The Columbus East and Columbus North wrestling coaches have some lofty goals for their remaining competitors this weekend.
The defending regional team champion and eighth-ranked Olympians have 13 wrestlers left in the 14 weight classes for Saturday’s Jeffersonville Regional, and coach Chris Cooper is hoping to advance all 13 to next week’s Evansville Semistate. The top four in each weight class move on.
“We talked at practice (Monday) that our goal is to get 13 guys through,” East coach Chris Cooper said. “We’re definitely pretty familiar with the teams. Most of those teams are in our conference, and we’ve seen them during the year.”
The Bull Dogs, meanwhile, have only four wrestlers remaining, but all four have a solid chance to make it to semistate.
“We should definitely have all four advance through,” North coach Justin Cooper (no relation to Chris Cooper) said. “All of our guys were (sectional) finalists, and our sectional is a little bit tougher than (the Jeffersonville Sectional, which feeds into the regional), so I like our matchups, and maybe we can get all four of them to the finals again.”
Jennings County has eight wrestlers who qualified for regional. Brown County will send three.
Swimmers set for sectional
A few area girls swimmers are in position to make a run at qualifying for the state finals if they can perform well enough in the Columbus North Sectional, which begin with tonight’s prelims.
Trinity Lutheran’s Rachel Sabotin is the top seed in both the 200- and 500-yard freestyle events. Columbus East is seeded No. 1 in the 200 freestyle relay and No. 2 in the 200 medley relay, and the Olympians’ Whitley Eicher is seeded second in the 100 butterfly.
“The girls are fired up,” East coach Jill Arnholt said. “They are prepared. We’re just doing a little fine-tuning this week, but they look really good. We’re excited about where we’re seeded and are looking to do well in some of those races.”
North’s Betsy King is seeded second in both the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle, and Olivia Morlok is the No. 2 seed in both the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle. The Bull Frogs also are seeded second in the 200 freestyle relay and 400 freestyle relay.
Only event winners and those who make the state-cut time automatically advance to state. After that, the next-fastest swimmers in each event that would bring the number to 32 in that event are added to the field.
“I think our chances are strong,” North coach Logan Schaefer said. “There are a lot of opportunities out there to be taken in this meet, and anything can happen in this type of meet. You have a lane, you have a race, you have a chance.”
Diving prelims begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, and diving finals take place within the swimming finals, which begin at 1 p.m. Saturday. The top four divers advance to Tuesday’s Bloomington North Diving Regional.
East-New Albany tickets on sale
Tickets for Saturday afternoon’s Columbus East at New Albany boys basketball game are on sale during school hours today and Friday in the East athletics office for $5. Tickets will not be sold at the game.
The 2 p.m. Hoosier Hills Conference contest is expected to be a sellout. The Bulldogs feature the nation’s top unsigned recruit in senior Romeo Langford.