Although the Columbus North boys swim team will race in at least five events at the Indiana High School Athletic Association state meet Friday and Saturday, it came just short of winning its sectional championship.
The Bull Frogs, who finished second at the Columbus North Sectional on Monday with 448 points, closed late but couldn’t get past eventual champion Bloomington South, which accumulated 477 points.
Columbus North, however, had plenty of reason to celebrate. Freshman Michael Brinegar won sectional titles in the 200 free in 1:41.57 and the 500 free in 4:29.91.
The Bull Frogs’ 200 free relay team consisting of Matt Freudenthaler, Chase McQueen, Kevin Zhang and Brinegar also earned a championship in 1:27.49, as did the 400 free relay team of Freudenthaler, Jared Imlay, McQueen and Brinegar in 3:13.15.
Freudenthaler earned a state berth in the 100 butterfly, finishing second and touching in 51.29 seconds, under the state qualifying time.
McQueen could be added to the state meet in the 100 free after missing the qualifying time by one-hundredth of a second with a second-place finish in 47.38 seconds.
“We set ourselves up pretty well to do well at state and to place pretty high,” Brinegar said. “Everybody did pretty well.”
“Coming into the meet, we were probably 60 to 70 points behind, and we closed it to 29,” Columbus North coach Jim Sheridan said. “I couldn’t be more proud of the way these guys got up and raced. We did everything we could in this meet.”
The Bull Frogs also advanced two divers to Wednesday’s regional. Kaemon Jiles and Danny Wheeler, who finished first and second, respectively, move on to the next round.
“I’m really proud of all my boys,” North diving coach Lauren Hawes said. “We really focused on the little things — our approaches and our entries. They went in with a lot of confidence, knowing they had solid dives.”
“I feel like we have a good chance of moving on. If they dive Wednesday like they did today, I think they’ll move on,” she said.
East’s Cordell Glass, who finished fourth, also qualified for the diving regional.
No East swimmers qualified for the state meet, but for Olympians coach Dave Fribley, the team’s fifth-place finish was far from disappointing.
“We fought all night long to get back into fifth place, and we finally did it with that last relay,” Fribley said. “Great finish. It’s what I thought they could do if they really went after it, and they really came through. For some of the seniors, I’ve been trying to convince them how good they could be if they really decided to go after it, and this year they decided to do it. We’ve had a tremendous season.”
East’s best individual finish was in the 100 free, with Jacob Smith taking home seventh in 50.09 seconds. The Olympians’ 200 free relay team of Smith, Charles Rix, Joseph Krause and Samuel Lewis finished fourth in 1:33.55. The same four finished sixth in the 400 free relay in 3:27.85.
“I like the relays because you get to work with a team. It’s not an individual sport. It’s nice to work with a group of guys,” Krause said.
“You want to come give what you’ve got and see what happens. I feel pretty good. I’m happy it’s over, and I’m happy with what we did.”