Indiana’s boys high school state meet begins Friday, with Carmel looking to repeat and earn its 16th overall boys team championship in the last 27 years. Here are four important races to watch:
1. 50 Free
Just two swimmers return from last year’s championship final, and they’ll rekindle a fiery rivalry in 2016. Last year, Brownsburg freshman Jack Franzman touched out Carroll junior Ryan Huizing for fourth place by just a single hundredth of a second, 21.01 to 21.02. This year Huizing, now a senior, comes in with the top seed at 20.71, with Franzman just behind in 20.86. On top of that, a new freshman will add some intrigue with Highland 9th-grader Ethan Churilla coming up with a huge drop and going 20.88 to win his section last week.
2. 200 IM
With the dominant Ian Finnerty now graduated, the top returner is Avon senior Chandler Bray, who was just under 1:50 last year. But Fishers senior Glen Brown will complicate matters, jumping into the IM after taking 4th in the 200 free last year. Brown comes in seeded just above 1:50. Also watch out for Zionsville sophomore Andrew Schuler and Carmel junior Charles Vaughan, both of whom return from last year’s A final.
3. 100 Fly
One of 2015’s closest races, the 100 fly returns 5 of 8 swimmers who cracked 50 seconds last year. Fort Wayne Snider senior Gabriel Swardson is the defending champ, but comes in as just the 8th seed with plenty of time to drop at the state meet. Carroll senior Ryan Huizing is the top seed after beating Swardson at the section meet. And Penn senior Kyle Morris – third last year behind Swardson and Huizing – sits second on the psych sheet in a field of swimmers that could make things crowded underneath the 50-second barrier.
4. 100 Breast
Once again, state record-setter Ian Finnerty clears out, leaving Avon’s Chandler Bray as the top returner in his senior year. He’s the odds-on favorite, leading all seeds by almost a full second at 55.31 – a fairly leisurely time compared to Bray’s lifetime-best, but plenty enough to qualify, considering he won his section by almost six seconds. The real drama, though, is whether Bray can approach Finnerty’s state record after dropping down to a 54.12 at Junior Nationals a few months ago. Bray is still a good second off the record, but his long course time of 1:01.79 suggests he’s got the speed to push towards Finnerty’s 53.19.
The meet begins with prelims at 6pm Eastern Time on Friday night. Finals continue at 1pm Eastern Time Saturday.
Full psych sheets are here.
You’ll be able to find full results here.