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Lady Cats set low marks at Madison

Lady Cats set low marks at Madison
Lady Cats set low marks at Madison
Swimmers at the Madison Invitational take off in the 200-yard medley relay Saturday afternoon. North Harrison took the win in a school record time of 2:04.15. Photo by Wade Bell

The North Harrison Lady Cats won five events at the Madison Invitational swim meet Saturday afternoon, but it wasn’t enough to earn the team a victory as Batesville edged the Lady Cats by 11 points, 309-298. The boys’ team didn’t finish as well, placing fourth of the four teams, but it did win two of the 11 events.
‘We have a great team,’ North Harrison coach Andy Papanno said. ‘The team this year is the best we’ve ever had. … When I came on eight years ago, we maybe had six or eight girls come out and maybe the same amount of boys. Now, we’re up to 24 girls and only four boys. For whatever reason, boy numbers are falling off. But you look at them, and they’re all fantastic swimmers. It’s just gotten better every year. I don’t take all the credit.’
The Lady Cats won their first event ‘ the 200-yard medley relay ‘ in record style. Bailey Seitz led off the foursome, followed by Shannia Austin, Abigail Purser and anchor Natalie Hollensead, swimming the distance in a time of 2:04.15, five seconds faster than the school’s previous record.
‘They just keep getting faster,’ Papanno said.
In the 200 freestyle, North Harrison’s Meredith Ingle scored a win, covering the distance in 2:12.43. Teammate Sidney Ganote finished fifth for the Lady Cats.
In the boys’ 200 individual medley, North Harrison’s Drake Main finished third in a time of 2:43.53. Following that, Seitz won the first of two individual events, sharking her way to a time of 25.85 seconds in the 50 freestyle. Her time was the third fastest of the day when included with the boys’ times.
‘It’s my favorite event, but it’s always nerve-wracking because everybody is always so close to each other,’ Seitz said. ‘It just takes time. I wanted to start at a good pace, and that was a great time to be starting off. I think I started off swimming 26s at the beginning of last year, so I’m glad to be starting under 26. Hopefully, I can be under 25 by sectionals. That’s the main goal, right now.’
Seitz is looking to make another run to the state finals in the event. She became the school’s first state finalist last year in the sport.
‘I’d like to get the state high school time cut,’ the North Harrison senior said. ‘That way I could get to state and not have to worry about the high school placings, because that can always change at a point-millionth of a second. It’s always real close.
‘It’s about 24.6. It can be done. I just have to work at it like I did last year and work on getting my arm speed down and making sure I kick the whole time and get the breaths down to a minimum. Normally, I only take a breath at one and I took three on that one, which shouldn’t happen.’
Purser scored big for the Lady Cats again, this time in the 100 butterfly. She covered the distance in a second-place time of 1:10.56, being nosed by Madison’s Liz Ray. The Cougars got a win in the event from Dylan Shaffer, who covered the 100 yards in 1:00.58, beating Madison’s Flynn Moore by almost four seconds.
Payton Fravel was fourth for the Lady Cats in the girls’ 100 butterfly.
In the boys’ 100 freestyle, Nathaniel Lone was third in a time of 1:03.52.
The longest event of the day was the 500 freestyle. North Harrison’s Austin was third in a time of 6:39.42. In the boys’ race, Shaffer finished first for the Cougars, breaking the six-minute mark with a time of 5:45.95.
In the 200 relay, the Lady Cats finished second (1:59.66) behind Batesville (1:57.71). The Cougars were third in their relay swim, covering the 200 yards in 1:54.21.
Seitz got her second individual win in the 100 backstroke in a time of 1:06.08, with Purser five seconds behind in second place (1:11.34). The Lady Cats also finished second and third in the 100 breaststroke, with Hollensead finishing second in 1:23.50 and Austin third (1:25.21).
‘Natalie Hollensead, she has come leaps and bounds,’ Papanno said. ‘She started as a sophomore and had never swam before. She’s swam for the Hammerheads team the past two summers. She’s just strong-willed and, when she gets in the water, she means business. It really shows.’
North Harrison’s second girls’ record came with the team’s win in the 400 freestyle relay. Purser led the swim followed by Hollensead and Ingle. Seitz swam anchor as the foursome covered the distance in 4:05.99 seconds, ahead of Batesville.
‘Our relays have really stepped up this year,’ Seitz said.
‘(Seitz) has stepped up into a leadership role and she’s been our captain since she came on the team basically,’ Papanno said. ‘She does a great job keeping the other team members motivated and always brings a positive attitude to practice. She’s always encouraging her other teammates.’
When the final team standings were announced, however, the Lady Cats learned they had finished second, behind Batesville. Madison won the boys’ team title, edging runner-up Batesville, 271-269.
‘I thought we had it, but that happens sometimes,’ Seitz said. ‘We got two records. Everybody swam great times today. It was a good meet for us. They were just one step ahead of us.’
‘We’re going to keep at it,’ Papanno said. ‘We’re not going to sit on our haunches and think we’re going to coast through. We’re going to keep working hard. We put in many, many yards in practice, and we plan to keep doing that all the way through ’til sectional. It’s a great thing to watch.’
‘We’re looking good in our conference,’ he said. ‘We’re looking to win the conference again this year and place well at sectional. We’re looking to get a relay out of sectional and get Bailey out of sectional again and into state.’

Girls’ team scores: 1. Batesville 309, 2. North Harrison, 298, 3. Madison 232, 4. Silver Creek 140.
Girls’ individual results: 200 medley relay ‘ North Harrison 2:04.15; 200 free ‘ Meredith Ingle (NH) 2:12.43; 200 IM ‘ Emily Gutzwiller (B) 2:32.13; 50 free ‘ Bailey Seitz (NH) 25.85; 100 fly ‘ Liz Ray (M) 1:10.56; 100 free ‘ Elizabeth Weiler (B) 1:03.80; 500 free ‘ Taylor Villani (B) 5:56.07; 200 free relay ‘ Batesville 1:57.71; 100 back ‘ Bailey Seitz (NH) 1:06.08; 100 breast ‘ Emily Gutzwiller (B) 1:18.88; 400 free relay ‘ North Harrison 4:05.88.
Boys’ team scores: 1. Madison 271, 2. Batesville 269, 3. Silver Creek 169, 4. North Harrison 135.
Boys’ individual results: 200 medley relay ‘ Madison 1:59.60; 200 free ‘ Andrew Strouse (M) 2:12.82; 200 IM ‘ Gabe McMahon (M) 2:29.76; 50 free ‘ Evan Miller (B) 24.50; 100 fly ‘ Dylan Shaffer (NH) 1:00.58; 100 free ‘ Nathan Norris (M) 59.91; 500 free ‘ Dylan Shaffer (NH) 5:45.93; 200 free relay ‘ Madison 1:45.95; 100 back ‘ Cameron Wycoff (M) 1:13.06; 100 breast ‘ Trevor Teague 1:16.30; 400 free relay ‘ Batesville 4:24.72.