Saulman heads back to state
For the second consecutive year, Corydon Central’s Katie Saulman will make her bid for a state championship in girls’ swimming.
This time, the talented sophomore has a shot in two events, the 100-yard butterfly and the 100 backstroke.
During Thursday’s preliminaries and Saturday’s finals of the Floyd Central Sectional at Highland Hills Middle School, Saulman blistered the field, setting records in both events.
On Thursday, Saulman was the lone swimmer to crash the 1-minute barrier in the butterfly. She swam the race in a swift 59.53 seconds to easily win the second heat and set both a meet and pool record.
Coming back on Saturday in the butterfly, Saulman took the finals in a time of 1:00.05. The second-place finisher, Floyd Central’s Shelby Weathers, was better than four seconds behind.
In the backstroke, Saulman took down the competition again. In the prelims, her time of 1:01.49 was good enough for the top seed on Saturday. Once again, Saulman set pool and meet records in the final, breaking the 1-minute mark again with a time of 59.68 seconds. She was nearly three seconds faster than the second-place finisher, Katelyn Cato from Floyd Central.
At last year’s state meet, Saulman swam to a 31st-place finish in the butterfly with a time of 1:03.82.
Saulman will swim in the first of four preliminary heats of the 100 butterfly. In the 100 backstroke, she is slated to swim in the second of five heats.
Saulman also joined with teammates Sami Smith, Jessica Frederick and Katherine Lyell in the prelims to swim to a fifth-place finish in the 200 freestyle relay for a spot in the finals. Caitlyn Byrd took Saulman’s spot in the finals Saturday, to help the Lady Panthers swim to a sixth-place finish in a time of 1:56.83.
Smith also had a strong sectional performance. The senior swam the 50 freestyle prelim in 26.80 seconds, nearly a second faster than her seed time. In the consolation finals, she finished 10th overall with a time of 27.12 seconds.
North Harrison’s Sally Hall also qualified in the prelims for a spot in the sectional finals in the 100 individual medley. In the prelims, the sophomore swam the event in 2:24.99. She bettered her time in the finals, swimming home in 2:23.79 for a fifth-place finish.
Hall also finished 13th in the distance event, the 500 freestyle, with a time of 6:13.02.
In order to qualify for state, a swimmer must finish first in their sectional race or meet the state standard time.
For Saulman at the state meet, the top 16 in each swimming event during Friday’s prelims will return for competition on Saturday with the top eight individuals vying for state championship honors. Those finishing nine through 16 on Friday will make up the competitors in the consolation heats.
State finals will take place Friday (prelims) and Saturday (consolation and finals) at Indiana University Natatorium on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
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