To the end, Corydon Central prevails
So often at the professional level, athletes pull goggles over their eyes upon celebrating a championship. No one wants champaign to burn their eyes.
Thursday night at the Mid-Southern Conference meet, swimmers from Corydon Central left goggles to the side as they hoisted the league trophy upon jumping in the clear water.
Screams and shouts filled the Charlestown Middle School pool from the black and gold, who used wins in the latter stages of the MSC meet to defeat rivals. The Panthers finished with 293 points followed by North Harrison’s 262. Salem (151) was a distant third.
‘Winning conference, I don’t know what to say. It was amazing,’ Corydon Central swimmer Ayden Dunaway said. ‘It was so stressful throughout the entire meet. It was close at different points but, once we got our relays, I knew we would be on the winning end.’
Of the 11 events, four of the first five victories tilted the way of North Harrison.
The tail end of the meet, however, went to Corydon Central. Led by Caleb Strange’s going-away victory in the 500-yard freestyle (5:31.30), the Panthers picked up scoring momentum.
Fresh off the 500 performance, the longest swim of the meet, Strange anchored the 200-freestyle relay. Corydon Central’s group of Ben and Max Glordan, Dunaway and Strange, cruised to victory in 1:45.79 while North Harrison placed fourth.
‘It’s tough going back-to-back,’ Strange said. ‘It’s hard on the body and wears you out. It’s fun though.’
Dunaway said the relays are one of his favorite events.
‘I love doing relays; being part of the team,’ he said. ‘It’s really competitive. You get to see when one gets ahead of the other and the work you need to do.’
Aiding Corydon Central was Max Glordan’s work in the 100 backstroke. He won comfortably with a time of 1:07.13. North Harrison’s Zach Outcalt placed fourth in 1:11.96.
As the meet closed in on the final two races, the screaming and yelling intensified from the pool deck. Swimmers from both squads rallied for their respective favorite in the 200 breaststroke.
In the tightest finish of the night, North Harrison’s Andrew Robertson edged out Corydon Central’s Jaydn Swords with a time of 1:11.87. He was less than half a second ahead of the Panther rival.
‘The breast strokers, when everyone is yelling ‘Go, go, go!’ It’s a rush,’ Strange said.
The final event, the 400-free relay, was won by the Panthers, who secured the conference title that slipped by them a year ago. Ben and Max Glordan, along with Brian Wood and Strange churned over the pool in 3:54.68. North Harrison finished second (3:59.96), while Scottsburg was disqualified.
Soon after the relay, Corydon Central was announced the MSC trophy winners, sending off a celebration in and out of the water.
‘I knew going in we would be strong in the second half,’ Corydon Central coach Loretta Ettinger said. ‘We worked it out that way. I didn’t want them to get uptight like the girls were. I added the points after seeing the (heat) sheets, and I knew our strength was in the second half.’
‘Last year, we didn’t get the conference, which was a downer,’ Strange said. ‘It’s a big improvement for our team. A lot of guys have stepped up and improved. It’s been a really good year.’
North Harrison was stellar in the opening part of the meet. The 200-medley relay team of Nathaniel Lone, Zach Outcalt, Dylan Shaffer and Robertson had a five-second win over Corydon Central in 1:56.28.
Shaffer and Robinson also had two solo triumphs as well. Shaffer was a runaway winner in both of his races, the 200 individual medley (2:14.31) and 100 butterfly (58.37 seconds). To go with his breaststroke win, Robertson took the 50 free sprint in 24.91 seconds. Outcalt was third (25.93) in the sprint, while Dunaway was fourth (26.14).
In events Shaffer won, Corydon Central picked up points with Swords placing fourth (2:36.59) in the IM while Max Glordan (third, 1:04.74) and Joseph Brann (fourth, 1:08.89) placed in the fly.
Strange, kicking off his unbeaten day in four events, won the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:57.51, crushing the runner-up by 13 seconds. Lone placed third (2:18.22), while Corydon Central’s Trevor Wiley was fourth (2:30.59).
Corydon Central also loaded up on points in the 100 free, taking the second through fourth spots with Wood (1:00.09), Ben Glordan (1:00.16) and Dunaway (1:01.73).
‘All of my 100 free guys have dropped times throughout the year,’ Ettinger said. ‘Jaydn is our freshman, and we’ve realized he is a breast-stroke guy. Every meet he is taking one or two second off. That’s unusual because so many swimmers hit a wall with time, but he keeps going lower.’
Fortunately for the Panthers, the team is young with only one senior ‘ Wiley ‘ graduating.
‘You can see they have matured, and they all return next year except for one. That’s a plus,’ Ettinger said. ‘I feel good about our future.’
The Floyd Central Sectional, hosted by Floyd Central, will take place at Highland Hills Middle School on Thursday, Feb. 18, and Saturday, Feb. 20, (finals and consolations) for the boys’ swimmers.
Team results: 1. Corydon Central 293, 2. North Harrison 262, 3. Salem 151, 4. Scottsburg 118, 5. Charlestown 90, 6. Silver Creek 48.
Individual results: 200 medley relay ‘ North Harrison (Nathaniel Lone, Dylan Shaffer, Andrew Robertson, Zach Outcalt) 1:56.28, 2. Corydon Central; 200 free ‘ 1. Caleb Strange (CC) 1:57.51, 2. Levi Elliot (Scott); 200 IM ‘ 1. Dylan Shaffer (NH) 2:14.31, 2. Jaydn Day (Salem); 50 free ‘ 1. Andrew Robertson (NH) 24.91, 2. Drew Dewitt (SiCr); 100 fly ‘ 1. Dylan Shaffer (NH) 58.37, 2. Jaden Day (Salem); 100 free ‘ 1. Drew Dewitt (SiCr) 57.63, 2. Brian Wood (CC); 500 free ‘ 1. Caleb Strange (CC) 5:31.30, 2. Levi Elliott (Scott); 200 free relay ‘ 1. Corydon Central (Ben Glordan, Ayden Dunaway, Max Glordan, Caleb Strange) 1:45.79, 2. Salem; 100 back ‘ 1. Max Glordan (CC) 1:07.13, 2. Sam Tetrick (Chas); 100 breast ‘ 1. Andrew Robertson (NH) 1:11.87, 2. Jaydn Swords (CC); 400 free relay ‘ 1. Corydon Central (Ben Glordan, Brian Wood, Max Glordan, Caleb Strange) 3:54.68, 2. North Harrison.