‘2:05 … what?’ Saulman swims off to state
Gracie Saulman wanted to ‘throw up’ before parading around the Highland Hills Middle School pool deck as her shot at the 200-yard individual medley approached.
When Saulman touched the final wall, giving it her all in the freestyle portion, her eyes fixated on the electronic scoreboard.
It was an eye opener.
Lane four: 2:05.77.
‘I thought the clock was maybe wrong,’ Saulman said. ‘I was like ‘2:05 … what?’ ‘
The IM swimmer set not only a Floyd Central Sectional record Saturday, but also a pool record.
‘My time was really shocking to me,’ Saulman said. ‘I’ve been trying to get past 2:12. It’s where I have been at for about a year or two.’
Taking the IM wasn’t the lone victory for Saulman at the sectional; she later took the 100 freestyle. The triumphs press the sophomore on to the state meet for the second consecutive season.
‘Everyone was really counting on me, telling me I am going to go to state,’ Saulman said of the build up. ‘Before my 2-IM, I felt like I was going to throw up. (Jeffersonville’s Adeline Dixon’s) time was close to mine, but I did it. I’m happy.’
Saulman reflected on the medley race. Once she completed the backstroke, admittedly her weakest discipline, Saulman attacked the breast stroke and freestyle.
‘I could see (Dixon) coming up on me,’ Saulman said. ‘In the breaststroke, I started reaching out as far as I could. With the freestyle, I gave it everything I had left.’
Saulman said the last time she swam a 2:12, she was hurting after the race but not this time.
‘I felt tired, but, in the water, I was feeling really good,’ she said.
In the 100 freestyle, Saulman put her face in the water and swam a personal best 52.17 seconds.
‘I’m glad I went under 53,’ Saulman said. ‘It’s my second time going 52 and almost 51. That will be my new goal.’
Preliminary swims for sectional took place Thursday, setting up the finals and consolations on Saturday.
Saulman was joined by teammate Melissa King in the final of the 200 IM. King, a freshman, went on to place eighth with a time of 2:26.66. She swam a 2:24.55 in the preliminary. Also in the medley, North Harrison freshman Maddy Marinc was 12th (2:31.02) and teammate Shannia Austin, a senior, was 13th (2:31.34).
King also made the final of the 100 butterfly, taking eighth in 1:07.30. She logged a 1:05.54 in the prelims. North Harrison’s Hannah Ingle took 10th (1:12.50) in the fly.
Within the relays, Corydon Central’s best was the 200-medley relay. The team of Erica Wood, Brianna Harper, King and Saulman took fourth in 2:01.69, shaving nearly three seconds off their preliminary time.
North Harrison’s team of Natalie Robertson, Alexis Blessinger, Rachel Purser and Ingle took fifth in the 400-freestyle relay in 4:23.82. Corydon Central’s Joelle Cox, Jillian Pittman, Zoe Pierce and Wood were sixth (4:27.30).
In the 200 free relay, Corydon Central (Harper, Pierce, King and Saulman) was fifth (1:48.91) while North Harrison (Austin, Robertson, Purser and Marinc) was sixth (1:53.47).
Other notable consolation finishes were: Corydon Central ‘ Brianna Harper (50 freestyle, 13th, 27.39 and 100 freestyle, 15th, 1:01.38) and Joelle Cox (200 freestyle, 16th, 2:24.62); and North Harrison ‘ Shannia Austin (100 backstroke, ninth, 1:05.52), Maddy Marinc (500 freestyle, 10th, 5:55.03) and Natalie Robertson (50 freestyle, 14th, 27.68).
Looking ahead to the state meet, in the 200 IM, Saulman is slated to compete in the third of four heats. Also, Saulman is set for lane one in heat four of the 100 freestyle.
Within sectionals throughout the state, Saulman posted the 14th fastest time in the IM and 19th in the 100 free.
The top 16 in each swimming event during Friday’s prelims will return for competition on Saturday. The top eight will vie for state championship honors while the ninth through 16th finishers make up the consolation heats.
Competition will be at the Indiana University Natatorium on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
Team scores ‘ 1. Jeffersonville 465, 2. Floyd Central 464, 3. Seymour 316, 4. Jennings County 185, 5. New Albany 176, 6. Corydon Central 153, 7. North Harrison 89, 8. Southwestern (Hanover) 80, 9. Scottsburg 62, 10. Switzerland County 47, 11t. Salem 36, 11t. Madison 36, 13. Providence 34, 14. Charlestown 31, 15. Henryville 15, 16. Silver Creek 4.
Individual results (first place finishers advance to state) ‘ 200 medley relay: 1. Jeffersonville (M. McEwen, C. Elliott, R. Walker, J. Richard) 1:50.13, 2. Seymour, 3. Floyd Central; 200 free: 1. R. Walker (Jeff) 1:54.82, 2. H. Dixon (Jeff), 3. K. Turner (Sey); 200 IM: 1. G. Saulman (Cory) 2:05.77, 2. A. Dixon (Jeff), 3. S. Allen (FC); 50 free: 1. G. Manger (NA) 24.68, 2. J. Richard (Jeff), 3. S. Winterheimer (NA); 1-meter diving: 1. H. Brown (JC) 388.65, 2. A. Davenport (FC), 3. A. Beard (FC); 100 fly: 1. L. Thompson (FC) 59.31, 2. S. Montgomery (Sey), 3. S. Sansbury (Jeff); 100 free: 1. G. Saulman (Cory) 52.17, 2. G. Manger (NA), 3. K. Persinger (Sey); 500 free: 1. R. Walker (Jeff) 5:05.74, 2. H. Dixon (Jeff), 3. K. Pinnick (FC); 200 free relay: 1. Seymour (K. Turner, S. Montgomery, N. Yakovlyeve, K. Persinger) 1:39.78, 2. Jeffersonville, 3. New Albany; 100 back: 1. L. Thompson (FC) 56.73, 2. K. Turner (Sey), 3. S. Moeller (FC); 100 breast: 1. A. Dixon (Jeff) 1:07.84, 2. C. Elliott (Jeff), 3. K. Persinger (Sey); 400 free relay: 1. Jeffersonville (R. Walker, J. Richard, H. Dixon, A. Dixon) 3:39.90, 2. Floyd Central, 3. Jennings County.