Swimmer of the Year

Crawfordsville’s Thristan Callejas and Jack Pendleton lead Athenians to sectional title, earn Journal Review Co-Swimmers of the Year


Thristan Callejas and Jack Pendleton each prepared for the 2019-20 swim season differently, but with the same goals in mind.

With Montgomery County and Sagamore Conference titles as expectations, trips to the state finals, but most importantly — avenge a 1-point second-place finish at the IHSAA Sectional from last season.

That drove them all the way through the offseason and eventually to a sectional title, the Athenians’ fifth championship in the last six years.

“Last season obviously ended bittersweet,” Callejas, a sophomore, said. “Of course a 1-point loss forces the group to reanalyze our performance, but all of us collectively learned from the experience and in turn helped with our mental preparation before meets.”

At the county meet, Callejas and Pendleton led Crawfordsville to its sixth-straight title. Callejas won both the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly, while Pendleton won the 50 and 100 freestyle. They each were part of the winning 200 medley and 200 freestyle relay teams. At the conference meet, despite the Athenians’ second-place finish, Callejas won the 100 butterfly, while Pendleton helped win both the 200 and 400 freestyle relays, while Callejas was a part of the 400 team.

At the sectional, Callejas took first in both the 200 freestyle and the 100 butterfly, and helped the 200 medley relay team to a win. Pendleton won both the 50 and 100 freestyle, and helped the 200 freestyle relay team to a win, before joining up with Callejas on the 400 freestyle championship team. Earning state qualifying bids in each event.

Callejas and Pendleton are the 2020 Journal Review Co-Swimmers of the Year.

“Both of these young men came into the season with clear goals and a tremendous work ethic,” Crawfordsville coach Kevin Hedrick said. “Both of these guys kept the end of the season in mind as they focused on technique at the beginning of the season.”

Pendleton spent last summer constantly putting in work at the pool, and was relieved when it all paid off during his junior season.

“I swam SCSC (Sugar Creek Swim Club) in the summer and the fall,” he said. “Being in the water that much definitely helps prepare me for the school season. It feels good knowing the work I have put in is paying off.”

While his teammates were working hard in the water to get back on top of the sectional podium, Callejas, however, spent the majority of last summer dealing with an injury. And he thinks the time off paid dividends in the long-run.

“My offseason included a stress fracture in my back, delaying my time spent in the pool,” he said. “However I believe it was a much needed break from my usual routine because it allowed me to focus on the small things that I had not previously taken proper care of. Through daily stretches and CrossFit training I was able to begin the season totally healthy and mentally prepared.”

Callejas and Pendleton will both return for the Athenians next year.

Pendleton says the plan is another conference and sectional title, while Callejas says it’s important to got content or complacent with the success they’ve had, and to chase new and bigger goals.

That shouldn’t be hard.

Only the pool and their already telling work ethic stands in the way between Callejas, Pendleton and the Athenians, and even more success. County, conference, and sectional titles, and hopefully a chance at a Saturday swim at the state finals.

Journal Review All-Area Team

Ben Brown — Crawfordsville

Thristan Callejas – Crawfordsville 

Evan Chaney — Crawfordsville

Hunter Conrad —Crawfordsville

Marshall Horton — Crawfordsville

Jack Pendleton – Crawfordsville 

Eric Medley Fountain Central

Aidan Shumaker — Fountain Central

Stevie Gunderman — North Montgomery

John Zimmerman – Southmont


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