INDIANAPOLIS — At first glance, the 21st-place showing by the Trinity Lutheran girls swimming team at this weekend’s state meet may not jump off the page.
When you take into consideration that sophomore Rachel Sabotin put the Cougars there entirely by herself, though, it’s a lot more impressive.
Sabotin began her day with a 10th-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle and then capped it by taking fourth in the 500 freestyle to rack up a total of 22 points, just a half-point shy of cracking the top 20 teams.
After finishing sixth in the 500 freestyle in Friday’s preliminaries, Sabotin said she was hoping to move up Saturday — and while her time of 4 minutes, 57.83 seconds was just off of her prelim time, it was enough to move up two places.
Story continues below gallery
Sabotin, who clocked in at 1:52.08 in the 200 freestyle, said that the experience she gained competing in last year’s state meet as a freshman — when she was 10th in the 500 freestyle and 17th in the 200 freestyle — helped her considerably.
“This year was a lot easier, just knowing the atmosphere and everything,” Sabotin said. “I was a lot less nervous and a lot more ready to race this year.”
Also relying on one swimmer for all of its team points was Columbus North, which wound up tied for 28th with seven points after sophomore Olivia Morlok placed 10th in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:01.33.
Bull Frogs coach Logan Schaefer, who had several other underclassmen get a taste of the state experience in relays on Friday, is hopeful that Morlok will lead a deeper contingent back to IUPUI’s Indiana University Natatorium next winter.
“Olivia’s going to come back from this and build on it and be in an even better spot next year,” Schaefer said. “Our team’s a very young team, so we’re very excited about what we can build on with the future, and Olivia’s one who wants to be the front-runner and help build that.”
Neither of the area divers competing Saturday was able to reach the afternoon finals. Junior Hailey Brown of Jennings County was 17th, just two-tenths of a point away from advancing, while Columbus East senior Maggie Gregory finished 30th.
In Friday’s preliminaries, North sophomores Betsy King and Erica Samuel, freshman Riddhi Garg and Morlok finished 25th in the 200 freestyle relay 1:41.74; and King, Samuel, senior Kaitlyn Niebrugge and Morlok took 24th in the 400 freestyle relay in 3:41.18. King also was 26th in the 100 freestyle in 53.01.
Carmel won its 32nd consecutive state title with 363 points, easily outdistancing runner-up Northridge (215).