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Action in the annual Indiana High School Athletic Association boys swimming sectional will get underway tonight at 5:30 p.m. at Jay County High School in Portland with Muncie Central and Bellmont among the favored teams.
The latest statewide swim poll conducted by Indiana swim coaches lists Muncie Central in 41st position while Bellmont is 52nd. They are the only two teams entered in the Jay County sectional that are ranked.
Bellmont comes into the fray with the top seeds in three events with Jay Watters holding two of those. Watters has the best heat time in the 50 and 100 freestyle events with times of :21.86 and :49.99 respectively. His time in the 50 freestyle is better than the state cut time of :21.93 (any swimmer who tops the state cut time in the sectional automatically advances to the state finals) while his 100 effort is 1.82 seconds above the state standard of :48.17. He is the only swimmer in the 100 field that has cracked the 50 second barrier this year.
Bellmont also has the best seed in the 200 freestyle relay with the team of Austin McCord, Matt Mock, Zac Torrey, and anchored by Watters comes in a 1:32.69, a whopping 4.31 seconds better than the second place Muncie Central foursome. Still, the Bearcats from Muncie are favored in the meet as they hold the top seeds in the other eight swimming events. John Dowdle, Zach Haller, and Dan Proctor all have two individual events in which they stand at the top of the competition with their times.
South Adams and Adams Central are also entered in the competition. South Adams' best chance appears to be in the 100 breaststroke where Caleb Wurster is seeded second at 1:08.15. The SA 200 freestyle relay team is fourth while those holding sixth place seeds are the 200 medley relay team, the 400 freestyle relay crew, Mitchel Kaverman in the 100 breaststroke, and Joel Schmidt in the 100 backstroke.
For Adams Central, their top position is held by Dylan Krueger in the 100 breaststroke at third at 1:10.22. Ellison Kaehr is fifth in the 50 freestyle event at :23.58.
Bellmont has three of the top six times in the 500 freestyle with Mock third at 5:22.78, Michael Miller fourth at 5:24.60, and Adam Ralston fifth at 5:35.69. Dowdle is a clear favorite in the race for Muncie Central, however, being the only sub-5:00 swimmer at 4:54.70, nearly 24 seconds better than the second place swimmer.
Other top six seeds for Bellmont finds Miller second in the 200 IM at 2:13.87, the 400 freestyle relay team is second at 3:27.75, the 200 medley relay team is third at 1:50.31, Torrey is third and Mock is fifth in the 200 freestyle in 1:55.07 and 1:56.80 respectively, and Mason Werling is third in the 200 IM in 2:14.27.