NEW PALESTINE — After winning the first boys swimming and diving sectional title last season, New Palestine is striving to add to the list of accomplishments during the 2023-24 season.
Depth was the key a year ago and most all of that depth returns.
Chris Kingery’s team had 22 swimmers in last year’s championship finals of the New Palestine Sectional and had a number of others in the consolation finals to score a total of 400 points at last year’s meet, beating second-place Mt. Vernon (314) and the remainder of the 11-team field.
Unfortunately for the Dragons, with all of those points, they did not have an individual or relay champion. They won the sectional but did not advance any swimmers or divers to the following week’s state finals.
“That’s our goal for this year,” Kingery said. “It was great to win that sectional but we want to ride that bus down to state and take a few of our boys and girls down there and get that feeling and accomplishment.”
Only Chase Martin, a member of a pair of New Palestine’s sectional runner-up relay teams, graduated.
Dawson Lynch, Aidan Kingery and Liam Fuller return and were all part of the second-place 200-yard medley relay team with Martin. Ashton Turner, Dontae Thompson and Fuller joined Martin on the runner-up group in the 200 freestyle relay.
Aidan Kingery was second in the 100 breaststroke and Cade Rodgers earned a second in the 1-meter diving competition. James Watson was third in the 200 freestyle. Aidan Stephens was fourth in diving and joined Rodgers as a regional qualifier.
Blake Hurst, Reese Cox and Jake Myers were all big contributors last year, too.
And, coach Kingery’s group is still young. Fuller, Rodgers, Aidan Kingery and Hunter Chaffee are the only seniors.
“Everybody is pulling their weight this year and they’re excited and ready to get going,” coach Kingery said. “We have a lot of good returning talent coming back losing only one senior in Chase Martin.”
The team opens the season Tuesday with a home meet against Indianapolis Cathedral.
“They just want to keep getting better every time day-in and day-out,” the coach added. “They enjoyed (last year). A lot of that team won two junior high (Hoosier Heritage Conference) championships and come in and win a sectional, they are hungry. They want to win and have big expectations.”
2023-24 New Palestine Boys Swimming Schedule
Nov. 21;vs. Cathedral;5:30 p.m.
Nov. 28;at Greenfield-Central;5:30 p.m.
Nov. 30;vs. Perry Meridian;5:30 p.m.
Dec. 5;at Mt. Vernon;5:30 p.m.
Dec. 9;at East Central Relays;11 a.m.
Dec. 12;vs. Pendleton Heights;5:30 p.m.
Dec. 14;vs. New Castle;5:30 p.m.
Dec. 19;at Shelbyville;5:30 p.m.
Jan. 13;HHC Meet (at New Palestine);9 a.m.
Jan. 18;vs. Connersville;6 p.m.
Jan. 20;at Warren Central Invitational;10 a.m.
Jan. 29;at Greenwood/Roncalli;5:30 p.m.