After winning seven events and dominating the sectional field, the Crawfordsville boys’ swim team will be represented by 11 individuals on Friday night at the IHSAA Swim State Finals at the Natatorium at IUPUI in Indianapolis.
It was a 1-point loss in 2019 that motivated the Athenians, who won the 200 medley, 200 and 400 freestyle relays, the 50 and 100 freestyle, and 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly on their way to a 471-340 advantage over second-place South Vermillion at the sectional.
“Just from the get-go this season, coach (Kevin Hedrick) was reminding us of that loss,” Crawfordsville’s Jack Pendleton said. “I think the biggest thing was losing by one point last year. That really drove the fire to win this year and do the best I could, and made me work harder.”
Pendleton won both the 50 and 100 freestyle. The junior is seeded 32nd in the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.51 seconds, and 32nd in the 100 freestyle with a time of 49.49 seconds.
Thristan Callejas was the lone Athenian representative in 2019 as a freshman at the state finals in the 100 butterfly, and is excited to have teammates join him on Friday.
“Last year I was pretty nervous being by myself and all,” he said. “I think I’ve adapted and learned from that, and I think I’m ready to swim fast and not put too much pressure on myself. It’s a different atmosphere for sure. Having a team there will definitely bring moral up for me and the team. The mindset is still the same — swim fast.”
The sophomore returns to the state finals in the 100 butterfly and the 200 freestyle. He is seeded 32nd in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:31.78 and 29th in the 100 butterfly with a time of 54.08 seconds.
Callejas and coach Hedrick agree that a bit of a culture shift took place, helping the Athenian reach new heights this season.
“Definitely that maturity helps a lot,” Hedrick said. “The culture changes as the maturity level changes, and we kind of shoved down their throat a lot of mental toughness type things. We kept that as a topic throughout the season — We were just tough. That speaks to the guys and how far they’ve came.”
Crawfordsville will also compete Friday night at the state prelims in the 200 medley relay (1:41.47), 200 freestyle relay (1:31.78), and 400 freestyle relay (3:22.71).