Carmel Girls Extend Record With 36th-Straight Indiana HS Swimming Title

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 7

February 14th, 2022 News

2022 Indiana High School Girls’ Swimming & Diving State Championship Meet

  • February 11-12, 2022
  • Indiana University Natatorium, Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Short Course Yards (25 yards), Prelims/Finals
  • Full Meet Results/Team Standings (PDF)

The legend of the Carmel girls’ swimming & diving team grew on Saturday, when they extended their own national record 36-straight Indiana High School State Championships.

The title is the 26th won by head coach Chris Plumb since 2007: 16 by his girls’ teams and 10 by his boys’ teams. That’s more than any Indiana high school coach in any sport in the history of the state.

The Carmel girls scored 461 points for victory. While that didn’t quite match their record-setting total of 479 points from last season, it is the second-most points scored in the 48-year history of the meet.

  1. Carmel – 461
  2. Fishers – 283
  3. Hamilton Southeastern – 164
  4. Concord – 162
  5. Zionsville – 147

It doesn’t look like Carmel’s in-state dominance is going to slow down any time soon: two of the team’s three individual event victories in the meet came from freshmen.

The first title came from Alex Shackell, who also broke a State Record in 51.71. That cleared the 2016 record of another Carmel swimer, Veronica Burchill.

Shackell has huge swimming pedigree – her father, Nick Shackell, was a captain of Auburn’s first NCAA Championship team in 1997 and represented Great Britain at the 1996 Olympic Games. Her mom, Ali, also swam at Auburn, where she too was an All-American.

Alex’s best time of 51.21 came at the Speedo Winter Junior Championships – East meet in December, where she was one of the youngest winners at the meet.

No freshman had won the 100 fly at this meet since Christy Grcevich in 2004.

Alex Shackell also finished 2nd in the 50 free in 22.48. The swimmer who beat her was Penn sophomore Lily Christianson, whose time of 22.14 breaks the Indiana High School State Record of 22.15. The former record was set in 2015 by US National Teamer and 2014 SC World Champion Amy Bilquist.

That is a second-straight win in the event for Christianson.

Carmel’s next win came from another freshman, Lynsey Bowen, in the 500 free.

Bowen swam 4:45.15 to tie the State Record of 2022 NCAA title contender Emma Nordin, another Carmel alum. She added time to go 4:49.13 in finals, but still had plenty of margin to win ahead of Fishers junior Kate Mouser. Another Carmel freshman, Alexandra Ward, placed 3rd in 4:52.11.

Bowen also has impressive athletic pedigree: her mom Renee swam at Ball State, her older sister Kendra is a top performer on the swim team at Purdue, her older sister Taylor is on the basketball team at Lipscomb, and her dad Scott is the former head girls’ basketball coach at Carmel High.

Her other event was the 200 free, where she placed 4th in 1:48.06. The winner of that event was Bloomington South senior Kristina Paegle in 1:45.19. For Paegle, an Indiana commit, her prelims time of 1:45.02 is a new lifetime best and State Record.

Junior JoJo Ramey from Fishers, a Florida commit, finished 2nd in 1:46.24, while Carmel senior Gretchen Lueking, the two-time defending champion in the event, placed 3rd in 1:46.97.

Paegle would come back later in the meet to win the 100 free in 48.29, beating the 50 free winner Christianson (48.57) and Carmel’s Berit Berglund (48.70).

Paegle’s 100 free prelims time of 48.00 set a new Indiana State Record in the event. That again broke an Amy Bilquist record from 2015, where she swam 48.36.

Paegle graduates with three-straight 100 free titles, which ties as the most in state history in the event.

Carmel’s third and final individual event win came in the 100 yard backstroke, where the junior Berglund won and set yet another State Record. She swam 51.50 in prelims to undercut Claire Adams’ school and state records of 51.65 from prelims of the 2016 championships. Berglund tied the record again in finals to win her third-straight title, remaining undefeated in the event.

A dominant meet for Carmel include a fourth-straight sweep of the relay events.

In the opening 200 medley, Berglund, Vivian Wilson, Shackell, and Meghan Christman combined for a new State Record of 1:38.55. Their prelims time of 1:38.86 was a State Record, as was their finals time. Both undercut the 1:39.25 done by Carmel in 2015 in a powerhouse relay that included Sammie Burchill, Veronica Burchill, and Amy Bilquist.

Berglund’s backstroke split of 24.03 set the tone to start the session – she was the fastest swimmer on that leg by a whopping 1.3 seconds.

24.03 would have been one of the fastest medley relay leadoff at last year’s NCAA Championship meet. All four of the swimmers on that Carmel relay are scheduled to return next season.

Later, Carmel won the 200 free relay with the quartet of Gretchen LuekingGrace DoughertyLieske MacKenna, and Meghan Christman.

Lieske and Christman split 22.9s on the back-half of that relay to blow the relay wide open.

The fastest two splits of the field, however, were not Carmel swimmers. Fort Wayne-Carroll’s Mya DeWitt was 2nd in 22.65, while Penn sophomore Lily Christianson, the 50 free champion individually, split 21.95 on the anchor leg for her team’s 3rd-place relay.

The meet closed with Carmel’s three 2022 individual champions combining with Lueking to win the 400 free relay in 3:19.54 – four-and-a-half seconds clear of the field.

Lueking led off in 50.14, followed by Shackell (49.28), Berglund (49.46), and Bowen (50.66). So good is the Carmel high school team that even with two freshman, they posted a time that would rank among the top 40 college times this season.

The Carmel boys will chase an 8th-straight title at the boys’ state championship meet in two weeks.

Other 2022 Girls’ Champions:

  • Zionsville’s Devon Kitchel won the 200 IM in 1:57.82. She was about a second-and-a-half faster to win this event at the Winter Juniors – East meet in December. That’s a third-straight victory for Kitchel. She opted out of chasing a threepeat in the 100 fly, and instead switched to the 100 breaststroke, showing off her versatility by swimming a 1:01.18 to pull off an upset there. Her best time of 1:00.69 came in prelims of this meet; she made huge gains in her breaststroke during the COVID-19 pandemic downtime. From 2019 to 2021, she dropped almost 5 seconds in the 100 breaststroke – a race she also won at the Winter Junior Championships in December. Kitchel graduates with six state titles – which represents 55% of the state titles won in Zionsville girls swimming & diving history.
  • Center Grove sophomore Mia Prusiecki won the 1-meter diving event with a score of 524.00. She is Center Grove’s first-ever state champion in diving, and first-ever in any event since 2012.

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swim dad
9 months ago

Kristina Paegle’s prelims time of 1:45.02 in the 200 free was a High School State Record as well

swim dad
Reply to  swim dad
9 months ago

thanks for the update 🙂

Swimmer 321
9 months ago

Berglund went 23.89 (50 back) in 200 medley relay in prelims

Phi Swimma Fasta
9 months ago

Lindsay Benko won the 100 freestyle all four years.

Swimfish87
9 months ago

The Carmel girls 400 free record is insane, I remember watching that relay live! You also had Zionsville break the national record at the same time

Rowdy Marsh
9 months ago

It’s gonna be nice to have a Shackell back on the plains!

Not a NCAA Coach
9 months ago

Damn I bet the field :/

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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