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Bull Frogs come up big in state meet

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INDIANAPOLIS — Going into the girls swimming postseason, Columbus North was ranked 38th and seeded to score a grand total of five points in the state meet.

The Bull Frogs obliterated those numbers.

North put up 70 points and finished 12th as a team Saturday at IUPUI’s Indiana University Natatorium. Top-ranked Carmel scored 397 to win its 27th consecutive state title.

“We had a lot of young kids here in terms of experience at this big meet, and for them to come in here and do what they did on the relays ...,” North coach Jim Sheridan said. “Early on, we were either better than our best time of the season or right at it. We’ve come to this meet before where in finals, we’ve always gone a little bit slower.”

The Bull Frogs set the tone for their afternoon with a seventh-place finish in the opening 200-yard medley relay. Senior Emma Wyke, sophomores Marah Bieger and Maddie Wyke and senior Rachael Sollman finished seventh in 1 minute, 46.79 seconds.

Wyke would later earn a second medal when she took seventh in the 100 butterfly in 56.57. She had swam a school-record 56.23 in Friday’s preliminaries.

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“It was what I had been pushing myself all season to do, and it felt really good to finally have it actually happen and have my goals achieved,” Maddie Wyke said. “It was really fun to be on the podium and get a medal, and I’m happy with how our team did. I think we’re all pretty happy with how we did, and we know that we did the best we could.”

Bieger finished 10th in the 200 individual medley in 2:06.34 and 13th in the 100 breaststroke in 1:07.38.

“I think we did well both (Friday) and today,” Bieger said. “I was really excited with some of the swims we had. I think we all contributed how we wanted to.”

Emma Wyke took 12th in the 100 backstroke in 58.08. Sollman, freshman Mackenzie Fry and sophomores Karen Wildemann and Bieger were 11th in the 400 freestyle relay (3:34.56); and Sollman, Wildemann, Maddie Wyke and senior Mackenzie Coles finished 14th in the 200 freestyle relay (1:39.91).

“We went out and finished the season pretty strong,” Maddie Wyke said. “I think everybody was happy with their swims, and even if they didn’t go best times, they were comfortable with knowing that they finished out the season doing what they wanted to do and getting where they wanted to go.”

“It bodes well for our future because we’re on the upswing of numbers of kids coming back in the high school program,” Sheridan said. “Although we graduate some great kids in Rachael and Emma and Mackenzie, we have some good leadership coming back. The experience they gained here today could set us up for folks to make a run at state titles next year individually.”

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