The postseason begins today for Adams Central, Bellmont and South Adams’ girls’ swimming and diving teams.
All three county schools will participate in the Jay County sectional, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The top 16 times in each events will advance to Saturday, with competition beginning at 9 a.m. Additional teams competing in this sectional are Blackford, Bluffton, Delta, Eastbrook, Jay County, Muncie Central, Muncie South Side and Norwell.
One of the events to watch on Thursday and especially Saturday will be the 100 breaststroke, with Adams County swimmers making up four of the top 10 seeds – Cady Farlow of South Adams, Reagan Burry and Sarah Evans of Bellmont and Victoria Richardson of South Adams.
South Adams fields a youthful lineup in this year’s sectional - Kara DeLong is the lone senior. DeLong is seeded second in the 100 yard butterfly and the 100 yard backstroke.
“Kara has matured more than any other senior I’ve had for awhile,” South Adams coach Janelle Gresla said. “She has been one of my hardest workers and shows great leadership.”
In DeLong’s top two events – the butterfly and backstroke – she will have an eye on the school records, which Gresla said is a reachable goal.
Sophomore Cady Farlow is seeded first in the 100 yard breaststroke – an event she hasn’t lost all season – and is five seconds faster than the second seed. Farlow set the sectional and pool record at last year's sectional in 1:07.75. As well, Farlow is seeded second in the 100 freestyle, and with DeLong on the third-seeded 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay teams. South Adams has at least one swimmer seeded in the top 16 in six of the eight individual swimming events.
Freshman Victoria Richardson is seeded 10th in the 100 breaststroke at 1:19.53, a seven-second drop from the start of the season. Fellow freshman Sidney Sprunger is seeded third, just behind DeLong in the 100 backstroke, and sophomore Sylvia Marbach 12th in the 500 freestyle.
Bellmont is no stranger to swimming fast, especially of late. Just last week, sophomore Reagan Burry broke the 30-year-old 100 breaststroke record, and junior Sarah Evans tied the record set in 1983.
And Bellmont’s Drew Norby knows they could swim even faster at sectional.
Besides the 100 breaststroke, Norby believes the 200 IM, 50 and 100 freestyles, 200 and 400 freestyle relays all have the possibility of having new record holders with his team’s sectional swims.
“We will try to make this meet our fastest meet,” Norby said. “We want everyone who swims to get into that top 16 and get to Saturday, so we can maximize our scoring potential.”
On Thursday, Norby will keep a close eye on his swimmers that are on the bubble to break into the top eight times. Chloe Mock in the 200 freestyle (seeded 10th), Brittney Hartman in the 50 (8th) and 100 freestyles (10th), Peighton Morlan in the 100 freestyle (16th), and Mikayla Voglewede in the 500 freestyle (10th) – all teeter on the edge of contributing big points to Bellmont’s total.
Evans is seeded third in the 200 IM and fifth in the 100 yard breaststroke. Morlan sits at fifth in the 100 backstroke, Voglewede fourth in the 200 freestyle, Mock second in the 500 freestyle, and junior Rachel Klingensmith fourth in the 50 freestyle and fifth in the 100 freestyle.
Adams Central coach Patti Sauer admits that her team doesn't look great on paper – the Jets have just one swimmer seeded in that top 16. So, Thursday is going to be the big day for Adams Central, with the primary goal of improving on individual times. That's where the individual accomplishments will show up for Adams Central.
Senior YuLeeza McCullough is seeded 14th in the 500 freestyle and 17th in the 100 yard backstroke. Freshman Taylor Clark is listed 17th in the 100 butterfly.
"The kids are excited about sectional," Sauer said. "We've really had a fun season."