PORTLAND—South Adams claimed two first place finishes in the preliminary round of the IHSAA girls swimming sectional Thursday night at Jay County High School, but the Bellmont Squaws finished the night by advancing 11 swimmers to the final round on Saturday.
No team score is kept during the preliminary round as teams battle to whittle the field down to a consolation and championship round on Saturday. The top eight finishers in each event will go to the championship round while those placing 9-16 swim for consolation points.
Kara DeLong and Cady Farlow got the only Adams County blue ribbons at the Jay tourney with DeLong splashing her way to a 1:05.08 finish in the 100 backstroke to record a .26 of a second win over Norwell's Kimberlee Bussey and Farlow "cruised" to a 1.55 second win in the 100 breaststroke over Kaitlin Kerrigan of Muncie Central.
Fans who blinked an eye at the end of the 100 freestyle race were in trouble as Farlow was barely beaten by Katy Smeltzer of Jay County by a mere :56.99-:57.00. Rachel Klingensmith of Bellmont was a close third at :57.52.
"We had a solid night. We had 17 personal best swims and have eight girls swimming in both of their events Saturday. We had some people on the bubble that had good swims to get into Saturday's swims. Some of our girls were trying to put themselves into position to swim well Saturday so they didn't shave or wear their faster suits," noted Bellmont coach Drew Norby.
Norby added that after analyzing the results from Thursday that "if everything finishes the way that it stands now, we would finish third behind Jay County in second and Muncie Central running away with the meet."
Action on Saturday starts at 10 a.m. for the diving competition and then at 1 p.m. for the swimming.
Teams competing in the Jay County sectional in addition to the three schools from Adams County include Bluffton, Jay County, Delta, Muncie Central, Muncie South, Norwell, and Blackford.