INDIANAPOLIS — Following up their sectional championship win last weekend, members of the Southmont swim team traveled to the campus of IUPUI to compete in the IHSAA State Prelims. Crawfordsville Sophomore Alyx Bannon joined Emma Tyler, Megan and Jane Scheidler, and Suzi Pedro as the five swimmers competing on the big stage.
Bannon competed in the 100 freestyle and ended with a time of 56.17. Coach Kevin Hedrick and Bannon talked about what the experience was like of competing against the best swimmers the state has to offer.
“Coming in we had the same outlook tonight as we did going into sectionals,” Hedrick said. “As a sophomore when you come to a big event like this it’s awesome for her to get to experience something like this.”
“I felt good,” Bannon said. “I just had to push through all of the intimidating factors that go in to it and try my hardest because it’s an absolute privilege to be here.”
With still two years left, the goal for Bannon now becomes to make this a yearly trip as both Hedrick and Bannon know that there is plenty of room for her to grow.
“We have a lot of things to work on for her to get faster,” Hedrick said. “We’re looking at coming back here two more times. Every time you come back here you get faster and learn what an environment like this is like.”
Bannon talked about the impact that Hedrick has had on her this season as he has routinely called Bannon “a great learner and very coachable”.
“It means a lot to me that he never gave up on me,” Bannon said. “He’s always continued to push me every step of the way.”
The Mounties came into the state meet with Tyler swimming in the 500 freestyle and the rest of the group (including Tyler) making up the 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams. Tyler came into the meet with a time of 5:28.50 in the 500 and she was able to blow past that time as she set a lifetime best with a time of 5:22.00. In the 200 relay, the group swam a 1:41.82 which was almost a second quicker than their sectional time of 1:42.28. Lastly in the 400 relay the Mounties kept their time right about the same with a 3:46.77 (swam 3:46.45 at sectional). Coach Jane Coudret was thrilled with her team and how they performed.
“Both Emma and our 200 freestyle were life-time bests for us,” Coudret said. “It’s tough to come down here and swim your best against this level of competition so I’m just really proud of all of them and how they swam tonight. They just wanted to come here and swim the very best that they could so that helped alleviate some of the pressure. I told them that they deserve to be here just like everyone else.”
Pedro, Tyler, and Jane Scheidler, and Aubrey Jones are all seniors on the team and they have provided leadership for a team that has 11 of its 21 members as freshman.
“It wasn’t just one of them who stepped up this season,” Coudret said. “It was an overall group effort from them and I think that trickled down to everybody else on the team.”
Pedro, Tyler, and the Scheidler sisters talked about the not only the experience that they had at the meet, but also the chemistry that the four have developed over the course of this season.
“It was such an amazing experience,” Jane said. “It’s really sad that it’s over but I’m glad that I got to do it with a great team.”
“It was really cool that we got to go out the way we did,” Tyler added. “To win our first sectional and to make it to state, it was a great way to wrap up my swimming career.”
“I think we exceeded our expectations,” Pedro said. “We set really high goals for ourselves and I never thought we’d be here swimming it together.”
“Swimming with these girls and looking up to them has made this season so special,” Megan said. “They did a great job of leading the way.”