East, North swimmers seeking state berths

Bloomington South and Bloomington North may have more depth heading into this weekend’s Columbus North girls swimming sectional, but the host Bull Frogs have the most No. 1 seeds.

Columbus North has top seeds in seven of the 11 swimming events, including all three relays, going into tonight’s preliminaries. The finals are Saturday.

Swimmers with the top eight times from tonight’s prelims qualify for Saturday’s championship finals, while the next eight make the consolation finals. Winners and other swimmers making the state standard on Saturday, plus other needed “call-backs” to reach a field of 32 in each event, qualify for next weekend’s state finals at IUPUI’s Indiana University Natatorium.

Bull Frogs coach Bridger Bell said qualifying swimmers to state is the main focus, while the team race is secondary.

“It helps us because we have fewer in number this year, and there are more teams at sectional than at conference, so the higher our individual swimmers place, the better they score as a team,” Bell said. “But the primary focus is giving them an opportunity to make state.”

Top-seeded Bull Frogs are senior Mackenzie Fry in the 200-yard freestyle, junior Alex Nusawardhana in the 100 backstroke and senior Cori Taylor in the 100 breaststroke. Junior Darby Coles tied for the top seed in the 100 freestyle.

Fry is also seeded second in the 100 butterfly, and Coles is seeded second in the 200 individual medley. Nusawardhana is seeded third in the 100 butterfly, and sophomore Kaitlyn Niebrugge is seeded third in the 100 backstroke and fourth in the 200 IM.

Columbus East junior Cortney VanLiew is seeded second in the 50 freestyle and third in the 100 freestyle. Sophomore Whitley Eicher is seeded fifth in the 100 butterfly and seventh in the 200 IM, and the Olympians are fourth in the 200 freestyle relay and sixth in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays.

“Our goal is to get a relay or individuals to state and improve our placing over last year,” East coach Jill Arnholt said. “Whitley will be a big help in that, and I have some other girls that are coming up that have worked hard and are going to have some good times and places on Saturday.”

Wrestlers set for regional

The Columbus East and Jennings County wrestlers figure to once again battle for a championship, this time at the Jeffersonville Regional.

The Panthers beat the Olympians in a dual meet and in the Hoosier Hills Conference Tournament, but East scored a reversal in winning Saturday’s Jennings Sectional. The 10th-ranked Olympians and Panthers  are the top two teams heading into the regional.

East has 12 wrestlers entered — freshmen Cayden Rooks (106 pounds) and Jake Schoenegge (113), sophomores Graham Rooks (120), Dawson Combest (126) and Corban Pollitt (132), seniors Jake Martindale (138) and Ben Wilkerson (152), junior Austin Wilson (160), senior Coy Park (170), sophomore Lane Goode (182), junior Seth Turner (195) and senior Sean Galligar (285).

Jennings will be represented by 11 wrestlers in sophomores Victor Antunez (106), Dalton Craig (113) and Xavier Barberis (120); freshmen Nick South (126) and Brooks Wathen (138); sophomore Zane Beineke (145); seniors Andrew Herrin (152) and Cole Chandler (160); junior Sam Woolf (170); senior Christian Redmond (195) and junior Brendan Sutton (285).

Columbus North will have seven wrestlers competing — sophomore Isaiah Peetz (120), senior Alex Davidson (145), sophomores Brigham Kleinhenz (152) and Andrew Chapman (160), junior Josh Larson (182), sophomore Cortez Bandy (195) and junior David Redding (285).

Brown County junior Evan Bullock (132) and seniors Bristen Dial (182) and Andrew Gardner (220) will also vie for top-four finishes, which would earn them berths to the Feb. 13 Evansville Semistate.

North JV goes 20-0

Columbus North’s success in girls basketball the past four years hasn’t been limited to the varsity level. The Bull Dogs’ junior varsity squad completed its fourth consecutive undefeated season last week, going 20-0 to extend its winning streak to 73.

North was led by six players who are also on the varsity roster. Two of those players — sophomore Kat Norman and freshman Nadia Lomax — usually played a quarter or two of JV and then three or four quarters of varsity. The other four — sophomores Liz Tynan, Jenna Borger, Kelsey Patberg and Kenzie Patberg — played mostly JV.

Ron Patberg, who is Kenzie’s father and Kelsey’s uncle, has been the Bull Dogs’ JV coach the past six years. He said he sees bright things for this year’s group.

“We have mostly sophomores that have played together for a number of years that share the ball well,” Ron Patberg said. “On any given night, any of them could go off for 20 points. They’re good kids that are going to help us on varsity in the future. Hopefully, things that we’ve done well in the past, we’ll be able to continue with those kids.”

East golf meeting today

Columbus East boys golf coach Tom LaBarbera will conduct a call out meeting for anyone interested in trying out for this year’s team at 5 p.m. Thursday at Otter Creek.

For more information, call LaBarbera at 812-378-0836.

North to host reception

The Columbus North football program is inviting any eighth-grader with an interest in football to attend the Columbus North Football Reception at the upcoming Eighth-Grade Parent-Student Night on Feb. 11.

The reception will begin at the conclusion of school-wide activities at 8 p.m. in the Large Group Instruction room of North High School.