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Bull Frogs’ focus: Regaining sectional stronghold in pool

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The Columbus North girls swimmers and divers saw their streak of 27 consecutive sectional championships come to an end in 2011.

The Bull Frogs regained the title last season and are hoping to start a new streak. They’ll look to add to their state-leading 32 sectional titles Saturday at the Chick Newell Natatorium.

The sectional gets under way tonight with preliminaries in the swimming events. Diving prelims begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, and the swimming finals will start at 1 p.m. Saturday.

The winners in each event and anyone meeting the state standard in a particular event qualify for next weekend’s state finals at the Indiana University Natatorium at IUPUI. If the winners and others making the state standard are fewer than 32 in an event, those with the next-fastest times from around the state will earn “call-backs” to fill the field of 32.

North coach Jim Sheridan expects the sectional competition to come down to his team, Bloomington South and Bloomington North. The Bull Dogs beat both Jan. 12 in winning the Conference Indiana title.

“Point-wise, we move kids around and load up all three relays and move other kids into individual events where we expect them to do well and get after it just like they were our No. 1 in each event,” Sheridan said. “When you rest like this, these kids are very excited about going fast.”

Sheridan started tapering his girls two weeks ago.

“Our philosophy has always been that we have plenty in the tank to go fast from the sectional to the state,” Sheridan said.

The Bull Frogs are seeded first in nine of the 12 events, including all three relays. Sophomore Maddie Wyke is the top seed in the 200-yard freestyle and 100 breaststroke, and sophomore Marah Bieger is tops in the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke. Senior Rachael Sollman is the top seed in the 100 freestyle, and senior Emma Wyke is tops in the 100 backstroke.

Emma Wyke is seeded second in the 200 IM, while freshman Mackenzie Fry is second in the 200 freestyle and third in the 100 butterfly. Freshman Cori Taylor is second in the 500 freestyle, and sophomore Karen Wildemann is second in the 50 freestyle and third in the 100 freestyle. Senior Mackenzie Coles is third in the 50 freestyle and 100 breaststroke, and senior Marie Wildemann is third in the 100 backstroke.

Columbus East’s best individual seeds are freshmen Brooke Statler and Gracie Webb, who are 10th and 11th in the 50 freestyle. The Olympians are seeded seventh in the 200 freestyle relay and ninth in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays.

Robinson picked for game

Brown County senior Sasha Robinson has been selected to play in this year’s Hoosier Basketball Magazine North-South All-Star Game April 14 at Rose-Hulman.

The 6-foot Robinson is averaging 14.8 points, 11.4 rebounds and 2.8 steals a game for the Eagles this season. She has committed to play at the University of Evansville.

Bull Dogs shave heads

Three North boys basketball players shaved their heads this week to support teammates Garrett and Trent Larson, whose mother, Denise, is undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer.

Seniors Clint Cunningham, Gabe Hilt and Paul Salee are sporting the new look.

“I was surprised when they first showed me (the haircuts),” Garrett Larson said. “They didn’t tell me they were doing it.”

Coaches see North practice

College basketball coaches have been able to visit high school players this week, and a couple took advantage of the opportunity by attending North boys practices.

Tiffin (Ohio) was in Monday to see 6-4 senior Sawyer Glick. Glick is drawing interest from several small schools and visited Lincoln Memorial two weeks ago.

Toledo was at practice Tuesday to see 6-8 junior Elliott Welmer. Welmer also has drawn interest from Eastern Kentucky, Evansville and UNC-Greensboro.

East coach Brent Chitty said coaches from IPFW and Hanover have been in to see some of his players this season.

Sectional tickets on sale

Season tickets for next week’s East girls basketball sectional are on sale during school hours this week and next week at both East and North high schools. North will cut off sales at noon Feb. 8.

Season tickets, which are good for all three nights, are $10. Single-session tickets will be available for $6 at the games.

East will play Bloomington South in the opening round at 6 p.m. Tuesday, and the winner will play Shelbyville at 6 p.m. Feb. 8. Class 4A No. 1 Columbus North drew a bye and will play the winner of the Bloomington North-East Central winner at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8. The championship game will be at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 9.

Hauser is selling tickets for the Jac-Cen-Del Sectional until 3 p.m. Tuesday. The Jets play at 6 p.m. Tuesday against the host Eagles.

Edinburgh has 100 presale tickets for the Morristown Sectional. The Lancers play Waldron at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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