GREENFIELD — As a three-time state finalist, Greenfield-Central junior Alyssa Osborn is no stranger to finding success in the pool.

This season, the success was still there, but for many reasons, the third year of her high school swimming career was much different.

The 2024 Daily Reporter Girls Swimming Athlete of the Year dealt with an emotional cancer diagnosis to head coach Emily Logan, a switch to a more challenging lineup of events, and tougher training.

It all worked out with Osborn’s most successful season yet, highlighted by a podium finish at the state finals.

“It was really special for me and our whole team. Cece [Duffy Johnson] was a senior, so I know that was a big highlight for her. We all worked really hard to get to that place,” Osborn said. “Being in that ready room at state was such a weird feeling because we had never been there before. All the adrenaline was pumping, but it was a really good feeling to be there.”

Osborn competed in four events at the state finals, but the podium finish stood above the rest.

She, along with Johnson, Rachel Stutz and Selah Vahle earned the program’s first top-eight placement in the 12 years under coach Logan. In the 200-yard freestyle relay they placed seventh with a time of 1:37.78.

“I had to watch it from my couch, unfortunately, but that was very special. The girls have been super successful over the past couple of years, but the one thing we had not done yet was get on the podium. We made that a goal from the start of the season,” Logan said. “With everything that went on this year, I can’t tell you how impressive these kids are. They just used everything with me and took it to the next level. Instead of falling apart, they used it to really push themselves and that was very special. I loved watching them and cheered very loudly from the couch. I’m sure they could hear me at the natatorium.”

Along with the 200 free relay, Osborn competed in three other events and found nearly as much success.

With the same team, she placed 11th in the 400 freestyle relay and set a school record in the prelims with a time of 3:31.59. Individually, she was 13th in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:06.10, and 14th in the 200 IM with a time of 2:08.52. In the prelims, Osborn swam a school-record time of 2:06.69 in the IM.

“She is a naturally-gifted swimmer, but she also works really hard and pushes others around her. She’s not a talented swimmer who doesn’t work hard. It’s two-fold where she’s great at both,” Logan said. “Those freestyle relay kids just push each other on a day-to-day basis. She and Rachel were big driving forces on those teams. They were super hungry for it and really drove each other to get to that point.”

For Osborn though, the lead-up to state was much tougher this year than it had been for her in the past.

“The training heading up to state was a lot different this year. I really had to push myself a lot harder than I have in prior years,” Osborn said. “The whole issue with Emily was definitely a big effect on our whole team too because it scared and worried all of us.”

The trip to the IU Natatorium was Osborn’s third, and though getting ready for state was more difficult this time around, her mentality when it came to her races was different, too.

As a freshman she made it to Saturday in just one of her three events, and as a sophomore advanced in three out of four. This time, she placed top 16 in all four of her events.

“The experience has changed each year for me,” Osborn said. “Freshman year it was more just going and seeing competition that we don’t normally go against and what I could do. Sophomore year it hit me that I could actually do something, and then this year it was a big change where I had a lot of goals set. I wanted to make finals in all of my races and I was able to do that.”

It wasn’t just the state finals where Osborn found success.

She helped the Cougars go undefeated in regular season dual meets, win the Hoosier Heritage Conference championship, and win their 11th straight sectional title.

She was a sectional champion in all four of her events and helped set two sectional records. The 200 free team swam a 1:37.54, about 1.5 seconds better than the record-setting 2023 G-C team, and the 400 free team broke G-C’s 2022 record by seven seconds with a swim of 3:33.29.

“As a swimmer, she has taken a lot more attention to her technique. As she’s grown she’s figured that out and has grown mentally when it comes to training. She was super quiet as a freshman too. Her and Rachel kind of kept to themselves because I think they were scared of everybody. Now they’re vocal, and they laugh and joke,” Logan said. “With me being gone Alyssa would text me all the time to check in and see how things were going. We’ve built a great relationship. It’s been fun to be a part of her journey and to see her grow over the years.”

At the conference meet, she was first in all four of her events as well and set both HHC and school records.

The 200 free relay’s time of 1:38.72 set a new HHC record, and the 400 free relay swam a 3:37.29, beat the rest of the field by over 11 seconds and was two seconds faster than the record time of 3:39.35 set back in 2007.

On her own, Osborn won both the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke and set the 50 free school record in her leg of the 200 free relay.

And she accomplished all of those things with a tougher lineup of events.

In previous years Osborn swam her two individual events – the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke – along with the 200 free relay and the 200 medley relay.

This year, she was switched off the 200 medley and onto the 400 free relay.

“Throughout the season we practiced it so that definitely helped get me prepared to do it at state,” Osborn said. “It is a little hard to do that going from one race to another like that at state though.”

With the switch, Osborn competed in three of the final four events at most meets. Her only break came during the 100 backstroke.

“She is a great all-around swimmer and that’s why she can do that. She’s obviously an extremely talented freestyler and breaststroker, but she’s great at all four strokes. She’s just a versatile kid,” Logan said. “She was a little nervous about switching because it puts her in a little tighter of a crunch. I just looked at her and said ‘you’re going to be just fine,’ and she was. Once she got comfortable with it she just kind of took off from there.”

While already being a three-time state finalist, a podium placer at state, a sectional champion, a conference champion, and the holder of multiple school, HHC and sectional records, Osborn still has something to accomplish and prove in her senior season.

“I hope to break some more conference and sectional records in my events,” she said. “And I just really want to place top eight in my individual races.”

The Daily Reporter

2024 All-Hancock County

Girls Swimming and Diving Team

Eastern Hancock: Sophia Dolence, Sarah Ebert

Greenfield-Central: Kaylie Butler, Avery Davis, Caroline Felver, Kersey Hudson, Sonja Jahrsdoerfer, Katie Jennings, CeCe Johnson, Josie Kinnaman, Alyssa Osborn, Taylor Parsons, Rachel Stutz, Selah Vahle

New Palestine: Lillie Abernathy, Adrianna Huston, Sullie Leavell, Chloe Siler, Isabelle Tull

Mt. Vernon: Emme Grubbs, Annelise Hiner, Catherine Hiner, Maddie Meyer, Calista Smith

Swimmer of the Year: Alyssa Osborn, Greenfield-Central

Coach of the Year: Emily Logan, Greenfield-Central