SAC Swimming and Diving

SAC Swim: Chargers girls win first title since 1993

Athenian boys win second straight


The tears flowed from North Montgomery swim coach Erin Yeager on Saturday, but they were tears of joy. The North Montgomery girls swim and dive team finally saw all of their hard work pay off and for the first time since 1993 and only the second time in school history the Chargers were Sagamore Conference champions. The Chargers held off county rival Crawfordsville 419-409 in what was yet another thrilling meet between the two county teams. Southmont placed seventh.

The Crawfordsville boys pulled away from Danville late to win their second straight SAC title with 414 points to the Warriors 381.

Heading into the final three events, the Chargers were up by just a single point. North got a first place finish from Dusty Robinson in the 100 back along with a third place finish from Kate Merica. The Chargers then sealed the SAC title by finishing ahead of CHS for second in the 400 freestyle relay.

After Yeager jumped in the pool to celebrate with her team and got the chance to some what dry off, she spoke about the history making day for her girls.

“We talked with them how we just you this much (index finger and thumb closely together) better,” she said. “We don’t need one person to go out and win the whole thing and every single girl stepped up to bring this home for us. It was event after event that girls did just that. We had girls move up at so many different spots. Their mental toughness was phenomenal. They’ve stepped up and worked together in ways that as I coach I’m amazed to see. It’s a proud moment for this team, this group of girls and for North Montgomery swimming.”

Annabel Anderson was the SAC champ in the 100 freestyle for the Chargers holding off Crawfordsville’s Ellie Walker. Anderson finished with a 55.71 while Walker was 56.04. An added benefit to the championship for the Chargers was they had all 24 girls back in either the consolations or the finals. This girls team began the year strong and Yeager added how she looked back when this team started out strong and realized something special could be achieved.

“It was when we were about 5 or 6-0 and I really started to think that we could do some great things,” she said. “We built off that early season success and we have a great group of girls who want to get better, take instruction very well and now it’s paid off for every single one of them.”

For Crawfordsville girls what put them behind the eight ball so to speak was in diving where CHS didn’t have a single girl compete. The Chargers got a second place finish in diving from Anabelle Verduin and a seventh place finish from Savannah Crowe. That gave North a 29 point head start heading into Saturday’s finals. That was the first thing of note tat Cville coach Kevin Hedrick spoke about after the meet.

“The sport is called swimming and diving, not just swimming,” Hedrick said. “We put ourselves in a 29 point hole, but I was still proud of all of girls. Ellie Walker stepped up huge and then you have freshman like Melanie Dowd who got third in the 200 freestyle, Soren Olofson who was in the finals in the breaststroke. Our three juniors did their jobs too. Sophia, Guinevere, and Ellie, you can always count on their points.”

On the boys side North placed sixth with 147 points and Southmont seventh with 116.

The day was highlighted by Whitman Horton’s performance in the 200 freestyle as his time of 1:42.88 was a conference record. He also took first in the 100 butterfly (50.94) and helped the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams to first place finishes. What ultimately sealed the SAC title for the Athenian boys was in the 100 breaststroke. CHS went 1, 2 and four in the event with senior Ryan Miller taking first, sophomore Shawn Ewoldt second, and freshman Henry Hoard fourth.

“To have a sophomore and a freshman do what they did in that event, I can’t say enough about both of them,” Hedrick said. “Ryan then doing what you expect out of a senior and has been lighting it up all year for us. Then of course you have our top dogs with Whit setting a conference record, Campbell Mason in the 200 IM. I think Campbell also had the swim of the meet beating out Danville by two one-hundredths of a second. Whit wanted to try some new things and see if he could some more records and by golly did he get another one. It’s just a testament to all of our guys and the efforts they put in.”

Yeager also noted how when the team scores were being announced the boys team was cheering right alongside the girls and vice versa the girls for the boys. She might have also added in about the celebration with her girls team.

“We are one team with one heart,” Yeager said. “Both teams were cheering hard for each other and that’s what you love to see. The water did feel pretty good too.”

Southmont coach Mercedes McCormick talked about how both of her teams are focusing on improving their times and using bit meets like this to have better showing every time out.

“I think Clay Allen and Marley Jones really swam well in the finals and both of them ended with best times,” she said. “A lot of boys are new with five freshman so I was proud of the way they handled their first conference meet. To come here and see a lot of best times is really encouraging for us as we get ready for the stretch run.”