuck with it tonight,” Dragons head coach Chris Kingery said. “We had a lot of really close calls tonight, but stuck with it and stayed focused and made some big strides in personal goals and team goals. An all-around team effort turned things around. I am really proud of the effort from each of our athletes today.”
Chase Martin and Dontae Thompson finished 1-2 in the 50 free and began the upwards momentum for the Dragons.
With a win in the 200 free relay by Martin, Meisse, Thompson and Eli Klien, followed by back-to-back victories in the 100 backstroke and 100 breaststroke by Lynch and Kingery, the Drangons created enough of a cushion to win the meet.
These two teams will see each other again soon at the Hoosier Heritage Conference meet in the middle of December. Until then, both will have multiple opportunities for continued improvement.