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NH girls’ swim team wins conference

NH girls’ swim team wins conference
NH girls’ swim team wins conference
The North Harrison girls’ swim team stops for a team photo after winning the Mid-Southern Conference championship meet Thursday night. Photos by George Browning
George Browning, Sports Writer, [email protected]

The North Harrison girls’ swim team didn’t win every event on its way to a Mid-Southern Conference championship Thursday at New Washington, but it was still a dominant performance.

The Lady Cats finished with 357 points, which was nearly 200 points higher than Scottsburg, which was second with 259 points. Corydon Central scored 190, placing third.

Swim team
North Harrison’s first-year coach Bailey Seitz takes a minute to talk to one of her relay teams while the rest of the team gathers behind her.

North Harrison coach Bailey Seitz said it was good to see her team have such a successful meet.

“We have a really strong team, and the girls have been working really hard,” she said. “I graduated from North Harrison, so I’ve watched all these girls grow up. It has been nice to coach them and watch them do so well.”

Corydon Head Coach Matt Hamblen said he was pleased with the Panthers, as well. He said he thought they swam to the level of their ability.

“I was pleased with the team,” he said. “I believe we did as well as we could, and that is all anyone can ask.”

The Lady Cats’ swimmers were second in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:57.75. The team consists of Maddy Marinc, Brooke Comer, Morgan Purser and Alex Shaffer. Corydon Central’s team of Kendra Grayson, Annika White, Grace Adams and Tina Ylipaa was fourth.

North Harrison had two swimmers in the top three of the 200-yard freestyle. Purser finished first with a time of 2:15.39, and E.V. Wright was third. Corydon Central’s Gracia Swords was second in the event.

Marinc won the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:28.74, and Alex Shaffer finished third. Ava Burden of North Harrison was fifth in the event.

Swim team
Corydon Central’s Josie Striegel swims in the back stroke during Thursday’s Mid-Southern Conference meet at New Washington. The Lady Panthers’ swimmers finished third at the meet.

Harrison County swimmers took second through fifth in the 50-yard freestyle. North Harrison had Comer, who was second, and Destiny Kays, who finished third, while Corydon Central had Emily Wiseman and Josie Striegel finish fourth, and fifth, respectively.

Comer won the 100-yard fly with a time of 1:11.26, and Lilly Wiseman took second.

Kays was the top North Harrison swimmer in the 100-yard freestyle; she finished third. North Harrison’s Alexis Blessinger was fifth in the event.

The Lady Cats took the top two spots in the 500-yard freestyle event. Marinc won with a time of 5:58.07, and her teammate, Julia Campbell, was second. Corydon Central’s Lily Bowsman was fifth.

North Harrison’s 200-yard freestyle relay team of Shafer, Kays, Wright and Blessinger finished second with a time of 1:56.97, and the Lady Panthers’ team of Swords, Jaylee Rowland, Josie Striegel and Emily Wiseman was second.

Wright won the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1:11 for North Harrison, and Shaffer finished fourth. Striegel finished the event in fifth place.

Purser scored a win for the Lady Cats in the 100-yard breast stroke with a time of 1:18.64, and Swords was second. Brooklyn Wernert finished fifth for the Lady Cats.

North Harrison’s 400-yard freestyle relay team of Kays, Purser, Comer and Marinc took first with a time of 4:19.09.

Shaffer, Kays, Wright and Blessinger made up the Lady Cats’ 200-yard freestyle relay team that took second place, posting a time of 1:57.75. Swords, Rowland, Striegel and Wiseman made up Corydon Central’s team that finished third.

“We had a lot of surprise drops (in time) that we weren’t expecting to,” Seitz said. “We had those drops and some really good swims. It was obvious that they wanted it, and they worked really hard to get it.”

Hamblen said a number of his swimmers had nice showings Thursday, as well.

“Gracia Swords did well in her 200 free and 100 breaststroke, he said. “She maintained her times but swam very well. Jaylee Rowland placed third in the 100 back and came up short on the first place.  She has been stuck on 1:16 all year and came in and busted it for a 1:13.88.”

Corydon was MSC champions last year and with the drop to third this year, Hamblen said he hopes it sends a message to his team.

“We will have a good strong nucleus coming back for next year,” he said. “I need to see them in the water to maintain and get better and stronger for next year. I hope us dropping like we did this year resonates with them and makes them very hungry when next season comes around.”

The Lady Cats and the Lady Panthers will now get ready for sectional. This year, sectional will offer a new challenge.

“We have a lot of potential for sectional,” Seitz said. “We start competing in a new one this year at Jasper. In years past, we had been at Floyd Central so we don’t know what to expect. So, we are going to take that for what it is and just really go for it. There will be no holding back. We have some girls who can get out of sectional and, if not, definitely compete on the second day.”