Girls Swim State Finals

Girls Swimmers cap season at State Finals


INDIANAPOLIS — The bright lights of the IUPUI Natatorium shined down upon 10 area girls swimmers on Friday as they each capped off their seasons at the 50th annual IHSAA Girls Swimming State Finals. After winning their respective sectional titles last Saturday six Crawfordsville Athenians, three North Montgomery Chargers and Fountain Central’s Mary Rice all swam their final meets of the season.

CHS after capturing their first sectional title since 2019 last Saturday sent juniors Ellie Walker, Sophia Melevage and Guinevere Schmitzer-Torbert along with Sophomores Marie Hesler and Maesa Horton while freshman Melanie Dowd rounded out the six Athenians competing. Walker, Schmitzer-Torbert, Hesler, and Dowd got things going right away in the 200 medley relay and ended with a time of 1:57.84. Hesler then swam in the 500 freestyle for CHS and ended with a time of 5:32.80. Swimming in the 200 freestyle relay for CHS was Horton, Melevage, Dowd, and Schmitzer-Torbert and they swam a 1:42.35. Rounding out the night in the final event the 400 freestyle relay team of Dowd, Walker, Melevage, and Horton swam a 3:48.75.

Crawfordsville completes it’s season by claiming a county title added to their first sectional title since 2019. What’s even better for CHS coach Kevin Hedrick is that every single one of his girls are coming back next season and will only get better.

“I’m very proud of our girls for all the hard work this season,” Hedrick said.  “The girls gave it everything they had tonight and we are super thankful ton have this opportunity each and every year.  We have everyone back next year and cant wait to come back next year and are looking forward to what the future holds.”

North Montgomery was represented in four different events by sophomores Kylie Sankey in the 200 freestyle and Dusty Robinson in the 100 backstroke while having senior Annabel Anderson swim in both the 50 and 100 freestyle. Sankey ended her sophomore campaign with a time of 2:02.33 with Robinson swimming a 1:02.03. Anderson swam a 25.50 in the 50 and a 57.39 in the 100. It was Anderson’s fourth trip to the state finals, something that’s only been done a handful of times in Charger history. She put her season and her career into words after she exited the pool for the final time.

“It was never an expectation that I’d get to be here all four years,” the Charger senior said. “It’s something that hasn’t quite hit me and I’m just excited that I was able to have such a great four years here and make so many memories. Getting to say that I’ve swam in two events at the state finals is pretty special. Getting to do this with both Kylie and Dusty made it extra special. I remember when I saw Kylie win the 200 my legs almost going to give up because I was so excited for her.”

Now the torch gets passed to both Sankey and Robinson and the other Charger girls who will lead them next season. Both Sankey and Robinson added on to what their first state finals was like.

“It was such a great experience,” Sankey added. “I love that I’m here with my friends, teammates and coaches who have supported me every step of the way. We all worked hard to get where we are and this team has been through its ups and downs this year, but we stuck together and had a great season. Annabel was the one telling us all week just to take it all in because it goes by so fast.”

Sankey knew that she wasn’t at the state meet by accident and getting to represent her school amongst the state’s best was an honor.

“It was scary when I first got here,” she said. “But I know it’s a honor to get to be here as an underclassmen. We’ve put in so much hard work to come this far. Not many people want to wake up at 5 a.m. and go to early morning practices. The bar has been set now for us and we have to work just as hard to be back here next year.”

The Mustangs and Rice have a special story that will be a separate one on its own. Rice did swim a time of 1:11.23.

That officially puts an end to the girls swim season in the area. With every CHS swimmer coming back, plus a young and energetic Charger team looking to build off its stellar season the girls swim scene is only going to continue to impress next winter.