Columbus North is in position to qualify for state in three events and has excellent chances in at least three others in Saturday’s North Sectional finals.
The Bull Frogs posted the fastest qualifying times in one individual event and two relays from Thursday evening’s prelims. North also will take No. 2 seeds into the finals in a trio of events.
Only the winners of each event and those meeting the state cut times automatically qualify for next weekend’s state finals. After that, swimmers with the best times from around the state are added until the field reaches 32.
“We’re in a great spot,” North coach Logan Schaefer said. “We did what we needed to do tonight and put ourselves in a position to swim even faster on Saturday. Across the board, we swam some really good times.”
Evan Patterson swam the fastest time in the 100-yard freestyle at 48.19 seconds. Jared Carroll, Patterson, Sam Russell and Thomas Goble are tops in the 200 freestyle relay (1:29.74); and Nick Green, Carroll, Russell and Patterson had the fastest time in the 400 freestyle relay (3:18.48).
Also for the Bull Frogs, Russell in the 200 individual medley (1:59.42), Goble in the 50 freestyle (22.64) and Carroll in the 50 freestyle (22.64) all are seeded second. Carroll in the 100 backstroke (55.47) and Paxton Rush, Green, Ayush Panda and Goble in the 200 medley relay (1:44.56) are seeded third.
Meanwhile, Trinity Lutheran’s lone swimmer, Matt Stuckwisch, swam the fastest prelim time in the 50 freestyle (22.59). Stuckwisch is tied with Columbus East’s Ryan Singer for fourth in the 100 breaststroke (1:05.25).
Singer also qualified seventh in the 200 IM (2:13.61), and East’s Griff McGaha qualified sixth in the 100 backstroke (57.86). McGaha, Singer, Zack Statler and Chad Kelly are fourth in the 200 medley relay (1:47.54).
“This is the best meet we’ve had in years,” East coach Dave Fribley said. “We were worried because we thought they’d have a really good conference meet, and they just were kind of flat. Then with Bloomington North, they were flat, and I just didn’t know what to expect tonight. But they lived up to my expectations of what they were capable of doing.”
Diving prelims begin at 9 a.m. Saturday. Swimming consolations and finals start at 1 p.m., with the diving finals at its usual place within the swimming portion.