Columbus North is guaranteed to be swimming in at least four events in Friday’s state preliminaries, and the Bull Frogs will hope for more when call backs are announced today.
North won only one event, but achieved state-cut times in three others in Saturday’s North Sectional. The Bull Frogs finished second overall as a team with 421 points, trailing Bloomington South’s 496.
Senior Thomas Goble was the event winner for North, taking the 50-yard freestyle in 22.27 seconds.
“The only was I was going to make it to state was by winning it, so I was determined to win the race,” Goble said. “Shave and taper always helps, but honestly, I wanted it more than I thought I did, and I let my body just run with it.”
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Just before Goble won the 50 freestyle, North junior Sam Russell punched his ticket. Russell finished third in the 200 individual medley with a state-cut time of 1:55.07.
Russell will make his second trip to state after finishing 24th there last season.
“I tried to focus on the small things today, and I think that really paid off,” Russell said. “I was really happy to see my time, but I believe that going into next week, it gives me something to look at and drop a little bit more.”
The Bull Frogs also qualified a pair of relay teams. Junior Jared Carroll, sophomore Evan Patterson, Goble and Russell finished second in the 200 freestyle relay in 1:27.96; and Patterson, sophomore Nick Green, Carroll and Russell took second in the 400 freestyle relay in 3:12.86.
Russell also finished second in the 100 butterfly (52.52), Green took second in the 500 freestyle (4:44.78) and Carroll was second in the 100 backstroke (54.02). Patterson finished second in the 100 freestyle (47.50) — missing the state cut by eight-hundreths of a second — and third in the 200 freestyle (1:44.86).
“We swam well,” North coach Logan Schaefer said. “Sam Russell and Jared Carroll had some great swims for us. Paxton Rush, Michael Lee, Nico Jones — lots of great swims.”
North’s Grant Fehribach advanced to Tuesday’s Bloomington North Diving Regional with a fourth-place finish with 339.30 points. He edged Columbus East’s DJ Rhodes by just under six points for the final qualifying spot.
Trinity Lutheran’s Matt Stuckwisch came in with the fastest preliminary time in the 50 freestyle. But his 22.31 in the finals was four-hundreths of a second behind Goble.
East finished fifth as a team with 178 1/2 points, wrapping up what coach Dave Fribley called the Olympians’ best season in several years. Ryan Singer took fourth in the 100 breaststroke (1:04.84) and seventh in the 200 IM (2:11.93), and Griff McGaha was seventh in the 100 backstroke (58.14).
“We had expectations for them, and this was unreal,” Fribley said. “For a group of kids that are basically swimming in the swim season only, I will compare what we swam to any other team in the place. They’re swimming against all these club kids, and we’re not a club team. Their times today were unbelievable. You have to swim that well to do anything in this sectional, and our kids stepped up.”