Olympians take fourth in conference

FLOYDS KNOBS — Cortney VanLiew had been adjusting some of her swimming technique in practice and it showed in Tuesday’s night’s Hoosier Hills Conference meet.

The senior grabbed the Columbus East’s only individual first-place finish, finishing the 50-yard freestyle in 24.59 seconds.

“(VanLiew) is on fire and she’s ready to go,” East coach Jill Arnholt said. “I can’t wait for her to tapper and show what she’s got in sectional.”

Jeffersonville took home first place out of eight teams with 347 points while the Olympians’ 147 points earned a fourth-place finish after finding out they would be competing just one day prior to the meet.

“It was kind of a quick turnaround,” Arnholt said. “The girls really came together and had some really good swims.”

East also had a third-place finish out of Whitley Eicher, who finished the 100 butterfly in 1:01.71.

Jennings County coach Chaz Wilson was also pleased with the way his team competed. The Panthers finished seventh with 94 points, and Hailey Brown took first place in the diving competition with 377.75 points.

Jennings’ Tara Thormin, who competed in the 100 yard freestyle and the 100 yard backstroke, dropped a significant amount of time in her races. Arnholt and Wilson both said they had swimmers who swam under or right at their best times.

“Our younger swimmers swam very well this evening,” Wilson said. “We dropped a lot of time, and they’re finally stepping it up and looking more like swimmers every day.”

Wilson said swimming in meets like the HHC is important for the younger swimmers because they get a chance to see what fast swimming looks like.

The Olympians will be tested in the coming week. They have three meets in the next six days, starting at Seymour on Thursday. East will be looking cut back and start tapering before the Columbus North Sectional, which is Feb. 2 and 4, hit but not until after the upcoming three meets.

“We’re going to swim right through these three meets,” Arnholt said. “We may mix some things up because the teams are going to really tough … but we’re not going to back down until next week when where done with these meets.”

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Frank Bonner is a sports writer for The Republic. He can be reached at fbonner@therepublic.com or 812-379-5632.