North, East, Trinity competitors make finals

Columbus North and Columbus East each put multiple swimmers in Saturday’s finals, but those swimmers likely will have to drop a little more time to qualify for next weekend’s Girls Swimming State Finals.

The Bull Frogs will have 15 swims, and Olympians will have five swims in the A-final of the North Sectional after those swimmers earned top-eight times in Thursday’s preliminaries. The No. 9 through 16 swimmers in each event made the consolation finals.

Only the winners and those meeting state-cut times Saturday will automatically qualify for the state finals. After that, swimmers with the next-best times from around the state will be added to reach a field of 32 in each event.

Trinity Lutheran’s Rachel Sabotin, a Columbus resident, is the only local swimmer with a No. 1 time going into the finals. Sabotin, the Cougars’ lone competitor, swam the fastest in both the 200-yard freestyle (1 minute, 56.95 seconds) and 500 freestyle (5:09.79).

North’s Olivia Morlok is second behind Sabotin in both the 200 freestyle (2:02.19) and 500 freestyle (5:17.58), while teammate Erica Samuel is third in both races (2:04.50 and 5:34.55). Betsy King is No. 2 in both the 50 freestyle (25.01) and 100 freestyle (54.64), and the Bull Frogs are second in the 200 freestyle relay (1:43.24) and 400 freestyle relay (3:49.79).

“We qualified people who weren’t initially in that spot and moved up, and it just kept compounding for us through the meet,” North coach Logan Schaefer said. “We’re in a good position to improve on what we did tonight.”

East’s Whitley Eicher is third in the 100 butterfly (1:01.49), the Olympians are third in the 200 medley relay (1:56.38) and 200 freestyle relay (1:45.33). Lizzy Frazier is fourth in the 100 freestyle (57.16).

“I think they’re ready to go faster on Saturday,” East coach Jill Arnholt said. “They’re ready, and I’m ready to see them swim fast.”

Diving preliminaries will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday. Swimming consolations and finals start at 1 p.m., with the diving finals in its usual place within the swimming events.

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