INDIANAPOLIS — Cody Taylor was tired of finishing second.
So after a pair of runner-up finishes Saturday
afternoon in the Boys Swimming State Finals, the Columbus North junior moved to the forefront. He captured the 100-yard breaststroke to win his first state title.
“I said ‘I’m not leaving here with three red medals.
I want a blue one before I leave,’” Taylor said, who led the Bull Frogs to a sixth-place overall team finish.
Taylor overtook Carmel senior Brennan Berger in the final 25 yards and finished in a school-record 55.25 seconds. Berger took second in 56.08.
“About 75, I knew I was going to win because I just saw him coming back to me, and my adrenaline kicked in,” Taylor said.
“I was like ‘I’m going to hammer him.’ I didn’t even think I was going that fast, but that’s a pretty good time.”
It could have been even better if not for a shaky start. Taylor was in fourth place at the first turn.
“My start could have been better,” Taylor said. “I spun a little bit on my first 25, but I also knew if I could just be right with them, I’d be good because I bring it home a lot quicker than most people do. I didn’t have an ounce of doubt the whole way.”
Earlier in the day, Taylor placed second in the 200 individual medley in a school-record 1:50.54. He moved up after qualifying with the sixth-fastest time in Friday night’s preliminaries.
“I would have liked to get first, but after how I felt (Friday) night, second place is really good,” Taylor said.
“(Friday) night, it was kind of in the plan to go easy, but when I touched the wall (Friday) night, I just felt bad. I felt really good today.”
Taylor was in fourth place after the butterfly and backstroke portions. He moved up to third after the breaststroke and second after the freestyle.
Chesterton junior Blake Pieroni won in 1:48.86.
“If I had been I would say within a second of Blake Pieroni going into the last 100, I know I would have won,” Taylor said.
“I just have to work on my backstroke because that’s always where I lose everybody, but I know not to worry too bad about it because nobody in the state can do the back-half 100 with me.”
Berger, who swam for Northridge and beat Taylor last year, finished third in 1:50.92.
“The last wall, I just saw the kid who was second last year,” Taylor said.
“He had beaten me last year, and he moved to Carmel, and the last wall, he was a little bit in front of me and I wasn’t about to let him beat me again.”
Taylor, who also swam on North’s second-place 200 freestyle relay and
third-place 400 freestyle relay teams, is the first Bull Frog to win a state title since Ryan Wochomurka set the state record in the 100 freestyle in 2001 — a record that was broken Saturday. North has a state-leading 72 individual and relay state titles.
“I’m very proud that Cody’s back on top because the Frogs belong on top,” North coach Jim Sheridan said.
“We’ve had many state champions, none finer than what he did today in that 100 breaststroke. He knew he had a shot after that great IM, and he just swam a very smart race, very controlled, and had the finish.”