INDIANAPOLIS — The Columbus North girls swimming and diving team has made strides this season under its young rookie head coach, Logan Schaefer.
The Bull Frogs managed to extend that season for one more day.
In danger of not advancing anyone into today’s scoring rounds, North delivered in the final race of the evening. The 400-yard freestyle relay squad of Betsy King, Alex Nusawardhana, Olivia Morlok and Darby Coles turned in a time of 3 minutes, 34.05 seconds, good enough for 13th place and a spot in the consolation final at IUPUI’s Indiana University Natatorium.
The Bull Frogs will be able to finish anywhere between ninth and 16th today.
“We’re looking toward the top of that (consolation) heat,” Schaefer said. “That swim here in prelims sets us up for an even better swim (today).”
Trinity Lutheran freshman and Columbus resident Rachel Sabotin fared well in her state debut, and also set herself up for a return to the pool today. Sabotin swam the 500 freestyle in 5:00.40 to place 11th, good enough to reserve a spot in today’s consolation final.
Sabotin also nearly earned a berth in the 200 freestyle, where she turned in a time of 1:53.10. That put her in 17th place, just .03 seconds back of Valparaiso’s Jacklyn Bontrager for the final spot in the consolation final. She had come in on that fence, seeded 16th after the sectional round.
Coles had similarly high hopes entering the night as an individual, but the 400 freestyle relay will be her lone swim this afternoon. The senior was tied for the No. 5 seed in the 100-yard freestyle coming in based on her sectional time, and she led her heat at the midway point before running out of steam late and being overtaken by several swimmers. One of those was Franklin’s Ella Pheifer, who posted a time of 52.36 seconds to narrowly edge Coles (52.40) for the No. 16 spot and the last berth in the consolation final.
Earlier, Coles had finished 21st in the 50 freestyle with a time of 24.10 seconds.
She also anchored the Bull Frogs’ 200 freestyle relay, which was 19th in 1:38.79. That relay team features the same quartet as the 400 freestyle relay team.
Nusawardhana was busy at night’s end, with all three of her swims coming over the final four events. She led off the 200 free relay and then got right back in the water for the 100 backstroke, where she wound up in 23rd place with a time of 58.92 seconds.
Though North’s night didn’t go quite as well as hoped, Schaefer was pleased with the effort his girls gave and was happy to see the team end the night on a positive note.
“I loved the way that our girls went out and swam tonight,” Schaefer said. “The times may not have been there, but they swam very hard … and they bounced back there with a great 400 free relay to get us back tomorrow.”
Jennings County’s Hailey Brown will compete in the diving prelims beginning at 9 a.m. today. Swimming and diving finals and consolations start at 1 p.m.