By Jake Thompson
PLAINFIELD — With both the Brownsburg and Plainfield swimming and diving teams fresh off winter breaks and conference meets last weekend, each squad was tired. However, the Bulldogs stayed the course, sweeping the Quakers 106-79 on the girls’ side and dispatching Plainfield’s boys, 115-63.
“We had a really good Christmas break and did a lot of really good work, really good training,” Brownsburg coach Joshua Saylor said. “The meets right out of Christmas are sometimes a mixed bag. We always look forward to the Plainfield meet because we know it will be a competition. We know they fight hard, they race hard and I respect their program a lot. I thought our swimmers did a nice job.”
Plainfield coach Chris Cavanaugh agreed with his counterpart.
“I thought we had some solid swims,” Cavanaugh said. “Like Brownsburg, we had our conference this weekend. It’s always tough to get up for a really big meet and then turn around and swim a dual meet. We had some kids who were right on their times, which is pretty good. We’ve also had our first two early morning practices in the past two days so we were pretty tired at the end of the meet. I know Brownsburg is in the same situation, so no excuses.”
Both the Brownsburg 200 medley relay teams started off the night well for the Bulldogs as the boys’ team of Joe Myhre, Joe Ancel, Kyle Baney and Brad Green, along with the girls’ squad of Tia Scoggan, Grace Fulwider, Madison Kehr and Kristin Verpe each came away with victories.
Plainfield responded with sweeping wins in the 200 free as freshman Mallory Adair and Nick Allen each were victorious.
Brownsburg answered in the 200 IM with wins by Kierra Watson and Myhre.
Plainfield’s Victoria VanDeVoorde came back where she left off at the conference meet, winning the 50 free as Chris Tice came home with the win in the same event for the Quakers’ boys.
“Holy cow, Victoria is a sprinter no doubt,” Cavanaugh said. “She’s just learning how good she could possibly be after getting a taste of it this weekend. That hopefully will make her a little bit hungry as she is a good swimmer for sure.”
The teams split the diving events with Plainfield’s Courtney Coverdale and Brownsburg’s Grason Horvath each taking home first-place finishes.
The two schools split events again in the 100 fly as Watson and Tice took wins for the Bulldogs and Quakers, respectively.
Brownsburg swept the 100 free as Fulwider won the girls’ event and Green took the boys.
Adair won the 500 free for Plainfield while Ancel took home the win for the Bulldogs’ boys. The victory was Adair’s second on the night.
“Mallory was coming on the beginning of the season,” Cavanaugh said. “Now she is learning that not every meet will be a lifetime best. She is learning how to be really tired and swim, which is good for her. I know she tapers really, really well. When we start to rest here in a little bit we expect her to be pretty fast. She is a hard worker and a great kid and we are very, very fortunate to have her.”
The Quakers took home first-place finishes in the 200 freestyle relays as the girls’ squad of Lena Charles, VanDeVoorde, Adair and Emily Hunter cruised in with a time of 1:49.01 and the boys’ squad of Allen, Dakota Rhodes, Tice and Daniel Mongell finished in 1:34.35, narrowly edging the Bulldogs.
With the meet winding down, Brownsburg and Plainfield split in the 100 backstroke with the Bulldogs’ Scoggan and Quakers’ Allen taking firsts.
Brownsburg would sweep the 100 breast as Fulwider collected her second individual first of the evening and Hunter Dahlke won on the boys’ side.
The Bulldogs also swept both 400 free relays as the team of Maddie Ketchem, Chloe Wittig, Fulwider and Watson won in a time of 3:56.76 and the boys’ team of Ancel, Green, Vince Partlow and Myhre took first in 3:22.82 to close out racing on the night.
“Vince had a really good 200, faster than his time at conference last week, but his relay splits were really good. He stepped it up,” Saylor said. “We have some competition to get on our relays for sectionals and that is a good thing. I thought Myhre, our freshman, had lifetime bests in the 500 and 200 IM by a wide margin. Grant Anspach got under a minute in the backstroke for the first time.”
Both teams are preparing for the taper at this point in the season with sectionals right around the corner for the girls at the end of the month.
“We pretty much have an idea of what we are going to swim at sectional,” Saylor said. “Maybe a couple of relays are still up in the air. What we wanted to do was get through conference and then focus on sectional. We will turn our attention to the taper and the fastest swimming of the season.”
Cavanaugh is also eyeing the end of the year for his teams.
“We talk about county as a good measuring stick before the break, conference after the break and most teams hammer out big time yardage after break,” he said. “When you finally get everyone rested and hopefully on the razor’s edge for sectional and the state meet after that. So, that’s our focus is to swim fast at sectional. It will be here before they know it.”