When the Columbus North girls swimmers take the pool for Saturday’s North Sectional finals, the Bull Frogs will be an overwhelming favorite to win their fourth consecutive sectional title and their 31st in the past 32 years.
The 15th-ranked Frogs are the only team ranked in the top 40 in the sectional, which begins tonight with preliminaries. Bloomington South is tied for No. 43, and Columbus East is tied for No. 45.
North will be looking to swim fast to set itself up for next weekend’s state meet. The winners in each event, plus any others making the state cut, receive automatic bids to the state finals. If less than 12 non-winners from the state’s 20 sectionals make the state cut in an event, those with the next-best times will be added as call-backs.
“I think these girls are capable of breaking a school record or two in the sectional championship,” North coach Jim Sheridan said. “What we’ve talked about all year with these young women is stepping it up a notch with their heart and figuring out what they really want out of the sport of swimming. It varies among all the different individuals, and that’s what you get in a sport like ours.”
The Bull Frogs are seeded first in nine of the 11 swimming events, including all three relays, and first through third in the 200-yard freestyle and 100 backstroke. They have three of the top four seeds in the 100 butterfly and three of the top five in the 500 freestyle.
Senior Marah Bieger is the No. 1 seed in the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke, and sophomore Grace Haskett is the top seed in the 50 freestyle and 100 backstroke. Junior Mackenzie Fry is seeded No. 1 in the 200 freestyle and No. 2 in the 100 butterfly, while senior Maddie Wyke is No. 1 in the 100 butterfly and No. 2 in the 200 freestyle.
Sophomore Jennifer Gutman and junior Cori Taylor are seeded second and third in the 500 freestyle, and sophomore Alexandra Nusawardhana and Kaitlyn Niebrugge are second and third in the 100 backstroke. Sophomore Darby Coles is third in the 100 freestyle and fourth in the 200 individual medley, senior Karen Wildemann is fourth in the 100 freestyle and fifth in the 50 freestyle, Nusawardhana is fourth in the 100 butterfly, Taylor is fourth in the 100 breaststroke, and senior Kelcie Davie is fifth in the 500 freestyle.
“We have a group of five (Bieger, Haskett, Fry, Wyke and Wildemann) that will continue to taper down for the state championship,” Sheridan said. “The other girls are getting ready for the sectional to give them the best opportunity to move on to the state meet. But the way they’ve trained this year, the opportunity to stay solid between sectional and state is there.”
East’s top seed is Cortney VanLiew, who is No. 3 in both the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly. The Olympians are seeded fourth in the 200 freestyle relay and fifth in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays.
Wrestling regional Saturday
Jennings County will lead area wrestling teams with entrants in 12 of the 14 weight classes in Saturday’s Jeffersonville Regional. The top four in each class advance to the Feb. 14 Evansville Semistate.
Sophomore Andrew Herrin (145 pounds), senior Wes Furgason (160) and junior Peyton Shepherd (182) are No. 1 seeds for the Panthers. Senior Anthony Engelking (138), juniors Cole Chandler (152) and Christian Redmond (195) and sophomore Brendan Sutton (285) are No. 2 seeds. Freshman Dalton Craig (106) and junior Logan Applegate (120) are No. 3 seeds, senior Peyton Gerkin (170) is a No. 4 seed, freshman Brady Shepherd (220) is a No. 5 seed and senior Kyle Lewis (113) is a No. 6 seed.
Columbus East and Columbus North will each be represented in seven weight classes. Freshman Graham Rooks (106) is a No. 1 seed. Freshman Dawson Combest (113) is a No. 2 seed, while junior Coy Park is a No. 3 seed, juniors Quade Greiwe (195) and Sean Galligar (285) are No. 4 seeds, junior Jake Martindale (126) is a No. 6 seed and junior Ben Wilkerson (138) is a No. 8 seed.
“Our regional is a lot of our conference teams, so we’re pretty familiar with all those kids,” East coach Chris Cooper said. “That’s kind of good and bad in that sometimes. This will be the third time we’ve wrestled some of those guys. But in a lot of cases, we’ve beat the guy twice already, so I’m pretty comfortable with where we’re at.”
Columbus North senior Brandon Woods (220) is a No. 3 seed. Freshman Isaiah Peetz (106), sophomore Patrich Shehan (120), junior Brett Bosserman (145) and freshman Andrew Chapman (160) are No. 5 seeds, while senior Braden Hinckley (138) is a No. 6 seed and junior Alex Davidson (152) is a No. 8 seed.
Brown County sophomore Evan Bullock (120) is a No. 1 seed. Senior Jacob Strickland (132) is a No. 3 seed, while freshman Colten Harper (113) is a No. 4 seed. Senior Dakota Patterson (145) and junior Bristen Dial (182) are No. 7 seeds.
Seymour junior Garrett Johnson (132) is a No. 5 seed. Sophomore John Shuffitt (126) and senior Tristan Sitterding (170) are No. 8 seeds.
Hauser freshmen go unbeaten
The future looks bright for the Hauser boys basketball program. The Jets’ freshman team went 17-0 and won the Mid-Hoosier Conference Tournament.
Hauser, coached by Doug Johnson, beat several bigger schools, including Columbus North, Batesville, Shelbyville, Greensburg and Brown County. The Jets won all but two games by double digits.
Team members included Andrew Titus, Mason Sherman, Sam Meek, Bradley Paetzel, Alex Gross, Joe Sweet, Matt Sweet, Jacob Rose, Sam Robinson and Jon Hatton.
Eagles senior signs with Ancilla
Brown County senior Dakota Anderson has signed a letter-of-intent to play softball at Ancilla College.
Anderson, who plays shortstop, third base and left field, has helped the Eagles to two Western Indiana Conference titles and won the Coach’s Award last season. She also plays with the Angels Fastpitch travel team.
“When I went up (to Ancilla) for my visit, the beautiful campus made me feel like I was at home,” Anderson said in a news release.
3 to enter Brown County Hall of Fame
Three former standouts or coaches will be inducted into the Brown County Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday.
Jenny Kulow, Wes Ault and Steve Makurat will be inducted at halftime of Saturday night’s boys basketball game against Greencastle. The varsity game will begin about 7:30 p.m.