Bravesâ€™ 200 team takes aim at a BHS state milestone
ON TO INDY â€” This Bellmont High School foursome will be competing tonight in the preliminary round of the IHSAA Boys Swimming and Diving finals in the 200 freestyle relay. On the squard are: (L-R) Zac Torrey, Matt Mock, Austin McCord and Jat Watters. Watters will also compete in the 50 and 100 freestyle events. (Photo by Jim Hopkins)
Bellmont's 400 freestyle relay team broke the school record in the Jay County Sectional last Saturday. That record had stood for 27 years. Ironically, that was the last time that Bellmont advanced a swimmer to the second day of state competition. Bellmont's four swimmers set for the 2011 Boys Swimming and Diving State Championships feel they have a chance to break that skein and earn some Bellmont points at Indy.
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"It's the very last swim for me and Austin (McCord) ever, so we'll give it everything we have, and we'll be fresh since it's the only competition for most of us when we get to this point so we should be able to get the best time we've ever had," stated Bellmont senior Matt Mock, a member of the 200 freestlyle relay team set for competition tonight at the IUPUI Natatorium.
Mock and McCord will be joined by junior Jay Watters, who will be in three events, and sophomore Zac Torrey. The foursome swam a 1:31.94 at the sectional and that broke the school record they set earlier this year versus East Noble. They are seeded 29th, but a couple of seconds could help them make the jump to the top 16, which will compete for finals and consolation finals places on Saturday.
"Matt came right out of 500 (at sectional) so he's capable of swimming a lot faster, so if we can break the record again and go about 1:30 we have a chance to sneak in," noted coach Drew Norby.
"I'm pretty sure that Matt and Austin want to go 22, and I know I want to go 21 and Jay will go 21, and if we go under (1:30) 30 we'll probably make it to day two," said Torrey, the anchor to the foursome.
"It's kind of sad that we're leaving. Hopefully, we'll go out with the bang," said McCord, noting that he and Mock will be finishing their careers.
Watters will compete in both the 50 and 100 yard freestyle events after winning the later and qualifying in the 50.
"I'm ranked 19th right now. If I drop a quarter of a second I can move onto Saturday, but I'll pretty much have to have a perfect swim," said Watters of his 50 yard assignment. His 21.71 broke the record set in 1997 by Vic Verrone of 21.93.
"Jay has a real chance to make it in the 50," noted Norby. "The key is making the turn. He has to hit it. If he does, I like his chances."
There were four school records broken at sectional, with Watters setting the 50 and 100, the 200 team breaking their own mark, and the 400 free team of Michael Miller, Watters, Torrey and Mock going 3:23.01 to top the 3:24.13 of the '84 squad, composed of Dennis and Doug Hake, Henrik Jenson and Tom Krueckeberg, a current assistant swim coach at Bellmont.
"The 400 free record was the one time I didn't know if we could get there. But I was wrong. We broke that record by over a second," said Norby.
These Bellmonters will be out to prove some other people wrong tonight.