After being beaten in last year’s sectional 100-yard butterfly final, Maddie Wyke found a new level of determination.
Wyke shook off that disappointing freshman finish by winning the 100 butterfly in the sectional as a sophomore.
Then, she finished seventh in the state finals to help lead Columbus North to a 12th-place team finish and earn The Republic Athlete of the Year for Girls Swimming honors.
“Maddie was very disappointed last year when she learned some things about herself racing Casey (Papp) from Bloomington South,” North coach Jim Sheridan said, referring to last year’s butterfly victor. “Maddie took that to heart — the things she had to do in practice, the things she had to dissect about her stroke and finishes, her own work ethic and attitude in practice.
“She always had a great attitude in practice but had to change how she approached her work ethic. It definitely paid off with a school record that had been around a long time, and it definitely paid off with her breaking through to getting on the podium in the 100 butterfly.”
Wyke broke Erin Sheehy’s school record with a 56.23-second clocking in the state prelims. Wyke came back with a 56.57 in the finals.
“Top eight was definitely a goal for me,” Wyke said. “I think that’s something that is really good to experience — to reach the podium — and I’m ready to go out next year and get a higher place.”
“The 100 butterfly has always been one of the toughest races in the state of Indiana for the girls programs,” Sheridan said. “It’s always been fast from top to bottom. For me, the expectation now is, she’s seen what it takes to win at that level, and I fully expect her to spend the summer and fall getting ready to do that very thing next February.”
Wyke also swam the butterfly leg on the 200 medley relay team, which finished seventh at state, teaming with her sister, senior Emma Wyke, sophomore Marah Bieger and senior Rachael Sollman.
Wyke just missed qualifying for state in the 200 freestyle after finishing second behind freshman teammate Mackenzie Fry in the sectional.
“One of the goals we have together for next year is, we both want to go to state, to both get the qualifying time,” Wyke said.
The Bull Frogs won Conference Indiana and sectional titles this season.
“I’m so happy with how the season went,” Wyke said. “I reached the goals that I set at the beginning of the season, and I had a lot of fun doing it.”
The rest of The Republic’s All-Area Girls Swimming Team:
Marah Bieger, Columbus North: The sophomore finished 10th in the 200 IM and 12th in the 100 breaststroke at state; swam on seventh-place 200 medley relay and 11th-place 400 frestyle relay teams.
Rachael Sollman, Columbus North: The senior was a state qualifier in 100 freestyle and swam on seventh-place 200 freestyle, 11th-place 400 freestyle and 14th-place 200 freestyle relay teams.
Emma Wyke, Columbus North: The senior finished 12th at state in 100 backstroke and swam on seventh-place 200 medley relay team.
Mackenzie Fry, Columbus North: The freshman was a state qualifier in 200 freestyle and swam on 11th-place 400 freestyle relay team.
Karen Wildemann, Columbus North: The sophomore swam on 11th-place 400 relay and 14th-place 200 freestyle relay teams at state.
Mackenzie Coles, Columbus North: The senior swam on 14th-place 200 freestyle relay team at state.
Katelyn Posey, Jennings County: The sophomore was a regional diving qualifier.
Chessler Biggs, Jennings County: The sophomore was a regional diving qualifier.
Honorable mention: Columbus East: Lauren Brunn. Columbus North: Kelcie Davie, Cori Taylor, Marie Wildemann. Seymour: Alex Hawkins, Sidney Stout.