Bellmont boys take third against state-bound NHC teams

    FORT WAYNE — State powers Homestead and Carroll duked it out as expected for honors in both the boys and girls swim titles in the annual NHC meet Saturday at Homestead with Homestead winning both events.
    Homestead captured the girls meet with 578 points while Carroll was second at 451 followed by East Noble at 235, Bellmont 221, DeKalb 177, Columbia City 164, and Norwell 159.  The boys meet was closer with Homestead taking a 38-point decision over Carroll by a 529-491 count. Bellmont was a solid third with 318, finishing in the same position in which they were seeded entering the meet, while Columbia City was fourth at 237 followed by Norwell 178 and DeKalb and East Noble being tied for sixth at 128.
    Although Bellmont did not record any individual victories in the meet, the boys set two new school records in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays.
     Mason Werling, Michael Miller, Zac Torrey, and Jay Watters made up both relay teams. The 200 relay saw Bellmont finish third overall in 1:31.63 behind Carroll's 1:29.96 and Homestead's 1:30.56. The old school record for the Braves was 1:31.94 set in the 2010-11 season. In the final event of the day, the 400 relay, the Braves were again third with a time of 3:22.94, this time behind Homestead at 3:17.22 and Carroll at 3:22.07. The old standard of 3:22.94 for Bellmont was established in 2010-11 as well.
    Watters outstroked the anchor of Carroll in the 400 relay by nearly 1.5 seconds to almost give the Braves a second place finish. In a near photo-finish in the 500 freestyle, Miller was just an arm's length away from a first place finish being nosed out by Joseph Wendt of Carroll, 5:06.10-5:06.48. Miller then recovered to swim the second leg of the school record 200 freestyle relay in the very next event.
    An even closer race came in the 50 freestyle as Watters was topped by Cole Smith of Columbia City by just .12, :22.23 to :22.35. This race was the only event of the day in either the boys or girls meet not won by Homestead or Carroll. So dominant were those two teams was evidenced by the fact the two teams won all the second place finishes as well with the exception of those earned by Miller and Watters.
    For the second year in a row, Watters was named to the NHC first team while Miller and Torrey were second teamers and Werling was placed on the honorable mention list.
    The Bellmont boys scored 28 personal bests on the day.
    In the girls meet, the Squaws had 19 personal bests in the meet and Rachel Klingensmith was selected to the NHC Second Team while Erin Hunter and Chloe Mock were honorable mention picks.
    Homestead and Carroll swept all first and second place finishes with the best Bellmont finishes coming from Klingensmith who was third with a personal best of  :26.15 in the 50 freestyle and the 400 freestyle relay crew of Hunter, Mock, Mikayla Voglewede and Klingensmith  that was third with a best time of 4:02.03.