By Jake Thompson
— The Plainfield boys’ and girls’ swimming and diving teams traveled to Crawfordsville on Saturday to participate in the 12-team Athenian invitational.
The boys finished in fourth place behind winner Terre Haute South, Franklin Central, and Westfield.
The girls placed fifth behind winner Westfield, McCutcheon, Brebeuf, and Terre Haute South.
“I was very pleased with our finishes,” Plainfield coach Chris Cavanaugh said. “With the size of our teams, we were very competitive.”
Plainfield’s relay team of Nick Allen, James Pawlowski, Chris Tice, and Dakota Rhoades took second in the 200 medley relay. The same four swimmers placed second in the 400 free relay, narrowly missing a top place on the podium.
All four members of those relay teams also performed well throughout the day.
Allen won the 100 free with a time of 48.77 and placed second in the 100 back. Tice took second in the 50, barely missing first by under a second and he placed third in the butterfly.
Rhoades placed fifth in the 200 IM and Pawlowski took eighth in the 100 breast.
“Nick and Chris are our two best swimmers and are pretty fast and we rely on them,” Cavanaugh said. “Dakota, a junior, has had a really strong season and James has come on strong as well in his sophomore year. All four swam well together and in their events.”
In the girls’ events, Courtney Coverdale won the diving event and looks strong heading into the state tournament according to Cavanaugh.
Mallory Adair placed second in the 500 free. Emily Hunter finished fourth in the 100 breast.
Victoria Whicker placed seventh in the 200 free. Hannah Lautenschlager took fifth in the 100 free and eighth in the 200 IM. Victoria VanDeVoorde placed fifth in the 50 free.
Plainfield is down four swimmers from its team due to injuries and, with a smaller squad, those girls are difficult to replace.
“That’s pretty decimating,” Cavanaugh said of the losses. “When you lose five swimmers, it is tough as a team to be that competitive. We just have to coach the kids that are there and improve their times and move through it.”
With some stiff competition from a variety of conferences from around the state including the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference, Hoosier Crossroads Conference, Sagamore Conference, Mid-State Conference, West Central Conference, and an independent (Brebeuf), Saturday’s competition was a good precursor for the upcoming postseason.
“One of the strong points of the meet is you get some teams like Terre Haute South, Brebeuf and Westfield as they are all very strong,” Cavanaugh said. “There are strong teams and talented individuals there also. It gives some of the smaller schools a chance to see quality competition as well.”