INDIANAPOLIS — With a late rally, Avon overtook Penn for a runner-up finish at Saturday’s boys’ swimming state finals at IUPUI.
Avon trailed Penn by 22 points with three events to go, but Christian Lorenz and Chandler Bray took second and fifth, respectively, in the 100 breaststroke, and Grant Lewis, Greg Sprout, Grant Sprout and Parks Jones placed third in the 400 freestyle relay to finish.
While Chesterton won its second straight title with 240 points, with 198, Avon finished 11 ahead of third-place Penn.
The Orioles’ previous best state finish was last season’s ninth place.
“It’s been a long journey, just coming in and believing in what we do,” said Avon’s Jon Karr, who was named IHSAA Coach of the Year just before the Orioles received their runner-up trophy. “The kids bought in and were enthusiastic about it, knowing that we’re here to try and make them champions.
“I’ve never had a closer group of boys, with how they care about each other. It’s been a lot of fun.”
Jones had Avon’s first-ever individual state swimming championship and a second place to cap a sensational junior season.
“It means a lot to improve as much as we did over last year,” Jones said. “I can’t thank my teammates and coaches enough for pushing me in practice and everything they’ve done.”
Avon started the day with a solid swim in the 200 medley relay, as Bray, Lorenz, Lewis and Greg Sprout finished two spots behind the new state record set by Chesterton.
Jones followed that up with a victory in the 200 freestyle, just .09 seconds off the state record.
“I was eighth in the same event last year, so going to first this year was incredible,” Jones said. “I wish I could’ve gotten the record, but it gives me something to work for.”