The boys swimming season kicks off tonight with Columbus North traveling to Louisville to face St. Xavier.

That will be the first of three meets this week for the Bull Frogs. Columbus East opens its boys season Dec. 5 at Shelbyville.

Here is a look at how the local teams stack up:

Columbus North

The Bull Frogs put together a solid season in Logan Schaefer’s first year at the helm, finishing second in both the Conference Indiana and North Sectional meets. They sent two individuals and all three relay teams to the state meet.

One of those individual qualifiers and two other swimmers who were on relay teams return to give the Bull Frogs plenty of optimism heading into the season.

“The boys team has been coming along great,” Schaefer said. “We have several returners who were (state) qualifiers and now want to move on and be big-time point-scorers at the high school state meet.”

Junior Sam Russell finished 24th at state in the 200-yard individual medley. Russell, who swam on the 20th-place 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams, was The Republic Boys Swimmer of the Year.

Junior Jared Carroll swam on all three of North’s state-qualifying relays, including the 19th-place 200 freestyle relay squad. Sophomore Evan Patterson was on two of the relay teams, and senior Thomas Goble was on one. All three are versatile enough to swim a variety events.

Senior Grant Fehribach was a regional diving qualifier. He will be joined by senior Blake Shaffer, who was injured last year.

Sophomores Nick Green (distance freestyle) and Ayush Panda (100 and 200 freestyle) had solid freshman years. Top newcomers are freshmen Albert Nusawardhana, Aidan McAlister and Christopher Lee, all of which swim freestyle events and the 200 individual medley.

“Our depth is great,” Schaefer said. “We have a couple newcomers who are looking to come in and make a big impact for us. I think last year, we saw some great some things at the JV meet that are leading us now into a very promising year.”

Columbus East

At Olympians practices, Lane 1 is usually reserved for swimmers who are still learning the basics.

For the first time in as long as he can remember, East coach Dave Fribley didn’t have any Lane 1 swimmers last year. The Olympians finished seventh in the Hoosier Hills Conference and fifth in the North Sectional.

“Each lane with these new guys, a leader stepped up and saw to it that the guys in his lane, they work got done,” Fribley said. “These guys have kind of picked up where they left off last year.”

The top returners are sophomore Bryce Eckelman in the backstroke, senior Griff McGaha in the backstroke and freestyle events, junior Evan Weineke in distance and freestyle events and junior Ryan Singer in the breaststroke and IM. Junior D.J. Rhodes is the top returning diver.

East also has four other seniors who Fribley hopes can contribute, including Tanner Hatton and Thomas Voils. Seniors Harrison McNeely and Will Bruin are out for swimming for first time in their high school careers.

“We have a lot of new kids,” Fribley said. “Any one of these kids could step up. They’re addicted. They’re in there every day. Everybody wants to have an unbelievable year, and they are just going after it.”

Jennings County

The Panthers will look to improve on fifth-place finishes in both the HHC and Floyd Central Sectional.

Jennings has 14 athletes, led by junior Peyton Moore, who can swim a variety of events. Other top returners are junior Trey Hundley in the IM and backstroke, senior Evan Dubben in the butterfly and IM, junior Beau Herriman in the sprint freestyle events, sophomore Jason Gasper in sprint freestyle and senior diver Cameron Mills, who also swims a little.

Freshman Danny Hoffman in the breaststroke and IM and freshman Conner Mayberry in the butterfly are the top newcomers.

“Hopefully, we are good this year,” Jennings coach Chaz Wilson said. “We have some new ones that came out this year, and we are excited to get the season started. We want to try to break some records, finish better in conference and sectional than we did last year and as a team, just get faster.”

If you go

The 2017-18 Columbus East and Columbus North boys swimming schedules:

Columbus East

Dec. 5;at Shelbyville;6 p.m.

Dec. 7;at Jennings County;6 p.m.

Dec. 9;at Shelbyville Relays;11 a.m.

Dec. 16;New Albany;1 p.m.

Dec. 27;at Mooresville Invitational;8 a.m.

Jan. 4;at Bedford North Lawrence;6 p.m.

Jan. 6;at Bloomington North Diving Invitaional;9 a.m.

Jan. 9;at Madison;6 p.m.

Jan. 18;Seymour;6 p.m.

Jan. 20;Jeffersonville;11 a.m.

Jan. 23;Greensburg;6 p.m.

Jan. 27;at HHC meet;1 p.m.

Feb. 5;Bloomington North;6 p.m.

Columbus North

Today;at Louisville St. Xavier;6:30 p.m.

Tuesday;Franklin;5:30 p.m.

Saturday;at North Central;10 a.m.

Nov. 30;at Seymour;5:30 p.m.

Dec. 2;Center Grove;10 a.m.

Dec. 5;Columbus East;5:30 p.m.

Dec. 9;Columbus North Relays;9 a.m.

Dec. 16;Christmas Classic at IUPUI;8 a.m.

Jan. 4;Bloomington North;6 p.m.

Jan. 6;at Bloomington North Diving Invitational;9 a.m.

Jan. 11;Franklin Central;6 p.m.

Jan. 20;Conference Indiana at IUPUI;9 a.m.

Jan. 25;Oldenburg Academy;6 p.m.

Author photo
Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.