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Girls state finals in swimming, diving to be ‘fun’ weekend

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Now, the Columbus North girls swimmers get to do what coach Jim Sheridan calls the fun part.

Several of the Bull Frogs will compete in the state finals, which begin Friday at the Indiana University Natatorium at IUPUI.

The top eight in each event qualify for Saturday’s championship heats, while the next eight in each event qualify for the consolation finals.

“You have to do what I call ‘Go and do your fun job,’” Sheridan said. “You get out there and can race with some of the best in the state.”

At the end of the regular season, North was projected to score only five points at the state meet.

But thanks to some big swims at Saturday’s North Sectional, the Bull Frogs are seeded to score 39 points, which would put them in the running for a top-15 team finish.

North has entries in 10 of the 11 swimming events, including all three relays. Sophomore Maddie Wyke has the highest seed at eighth in the 100-yard butterfly, based on her sectional-winning time of 56.64 seconds.

Senior Emma Wyke, sophomores Marah Bieger and Maddie Wyke and senior Rachael Sollman are seeded 10th in the 200 medley relay (1:48.20). Freshman Mackenzie Fry, sophomore Karen Wildemann, Bieger and Sollman are 13th in the 400 freestyle relay (3:36.18).

Bieger is seeded 14th in the 200 individual medley (2:07.51) and 17th in the 100 breaststroke (1:07.01), and Emma Wyke is 14th in the 100 backstroke (58.16). Fry, Wildemann, Maddie Wyke and Sollman are 21st in the 200 freestyle relay (1:39.54). Fry is 22nd in the 200 freestyle (1:55.47), Sollman is 26th in the 100 freestyle and Wildemann is 28th in the 50 freestyle (25.10).

“Obviously, we always look for 100 percent return from prelims to finals,” Sheridan said. “If you look at the seeds and where they are at based on time, I don’t think anybody’s out of the realm of qualifying if they drop half-a-second or a second.

“I feel pretty good about where we’re at,” he said. “Except for one or two or three kids in every event where kids are head and shoulders above the rest, our kids are in the running for some good championship and consolation showings.”

Could North boys be No. 1?

A string of upsets at the top of the basketball polls the past few weeks, combined with North’s 14-game winning streak, have left the Bull Dogs as the state’s No. 2-ranked team in Class 4A with two weeks left in the regular season.

The North girls have been ranked No. 1 in The Associated Press 4A poll for the second half of this season. The North boys have never been ranked No. 1, but Columbus High School topped the polls in the 1963 and 1964 seasons.

Top-ranked Carmel hosts No. 5 Hamilton Southeastern tonight, so if the Royals can pull the upset, the Bull Dogs would likely move to No. 1 if they can get past Franklin on Saturday afternoon.

Rematches highlight semifinals

All five games involving area girls basketball teams in Friday’s sectional semifinals will be rematches of regular-season contests.

Class 4A No. 1 Columbus North (23-0) just met Bloomington North (9-12) Jan. 26 and routed the Cougars 59-31. The teams will play at around 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Columbus East Sectional.

Also in 4A, Jennings County (8-12) will play Floyd Central (11-11), and Seymour (9-12) will face No. 2 Bedford North Lawrence (22-0) in the New Albany Sectional. The Panthers beat the Highlanders 51-41 Jan. 22, and the Owls fell to BNL 58-41 Jan. 31 in the regular-season finale.

In Class 3A, Brown County (11-9) will host Edgewood (10-10) at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The Eagles fell to the Mustangs 36-25 on Nov. 16.

Trinity Lutheran (13-8) will play Medora (8-14) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Springs Valley. The Cougars edged the Hornets 42-41 on Nov. 29.

Hauser game on radio

Tonight’s Hauser at Eastern Hancock boys basketball game will be broadcast on

The webcast begins at 7:15 p.m. To listen, go to, click the computer and choose the Hauser-Eastern Hancock game.

North bowlers 3rd in sectional

The Columbus North co-ed bowling team finished third in the boys sectional for the Southeastern Indiana Conference at Kingpin Bowl in Seymour. The team advances, along with Seymour and South Ripley, to Saturday’s regional at Expo Bowl.

North’s Katie Gemberling was the girls singles sectional champion. For the boys, Jon Erfmeier placed third, while Cody Froedge finished fifth and Jacob Rose was sixth.

Trinity Lutheran’s Chaz Mathis was the boys singles champion.

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