Cody Taylor strode to the starting block of the 100 breaststroke finals Saturday as AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” blared over the Indiana University Natatorium speakers.
Thanks to his top preliminary time, the Columbus North senior got to pick the entrance song for his main event in the Indiana High School Athletic Association boys swimming state finals. And considering he owned the state record and was the state’s defending champion, everyone might have expected him to provide the thunder.
Twenty hours after setting that state record in the preliminaries, Taylor was at it again Saturday afternoon. He lowered his own mark by swimming 54.24 seconds to win his second consecutive 100 breaststroke championship.
“It was a great race,” Taylor said. “I felt good from start to finish.”
Taylor, who broke the state record for the first time on Friday in 54.56, said that if he had the lead in the final 25 yards, he knew none of his opponents could catch him.
He swam his first 50 Saturday in 25.74 to lead by .11-second against Avon’s Christian Lorenz and Bloomington South’s Ian Finnerty. Taylor then covered the final 50 yards in 28.50 to hold off Lorenz (54.88) and Finnerty (55.16).
“I was going to go as fast as I could,” Taylor said. “My goal was to get into the 53s, and I just missed that, but winning state, I can’t complain.”
The record was only part of a big day for Taylor, who finished second in the 200 individual medley and swam on North’s runner-up 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relay teams. The Bull Frogs finished fourth overall as a team.
Last year, Taylor won the 100 breaststroke in 56.25.
“I’d say last year was better, honestly, because it was my first time,” Taylor said.
“Missing (the record) last year and finally getting a win for himself and coming back to defend it, going after records, it’s a lot of pressure on a young body,” North coach Jim Sheridan said. “A couple years ago, he thought he could win, and it wasn’t there, and he put it all together for himself. His work ethic and the way he attacked his race today, there wasn’t anybody going to touch him.”