The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


Girls swimming competes in state final prelims

Ethan Gable
Senior Lara Phipps swims during the Hall of Fame meet on December 2, 2023.

With a third-straight sectional title under their belts, the girls swim team heads downtown to the IU Natatorium for the next two days to compete in the state finals.

Eight swimmers will dive in tonight for the State prelims, competing in six individual events and all three relays.

Senior Lara Phipps, who qualified for the 50 free, 100 free, 200 free relay and 400 free relay has an eye on her competition.

“In the 100 free there is last year’s champ Lilian Christanson and Lilian Ratzclaff who raced with me at sectionals,” Phipps said. “Christianson is also in the 50 free with Julie Mishler, which will be a very close race.

The key for Phipps to perform well in her individual races comes down to her staying focused and trusting all of the training she has done to prepare.

“The biggest struggle for me is to swim all four of my events in back-to-back days,” Phipps said. “I’ve known from the past that it gets very tiring, and I’ll have to keep mentally and physically strong throughout the meet.”

After medaling in the 200 Individual Medley and the 100 Butterfly at last year’s state meet, Phipps switched her focus to freestyle this season. She enters today’s meet with a Top-3 seed in each of her individual events, including the top seed in the 100 free. After swimming her individual events, Phipps will also anchor the final two relays.

“The main competition for the relays will be Fishers [in the 200 free relay] with Carmel pulling ahead in the 400 free relay,” Phipps said. “The relay is more about helping my teammates get hyped and ready to swim fast. As an anchor they rely on me to bring it home and motivate them while swimming.”

It is not junior Tenley Wilkins first go at the state meet, although this year she has qualified with a call back in the 100 free, 200 free relay and the 200 medley relay. 

“I think that knowing we are ranked above all of the other schools in the 200 free relay will strike some nerves into some of us,” Wilkins said. “But as the state meet gets closer, we become more ready to prove that ranking right.”

After swimming in a relay at least year’s state meet, sophomore Addyson Matern will swim in four events this season, including two individual events.

“I definitely do feel pressure being younger than most,” Matern said. “But it’s a good motivational pressure and it makes me feel like I need to work harder to show that I am good. I was able to go to the state meet last year but only in a relay so there’s definitely a different feel. This year I am a lot more focused on this meet since it’s an individual race that I’m swimming in.”

For all individual events and relays, a Top 16 finish in tonight’s prelims will advance to tomorrow’s finals, where the team will be looking for a Top 5 finish.

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