Too young. Not enough depth. Those are two of the excuses that Crawfordsville girls swimming could’ve used for themselves this season. Instead Cville went out and showed everyone that they weren’t going to mess around. Saturday at Crawfordsville High School the Athenians battled the Western Boone Stars down to the wire for the sectional team title. WeBo ended up edging out the Athenians 360-341, but it was still a very successful day for CHS as they will send five to Friday’s IHSAA Girls Swim State Finals at the IUPUI Natatorium.
Sophomores Sophia Melevage, Elle Walker, and Guinevere Schmitzer-Torbert will join freshman Maesa Horton and Marie Hesler in continuing their season. Melevage paced the way for the Athenians, going 4-4 in her events by bringing home sectional titles in the 200 freestyle (2:02.17), 100 butterfly (1:01.14), 200 medley Relay (1:58.76), and the 200 freestyle relay (1:40.96).
In the 200 freestyle relay that time broke the school and pool record that was held since 2018 as Hesler, Horton, Schmitzer-Torbert and Melevage etched their name in school history.
“It’s exciting for this young group to have so much success,” Crawfordsville coach Kevin Hedrick said. “We wanted 1st but we still won in our eyes, because sometimes first place isn’t all that matters. This is the culmination of a lot of hard work and that’s what we talk about a lot. Those girls that we had in the 200 free relay is something that is extra special. It’s one of those things where you hope to have those girls that you can rely on and that they have the confidence in themselves to go out and break a school record in a big meet like this.”
Melevage is the only swimmer of the five who has State Finals experience as she went a season ago as a freshman. Hedrick knows more than anything that this next week and even on Friday will be a celebration of their achievements more than anything as he gets his five girls ready to swim under the bright lights.
“It’s all fun for us from this point on,” he said. “We’re going to work hard still but focus on having fun in practice. We’ll keep them loose as best we can and of course there’ll be some nerves with the atmosphere but we’re going to go and hopefully have a good showing.”
North Montgomery finished right behind the Athenians in third place with 254 points. Junior Annabel Anderson was named the sectional champion in the 100 freestyle with a time of 55:59. With that, Anderson will head back to the State Finals for the second straight year. Overall Charger coach Erin Yeager was thrilled with how her young team performed.
“We had to overcome some things, but I was proud of how our girls did,” she said. “We only lose one senior so the future for us is looking super bright and I’m excited to see where we can go. We’ll learn from today and use it to build.”
Anderson who was apart of the Charger relay team a season ago who made it to the State Finals will now get to experience it for herself and that’s something that Yeager is looking forward to for her junior.
“For her to accomplish this all by herself is really extra special,” Yeager said. “I’m so proud of her for all the work she’s put in to get to this point.”
On Tuesday the Charger 200 medley relay team of Dusty Robinson, Kylie Sankey, Brooklyn Kerns, and Anderson broke a 30 year school record with a time of 1:56.84.
“That is another thing that we’re going to celebrate,” Yeager said. “They took around .8 - .9 seconds off and they had been so close a couple of times this season to breaking it. We had a lot of success between Thursday and today and I’m just looking forward to seeing where this group can go from here.”
Swimming at IUPUI on Friday begins at 6 pm as Anderson and the Athenians look to compete against the state’s best.