By Justin Whitaker
INDIANAPOLIS — After scoring a single point in last year’s swimming and diving state finals, the Avon Orioles executed a perfect flip-turn in 2013.
Avon finished ninth at the 2013 IHSAA Boys Swimming and Diving Championship at the IUPUI Natatorium with a score of 97.
“It’s a great performance for these guys,” Avon coach Jon Karr said. “I’m very proud of the way this team came together this year.”
The Orioles scored in nine of 12 events and finished on the podium in three of those nine races.
“That’s pretty impressive for where we were the last few years and we ended up with a top 10 finish so you really can’t ask for too much more,” Karr said.
Junior Christian Lorenz finished an Avon-best fifth in the 100 breast with a time of 57.03.
“It’s pretty good going from 21st last year to fifth this year,” Lorenz said. “It’s a big jump and it’s nice to be in the top eight.”
Lorenz hopes to return next season and end up with the first place, blue ribboned medal.
“Hopefully next year I’ll be going for the blue medal instead of the green this year,” he said.
Sophomore Parks Jones went through the wringer on Saturday as he raced in a third of the events.
Jones’ best finish of his four races was an eighth in the 200 free.
“I’m not too happy with the way I swam because I gained a little bit of time but I am happy that I brought in my first medal from state as a sophomore.”
But he also notched a 15th in the 500 free before immediately starting off the 200 free relay team. That squad of Greg Sprout, Quinn McPhail, Zackary Czerwonky and Jones finished 12th.
“It was definitely hard, especially when you have to lead off on the relay,” Jones said. “But it’s fun just going out there and swimming your hardest.”
Jones also was on the Avon 400 free relay team that finished ninth along with Grant Lewis, Matt Stowe and Sprout.
The sophomore raced a grueling schedule but impressed his coach with his performance.
“Overall he did a great job and I am very impressed with the way he’s come along,” Karr said. “Just being a sophomore and he’s got a quiet confidence about him that’s just fun to watch.”
The 200 medley relay team of Stowe, Lorenz, Lewis and Sprout had the best of all the Orioles’ relay finishes with a seventh place podium finish. All the Avon relay teams competed Saturday and scored.
“It’s nice,” Karr said. “Hopefully we can go and get a little bit better next year and put them all in the top eight because that’s when you really starting making a lot of noise.”
Lewis, the Oriole sophomore, placed 10th in the 200 IM and 12th in the 100 fly.
Senior Colin Mothersead ended his high school swimming career with a ninth place finish in the 100 breast.
Avon graduates only four seniors from this season’s squad. Karr believes the future is promising for the Orioles and the team agrees.
“I feel like we could possibly move up to top five in the state,” Jones said. “We are just going to have to work hard and stay together.”
Two freshman divers made a splash for Hendricks County Saturday. Of the 32 divers invited to state, four were freshman and Avon’s Daequan Quinn and Tri-West’s Evan Cooper made half of that list.
Quinn finished 16th with a final score of 359.00 and Cooper finished 18th with a semifinals score of 255.45.
Plainfield senior Nick Allen placed 10th in the 100 back with a time of 52.50.
The Brownsburg 400 free relay team of Joe Myhre, Kyle Baney, Bradley Green and Vince Partlow finished 14th with a time of 3:14.98.
“We competed about as hard as we could,” Brownsburg coach Joshua Saylor said. “We switched up the order from what we had been doing all year just to kind of throw another variable in there to keep it fresh and exciting. But most teams get to today and it’s just what do you have left? We had a time sure, but I’m not disappointed. We raced hard.”
Participating, but not advancing to Saturday swims was Brownsburg’s 200 medley relay team of Myhre, Baney, Green, and sophomore Joe Ancel that finished 25th, Avon’s Stowe and Brownsburg’s Myhre finished 19th and 20th respectively in the 100 back, Avon’s Sprout placed 24th in the 100 free and Avon’s McPhail took 24th in the 100 breast.