Girls swim and dive teams kick off sectionals at Franklin Community High School


Sarah McCartney

Junior Devin Trammell competes in a backstroke.

Braiden Doane, Staff Writer

The varsity girls swim team will kick off sectionals in the prelim round at Franklin Community High School this Thursday at 5:30 p.m. Last season the girl’s finished runner up to Franklin, whose team placed second in the state competition. 

“Heading into sectionals I’m making sure to practice hard throughout these last few weeks of the season,” sophomore Laney Martlage said. “If I’m able to drop any time I will be pretty pleased; however, I’m hoping to go a 1:10 in the 100 breast which is a five second drop from my current time of a 1:15. My other goal is to make it back to Saturday’s finals.”

Among the Grizzlies lineup is junior Kabria Chapman, a 100-breast A finalist in the IHSAA Championships last year with a time of 1:03.60, and senior Sarah Hoffman, who has competed in the state meet for the 500.

“Going into the meet, we’re not going to beat them, but racing them is a really good opportunity because they can push us,” senior and 500 swimmer Gracie Marsh said. “To advance to state you have to get first in your event at sectionals or go fast enough to get a callback. In going fast enough, this meet will give us an opportunity to still get a few relays and individual events through to state.”

Unlike other sports, IHSAA swimming does not have a regional competition, and the entire team does not need to win sectionals in order to advance further in the state tournament. Rather, individuals and relays can earn places in these meets.

“I’m nervous for sectionals, because I have been very hopeful all season to go a certain time in my 100 backstroke,” junior Marie Encarnado said.”I feel that my team and I need to go into sectionals with a positive mindset and show confidence in our abilities. It’s also important that we don’t get down on ourselves when we get tired.”

For seniors swimmers in the Trojan lineup such as Marsh, sectionals is the last opportunity to demonstrate the results of years of rigorous practice.

“Being my last time competing for Center Grove, I’m definitely feeling a lot of emotions. I’m sad, because I’m going to miss some aspects a lot, however I’m also excited to get to compete one last time,” Marsh said. “I feel like I have really put in the work this year, in order to go the times I’m hoping for at sectionals, and hopefully I will have a chance to place higher and score more points for my team.” 

If the girls make top sixteen, they will continue into the finals on Saturday morning at 1:00 p.m.

“[Our] biggest weakness would be that we’re unlikely to win, but we can’t let that get to our heads. We have to keep a good attitude in order to place well and drop times. It’s a really big mental thing. Sectionals is your chance to show everything you’ve put in during the past four months, so keeping the right mindset is one of the hardest things for me personally. If we have good attitudes, we have a better shot at advancing past sectionals,” Marsh said.