By Colleen Fay | Editor-in-Chief
The boys’ swimming and diving team finished third in the state finals at the IUPUI Natatorium on Feb. 27.
The event saw many impressive and record-setting swims for the Avon boys. Coach Jon Karr, IHSAA’s swim coach of the year, said he was pleased with the outcome.
“We were the best swimming team [at the meet],” Karr said. “We just did not have the numbers to pull out the championship, but we certainly put on a show.”
The boys started the meet off with a first-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay. Senior Garrett Hammons started the relay off swimming the backstroke, followed by senior Chandler Bray in the breaststroke, senior Vince Partlow swimming the butterfly, and senior Grant Sprout anchoring with freestyle. The team touched the wall in 1:30.72, a school record by over a second.
Partlow kept the momentum after the relay by placing fourth in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:40.12.
In the next event, Bray swam for a fourth place finish in the 200-yard individual medley. He bettered his school record with a time of 1:48.33 on Friday in prelims.
Following the I.M., Sprout placed third in the 50-yard freestyle. His time of 20.83 also set a new school record.
After a break for the diving competition, Partlow continued the record breaking trend with a second place finish in the 100-yard butterfly at a time of 49.14.
In the 100-yard freestyle, Sprout copied Partlow’s success, also finishing as the runner-up and with a school record breaking time of 45.45.
The day was highlighted by the team taking the state title in the 200-yard freestyle relay. The relay team consisted of Partlow, Sprout, Bray and sophomore Connor Capstick. Their time of 1:23.20 beat a 22-year-old state record by over half of a second. This was Partlow’s second time winning the relay. He also won last year while swimming with Brownsburg High School.
“Beating the state record in the 200 free relay was a goal that I’ve had for a long time now,” Partlow said. “My relay team last year at Brownsburg got close but fell short. I knew going into this season that the record was a very plausible goal with my new team at Avon. We all put our hearts and souls into our legs of the relay and the outcome was more than rewarding. I’m not too sure it has sunk into any of us yet though. In swimming, typically you get what you put in. So, it was great to see all of our hard work pay off at that level.”
Bray finished out the team’s individual swims with a win in the 100-yard breaststroke. Earlier in prelims, Bray’s time of 52.65 set a new national high school record. At the end of the meet Bray was awarded IHSAA’s Mental Attitude Award.
The 400-yard freestyle relay team of Hammons, Capstick, senior Vishaal Mali and junior Duncan Emsweller finished the meet off with an 11th place finished.
Overall, the team finished with 192 points, third behind Carmel (216) and Zionsville (215).
“I’m really happy with how we swam,” Partlow said. “Although we were hoping for a team win or runner-up finish, we didn’t feel like we failed when we got third. We knew that each and every one of us went out there and gave it everything we had. I was completely happy knowing that we all left it in the pool. It was a great way to end the season and my senior year.”
Photo by Dorian McDaniel