As Grace Haskett was putting up record-setting performance after record-setting performance in last year’s Columbus North Sectional, one important spectator was taking notice.
Indiana University coach Ray Looze, whose daughter Mackenzie was competing for Bloomington South against Haskett and the Bull Frogs, was quite impressed with the swims Haskett was putting together. So he asked one of his IU swimmers, Cody Taylor, whose sister Cori is a North teammate of Haskett’s, for her phone number.
Looze’s recruiting pitch paid off. Last week, Haskett, a junior, became the youngest swimmer in his tenure to commit to the Hoosiers.
“Last sectional, Ray was like, ‘I want to talk to her,’” Haskett said. “So Cody made the connection, and Ray got ahold of me, and we’ve built a relationship.”
Haskett set five school records in four events in that sectional, winning the 50-yard freestyle and 100 backstroke and swimming on the winning 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams. Her leadoff leg in the 400 freestyle relay was a school record for the 100 freestyle.
Then at state, Haskett finished third in the 100 backstroke and fifth in the 50 freestyle and helped the Bull Frogs to third- and sixth-place finishes in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays, respectively. She was named The Republic Girls Swimmer of the Year for the second consecutive year.
Unless the Haskett family moves to Columbus in the next year-and-a-half, Grace’s drive to IU will be much shorter than her commute to Columbus North. She and her sister Olivia, a senior, have been making the near 90-minute trip with their father Bryce, who works at Cummins, from their home north of Bedford the past 2½ years.
Grace Haskett, who is considering majoring in animal science or education, will have less than a half-hour trip to IU.
“It feels like home, and I love the idea of staying so close to home,” she said.
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Name: Grace Haskett
School: Columbus North
Top events: 100-yard backstroke, 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle
College choice: Indiana