JEFFERSONVILLE — From the first event Saturday afternoon, it was evident that Jeffersonville would be the team to beat at the Hoosier Hills Conference boys swimming championships.
The Red Devils cruised to their sixth conference championship in seven years with a winning score of 348 points.
The Columbus East Olympians, who as of late had been swimming well, finished in seventh place with 90 points.
East got off to a slow start in meet placing seventh in the 200 medley relay. Through most of the afternoon, the Olympians took part in the opening heats of the events, often times without another swimmer in the lane next to them. Mentally, this can make it tough for a swimmer to push to get a lower time.
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“I brought the guys out into the hallway and gave them a little halftime talk,” East head coach David Fribley said.
“I told them, ‘Let’s focus and go out here and swim like we have been all year,’ and from then on I felt like we swam harder.”
The Olympians set multiple personal bests, including sophomore Gavin Roberts, who Fribley thought had the best individual swim during the 100 backstroke. Roberts finished the event with a time of 1:07.00.
Though they finished in seventh place, East did not leave the meet without a record-setting performance. Senior diver Cordell Glass put together a stellar performance in winning the 1-meter dive with a score of 472.6. His score broke the previous Jeffersonville pool record of 457.15 that had stood since 1976.
Glass’ score would have placed him second at last year’s state championships.
Having entered the meet with a personal best of 428, Glass was excited to find out he had made history.
“This was a great accomplishment for me, and I wasn’t expecting it coming in,” he said. “I didn’t know about the record, so I’m pretty excited. Really, I was just shooting for my own pool record today, which I was able to break easily and happily.”
Throughout the past few weeks, Glass has taken mental strides to improve his performance on the diving board.
“Cordell has come a long way the past couple of weeks,” Fribley stated. “He would get so frustrated with himself when he would miss a dive or not hit it perfectly. He has really learned to just stay relaxed and move on with it, and it is really showing in his diving as of late.”
Moving forward, Glass said he aims to post a six-dive score above 300 — and to place at the state meet.
Coming into the meet with nothing to lose, Fribley felt proud of his team’s effort and that they accomplished their goal to keep improving week after week.
Seymour placed third in the meet, powered by a winning effort from Noah Ballard in the 200 IM (2:05.63). Ballard also placed second in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:02.49, and the Owls’ 200 medley relay team was third (1:51.64).