INDIANAPOLIS — Rachel Sabotin’s first experience in the IHSAA girls swimming and diving state meet was a pleasant one.
The Columbus resident and Trinity Lutheran freshman had just missed reaching the consolation final in the 200-yard freestyle, placing 17th in Friday night’s preliminaries, but she made the most of the one opportunity she had Saturday, putting up a personal best of 4 minutes, 59.71 seconds in the 500 freestyle to finish 10th overall.
It was her first time cracking the 5-minute mark in the 500.
“I was hoping to get top in my heat,” Sabotin said. “I didn’t know what was going to happen, (but) I was really happy with how I finished.”
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Sabotin established new personal bests in each of her three swims this weekend. She said she’s hopeful that her performance at her first state meet can serve as a springboard to bigger things in the future.
“I’m excited to see future competitors and just see where I can be seeded next year, and hopefully get on top of the podium and maybe even get the state record by my senior year,” Sabotin said.
In the final event of the day, the Columbus North 400 freestyle relay team of Darby Coles, Alex Nusawardhana, Olivia Morlok and Betsy King posted a time of 3:32.37, good enough to land the Bull Frogs in 11th place.
“I think this is a catalyst going forward for our women’s and our men’s program,” North’s first-year coach, Logan Schaefer, said. “We made a great standing in a bunch of events here this weekend, and we look to continue to build on that.”
North finished in a three-way tie for 26th in the team standings with 12 points, while Sabotin’s showing put Trinity Lutheran in 31st with seven points.
Earlier in the day, Hailey Brown of Jennings County competed in the 1-meter diving preliminaries, finishing the morning in 27th place. The top 20 advanced to the semifinal round.