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NH commands pool at MSC, wins 9 of 11 events

NH commands pool at MSC, wins 9 of 11 events
NH commands pool at MSC, wins 9 of 11 events
North Harrison swimmers, from left, Bailey Seitz, Sydney Ganote and Meredith Ingle raise their hands in joy as teammate Abigail Purser wins the 200-yard individual medley. Photos by Brian Smith

‘It was better than we could ask for,’ North Harrison girls’ swimming coach Andy Pappano said after Thursday’s Mid-Southern Conference meet at the YMCA of Harrison County in Corydon.
Better? It was nearly perfect.
In the pool, North Harrison won in convincing fashion, claiming the MSC title for the second straight year behind multiple event wins from Abigail Purser, Bailey Seitz, Meredith Ingle and Natalie Hollensead.
The foursome also made up a pair of relay teams ‘ 200-yard medley and 400 freestyle ‘ with both shattering MSC record times.
In all, the Lady Cats won nine of the 11 swimming events, going away with the bragging rights with 344 points. Corydon Central was the runner-up with 225 followed by Scottsburg’s 185.
‘I’m really proud of our team,’ Seitz said. ‘We’ve worked so hard, and we have a lot of new swimmers that have come along. They have worked their tails off. Not all of them swam today, but they were at the ends cheering for each other.’
Most of the events North Harrison won were by convincing margins. Smashing a record that stood since 2007 by Silver Creek, North Harrison’s Seitz, Purser, Ingle and Hollensead rolled in the medley relay in 2:20.57. Breaking the mark by nearly four seconds, they were well ahead of runner-up Salem (2:15.41).
To bookend the meet, the closing event was a run away as well. Hollensead hit the water first in the 400 freestyle relay and helped North Harrison to never look back. By the time Purser, Ingle and Seitz hit the water, it was all about time. The final wall was touched by Seitz, then the time of 4:02.81 showed a near 12-second improvement in the MSC record books. It was last set by the same quartet a year ago. As a group, the four lay claim to all three relay records (set the 200-relay record in 2014).
‘It’s awesome,’ Purser said of the fast marks. ‘The past three years we’ve lowered our time. Two of the girls are seniors and won’t be here next year. We enjoy the records now because we may never get them again. It’s such a good feeling, I don’t know how to explain it.’
‘Our relay is like family,’ Seitz said. ‘Over the last couple of years, we have become even closer.’
Corydon Central was the runner-up in the 400-free relay with the team of Brianna and Gloria Harper, Zoe Pierce and Ashley Strange swimming in 4:26.09.
Ingle carried on the winning ways in event two, beating out Gloria Harper in the 200 free. Taking the event in 2:13.58, Ingle gave North Harrison two straight wins. Fellow Lady Cats swimmer Addie Hampton was sixth (2:37.01).
The most exciting swim came in the 200 individual medley. It took a powerful comeback by Purser to eek out a blue ribbon. She had a good start with her backstroke but fell behind to Scottsburg’s Leila Kermanshahi and Silver Creek’s Kaitlin Sullivan during the breaststroke portion.
When it came time for the final discipline, the freestyle, Purser made up nearly a body length of deficit to out-touch both at the finish. Her final time was 2:35.89 with Kermanshahi second (2:36.10) and Sullivan third (2:36.25). Corydon Central’s Brianna Harper (2:57.79) was sixth.
‘When I flipped, I saw her ahead of me and so I just got mad and kicked it in,’ Purser said. ‘I really wanted to win that one.’
‘When Abigail ran those girls down in the IM, that got everyone else fired up,’ Pappano said. ‘It was all up hill from there.’
Two events later, Purser captured the 100 butterfly in a time of 1:12.71. She was followed by a host of Corydon Central swimmers: Strange (second, 1:16.73), Kendall McKiever (third, 1:20.74) and Pierce (fifth, 1:22.23).
Ingle also snagged a pair of individual events, following up her 200-free performance with a sweep of the 500-free distance event. She clocked in at 6:00.71. Strange placed second (6:26.84), while Gloria Harper was fourth (6:37.83). North Harrison’s Alexis Ayers was sixth (7:36.30).
‘Meredith came out in the 500 and paced right at six minutes, which is great for her,’ Pappano said.
From distance to sprints, Seitz was the fastest in the 50 free. She had stiff competition from teammate Hollensead, with Seitz edging her out with a time of 25.77 seconds to 25.93. The time set a new MSC record, breaking Seitz’s own mark set last season.
North Harrison’s Payton Fravel (29.67) was fifth, followed by Corydon Central’s McKiever (30.36) in sixth.
Seitz also took the 100 backstroke in 1:05.41. Pierce was fourth in 1:13.42, while Lady Cats swimmer Sydney Ganote (1:21.93) was sixth.
‘I felt OK,’ Seitz said of her performance. ‘There is definitely room for me to get better, especially at sectional. I want to work out little things. I ran out of air in the backstroke, so I need to work on my breathing in practice.’
Seitz ends her career within MSC competition by holding five conference records: 50 free, 100 free (set in 2014) and all three relays.
Hollensead followed her runner-up performance in the 50 free with a victory in the 100 free. She went under one minute, completing the race in 59.39 seconds. Corydon Central’s Harper (1:05.25) was third, while North Harrison’s Fravel (1:06.89) was fourth.
‘Natalie breaking 60 seconds was a personal best for her,’ Pappano said.
Corydon Central claimed one victory on the evening when it won the 200-free relay by two seconds over North Harrison. The team of Gloria and Brianna Harper, Maddie Zink and McKiever each swam a leg resulting in a time of 2:01.40. North Harrison’s competitors were Sarah Yost, Fravel, Ganote and Hampton.
In the 100 breaststroke, North Harrison’s Shannia Austin finished second with a time of 1:24.35. Teammates Alaina Sears (1:30.48) and Natalie Robertson (1:31.69) were fourth and fifth, respectively.
Pappano said there was some pressure coming into the meet as the favorites. He admitted the team knew it would be strong but performances still mattered.
‘It’s been a great year,’ Pappano said. ‘It’s a great time for North Harrison swimming, and they are looking great for sectional.’
Pappano said assistant coaches Matt Hamblin and Jim Pfeiffer have aided the team greatly.

Team results: 1. North Harrison 344, 2. Corydon Central 225, 3. Scottsburg 185, 4. Salem 163, 5. Charlestown 131, 6. Silver Creek 101.
Individual results: 200 medley relay ‘ 1. North Harrison (B. Seitz, A. Purser, M. Ingle, N. Hollensead) 2:02.57, 2. Salem, 3. Corydon Central (Z. Pierce, A. Strange, M. Zink, K. McKiever); 200 free ‘ 1. M. Ingle (NH) 2:13.58, 2. G. Harper (CC), 3. A. Bortka (Sa); 200 IM ‘ 1. A. Purser (NH) 2:35.89, 2. L. Kermanshahi (Sco), 3. K. Sullivan (SiCr); 50 free ‘ 1. B. Seitz (NH) 25.77, 2. N. Hollensead (NH), 3. H. Motsinger (Sa); 100 fly ‘ 1. A. Purser (NH) 1:12.71, 2. A. Strange (CC), 3. K. McKiever (CC); 100 free ‘ 1. N. Hollensead (NH) 59.39, 2. E. Motsinger (Sa), 3. B. Harper (CC); 500 free ‘ 1. M. Ingle (NH) 6:00.71, 2. A. Strange (CC), 3. K. Hahn (Sco); 200 free relay ‘ 1. Corydon Central (K. McKiever, M. Zink, B. Harper, G. Harper) 2:01.40, 2. North Harrison (S. Ganote, A. Hampton, S. Yost, P. Fravel), 3. Scottsburg; 100 back ‘ 1. B. Seitz (NH) 1:05.41, 2. E. Motsinger (Sa), 3. K. Sullivan (SiCr); 100 breast ‘ 1. L. Kermanshahi (Sco) 1:17.90, 2. S. Austin (NH), 3. H. Motsinger (Sa); 400 free relay ‘ 1. North Harrison (N. Hollensead, A. Purser, M. Ingle, B. Seitz) 4:02.81, 2. Corydon Central (Z. Pierce, A. Strange, B. Harper, G. Harper), 3. Salem.