IHSAA Girls Finals: Carmel Wins #33, Franklin Community 2nd

2019 Indiana Girls High School State Championships

The finals for the Indiana Girls High School State Championships was a very intense battle. Carmel looked to extend their national record to a 33rd consecutive title. Meanwhile, four schools (Homestead, Carroll, Franklin, Fishers) were all in contention for the runner-up title.

Potential highlighters for finals are Carmel’s Kelly Pash, who could go an IM/FL double after doing a 100/200 FR double in 2018, Yorktown’s Emily Weiss, chasing her own national record, and Northridge’s Elsa Fretz, who looks to potentially sweep the 50/100 FR.

Meet Highlights

200 Medley Relay

The first half of the 200 medley relay had a very tight race among four schools. Carmel’s Madelyn Christman had the slight lead off the first 25 of backstroke, but was quickly challenged by Homestead’s Shelby Crist. In the breaststroke, Franklin’s Kabria Chapman also challenged Carmel’s Kelly Pash with her 28.41 split. Yet, Carmel pulled away in the second half with Meredith Berglund’s 24.68 fly split and Colleen Duffy’s 22.87 free split.

Carmel took the win with a 1:41.39. Taking second place was Franklin Community (1:43.14) and in third was Homestead (1:43.14).

200 Free

In the first 100 of the 200 free, the entire field was bunched up. Yet Carmel’s Ashlyn Underhill was the first girl to break away from the pack. Teammate Kendra Bowen challenged Underhill into the last 50. In the end, the Carmel seniors went a 1-2 finish led by Bowen (1:47.67). Underhill took second with a 1:48.16.

200 IM

Same distance, different strokes, Kelly Pash took a dominant lead from the start of the 200 IM.

Despite Emily Weiss’ strong breaststroke split to put her in second, it was not enough to fend off Pash. Pash took the title as the only swimmer under 2 minutes with a 1:58.54. Weiss took second with a 2:01.01.

50 Free

In the fastest event of the afternoon, Elsa Fretz sealed the deal off the wall for the 2nd 25 to take a dominant win with a 22.88, only time under 23 seconds.

Carmel held the scores lead with 175 points after the first 4 events and diving. Homestead’s diving champion Jackie Brenn helped them have a 1.5 point lead over Franklin for second. Northridge’s 8th/9th place divers plus Fretz’ 50 win helped bump them from 8th to 4th in the team scores.

100 Fly

Moving back to the competition pool, Kelly Pash’s strong underwaters aided her second individual victory of the meet in the 100 fly with a 52.89. This win now proves Pash’s successful versatility as she now has won 5 individual state titles in the 100 free, 200 free, 200 IM, and 100 fly to close out her brilliant high school career.

Taking second for Franklin in that same event was Carla Gildersleeve of Franklin Community (53.86). Topping off the top 3 was Carroll’s Teagen Moon with a 54.07.

100 Free

Into the 100 free, Elsa Fretz and Hobart’s Emma Wright had a thrilling battle for the title. After Fretz took the subtle lead into the last 50, Wright put her head down and dug into a fast finish to snag the title out of Fretz’ hands.

Wright’s winning time just ducked under 50 seconds with a 49.95. Fretz took second with a 50.12.

500 Free

Slowing down to the 500 free, SBSJ’s Mary Catherine Pruitt and Fishers’ Samantha Heiptas established a big lead on the entire field. After the 200 mark, Pruitt pulled away in an effort to break 4:50. Meanwhile, Hieptas was challenged by Carmel’s Ashlyn Underhill going into the last 100.

In the end, Pruitt secured her state title with a 4:49.42, breaking the 4:50 barrier and being the first state title winner for South Bend St. Joseph. Hieptas was able to hold off Underhill as she took second with a 4:52.55, Underhill was third with a 4:52.79.

Peering into the race for second with 4 events remaining, Franklin (105.5 pts), Fishers (103), and Homestead (100) are all in a tight bunch.

200 Free Relay

The lead off of the 200 free relay featured Northridge’s Elsa Fretz putting her relay in the lead with a 23.10. Yet in the third exchange, Franklin and Carmel slowly crept up on Northridge. But it was Carmel’s Kendra Bowen with a 22.85 split to secure another Carmel title with a 1:33.17.

Taking second place was Carroll (1:34.38), who overtook Franklin (1:34.67) and Northridge (1:34.74). Homestead took a disqualification, which plummeted them from a narrow 4th place to 7th place in the team standings.

100 Back

The field was in a tight bunch going into the last 50 of the 100 back. Chesterton’s Jaclyn Klimczak looked like winning with her amazing underwaters, going 15 meters off every wall.

But, Carroll’s Mallory Jackson, who also anchored the 200 free relay to second, earned her school’s first swimming state title by one one-hundredth of a second with a 54.32. Klimczak touched in second with a 54.33.

In the team scores, Franklin maintained their second place position with 139.5 points. Tied for third was Fishers and Carroll with 131 points.

100 Breast

Into the last individual, Emily Weiss, in her last high school race, established a jaw-dropping lead over the field. Despite missing her state record, finishing in 58.91, she did become a member of a prestigious club of swimmers with 4-consecutive state titles.

Four seconds behind Weiss was a great race for second between SBSJ’s Aislinn Walsh and Warsaw’s Delaney Wihebrink. Walsh did emerge away from Wihebrink to take second with a 1:02.56, Wihebrink finished third in a 1:03.06.

With one event left, the Franklin girls still have a solid lead for second place with 153.5 points. However, they qualified for the consols in the 400 free relay, and could be in danger. Fishers (137), Northridge (133), and Carroll (131) all are right behind Franklin and could snag the runner-up position.

400 Free Relay

Into the most anticipated event of the meet, the second place team position was on the line for 4 teams. Looking into the consols, Franklin finished in 10th overall with 167.5 points. It was down to the championship final to see who would come in second.

But first: Carmel. Kelly Pash led off the relay with a 48.73. Then, Gretchen Lueking, Madelyn Christman, and Ashlyn Underhill all went 50.70 to secure their 33rd consecutive team title with a 3:20.82 winning time.

In the race for second, Elsa Fretz led off the Northridge relay to a great lead with a 50.94. But, into the third exchange, Mya DeWitt and Mallory Jackson propelled Carroll into the lead. In the end, Carroll did place second in the event with a 3:26.92. SBSJ placed third from lane 1 with a 3:27.69, Northridge to fourth with a 3:27.78.

Final Scores

Before the final scores, the mental attitude award was given to Franklin Central senior Rachel Schiffli. Schiffli had a great senior year performance with a 7th place finish in the 50 free (23.59) and a 9th place finish in the 100 fly (55.69).

The 2019 state runner-up, by 2.5 points, went to Franklin Community. And the 2019 winner were the girls of Carmel, with a 33rd consecutive title and extended their national record of the longest winning among all high school sports programs.

Rank Team Total
1 Carmel 413
2 Franklin Community 167.5
T-3 Fishers 165
T-3 Carroll 165
5 Northridge 163

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3 years ago

Franklin on the rise! 12th- 4th- 2nd in consecutive years. COTY Zach Dewitt. Last year was boys COTY. Awesome program.

About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro started swimming at age 11, instantly becoming drawn to the sport. He was a breaststroker and IMer when competing. After joining SwimSwam, the site has become an outlet for him to research and learn about competitive swimming and experience the sport through a new lenses. He graduated in …

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