Columbus East girls swim coach Jill Arnholt had a few goals coming into the Hoosier Hills Conference championships Saturday: finish better than last year, and have the girls drop times.
The Olympians finished fifth with 119 points. Floyd Central overtook Jeffersonville on the final event to win the title 311-306.
“We had some girls get close to their best times, but there were also events that we could’ve gotten better times,” Arnholt said.
Freshman Cortney VanLiew finished a close second to Alexis Lete of New Albany in the 50-yard freestyle. VanLiew swam 25.55, eight-hundreths of a second shy of winning.
VanLiew also finished third in the 100 butterfly, fourth with Kendra Arnholt, Gayatri Mazgaonkar and Brooke Statler in the 200 medley relay and fourth in the 400 freestyle relay with Raegan Bradley and Abby and Maggie Frazier.
“She had a great meet today,” Arnholt said of VanLiew. “She’s a racer. She likes it when the other swimmers are close to her because she can find a way to pull through to a better place.”
Arnholt said the team’s improvement from the start of the season has been great, but expects the Olympians to take it a step further.
“The team looks real solid this year,” Arnholt said. “Everybody has improved this season. We want to get back into it next week, work hard and prepare for the rest of the season.”
Jennings County finished fourth with 123 points. Katelyn Posey and Chessler Biggs took first and second in diving.
“Our goal was to finish fourth,” Panthers coach Bill Dillon said. “We finished fifth last year, and to come in and finish ahead of teams that we lost to in duals this season was good.”
Dillon said the diving helped boost the Panthers to their fourth-place finish.
“Our divers were our shining point today,” Dillon said. “I think it was the diving that put us over the top of some of the other teams.”
“I am happy with our team’s performance,” he said. “The girls just found a way to get team points for us to get in the position we were in, and they were able to get good times.”
Seymour remained consistent throughout the day, placing fourth or higher in six of the 12 events, and finished third with 208 points.
“Our goal was to maintain third place,” Seymour coach Dave Boggs said. “We knew getting past Jeffersonville and Floyd Central was going to be tough, but I just told the girls to do their best, and use this meet as a preview for sectional.”