Boys swim team seeks 2nd straight sectionals title


Sam Findley

Senior Aidan Lyness swims butterfly during the final regular season meet of the season against Franklin on Jan. 26. Center Grove won 101-82.

Ben Baranko and Maddy Howell

Today, the boys swim team will step on the blocks for the sectionals finals at home. While the Trojans hope to advance as many swimmers to state as possible, they will first have to get past challengers like Indian Creek and Franklin. 

“Pretty much all season has been planned to prepare us for this meet. We design our training so that we’ll feel as fast as possible and to place highly,” senior Jonah Brandon said. “In the past, sectionals has been viewed as our biggest and toughest meet, but this season we’re putting that weight on the state meet. To make it to state, you have to either win an event at sectionals or go fast enough to get called back, so it’s still very important we perform well at sectionals.” 

In prelims on Thursday, roughly 20 swimmers competed in each event, allowing up to three swimmers per school. Then, the top 16 times were selected to compete on Saturday to ultimately score points. Unlike any other team in the sectional, the Trojans were able to score all of their swimmers in the top eight to compete in the finals heat. This will help pull them out of an initial hole due to not having any divers on the team this year, especially against their biggest rival, Franklin.

“We’ve already beat them twice this season and we have the better team swim-wise, but we have no divers so we pretty much start in a 30 or so point deficit,” Brandon said. “Having no divers is definitely a huge disadvantage on paper, but I feel it motivates the team more knowing that we’re staring down and we really have to earn our points.” 

Although sectionals is an important meet, that’s not where the team’s attention is focused. Being under new leadership with head coach Brad Smith, their ultimate goal isn’t necessarily winning sectionals, but placing in the top five at state. 

“I think winning this meet should be something the team should be proud of, but not too proud. Winning sectionals should be the standard for our team,” senior Evan Hernadez said. “I believe the team should use a win as a morale boost to get ready for high school state a week after.”

After snapping Franklin’s nine-year sectionals winning streak last year, a win would help reinforce the swim team’s ultimate goal of putting Center Grove back on the map.                                                                                                                                                              

“I think the boys are all excited to get another sectional championship under our belt, and our energy is definitely focused on making waves at the state meet and putting Center Grove back into the spotlight,” senior Connor Conkin said.