Indiana Girls Prelims: Carmel Leads, Homestead/Carroll Contend for 2nd

2019 Indiana Girls High School State Championships

Prelims for the Indiana Girls High School State Championships have gone underway with the Carmel girls expecting to extend their national record streak to a 33rd consecutive state title. Along the way, many other schools look to be in contention for second place.

Scoring Prelims

Rank Team Total A Final B Final Top 3 Seeds
1 Carmel 403 20 5 10
2 Homestead 156.5 6 7 1
3 Carroll (Fort Wayne) 155 6 2 3
4 Franklin 152 6 6 3
5 Fishers 147.5 5 8 1
6 South Bend St. Joseph 142 6 3 5
7 Hamilton Southeastern 132 6 2 0
8 Northridge 128 6 2 3

Before talking about the race for second, Carmel has a 146.5 point lead over the rest of the teams and 3 times as many A-final swimmers.

Looking into the race for second now, 9 points separates the rest of the top 5 teams. Leading the charge for second is Homestead, with Carroll trailing by 1.5 points. What is putting Homestead in the lead for second?

All 6 of Homestead’s A-final swims are in the top 5, but more importantly, those B-final swims still matter. Those seemingly small points can make a huge difference. One girl who has a great swim in the B-final and goes from 16th to 9th just earned her team 8 extra points. With the race for second down to Homestead, Carroll, Franklin, and Fishers, who will fight for their team and make the most of their swims?

Prelims Highlights

The Carmel girls finished the final heat of the 200 medley relay in a blistering 1:41.91, over 2 seconds ahead of second place seed Franklin Community (1:44.13). Winning heat 2 to finish third in this evening’s prelims was South Bend St. Joseph (1:44.20). Winning their heat to seed fifth on Saturday was the Carroll girls (1:44.75).

The 200 free had 4 girls all under 1:50, including the trio of Carmel swimmers. Leading the charge were Carmel seniors Ashlyn Underhill (1:48.43) and Kendra Bowen (1:48.44), who both won their respective heats. Placing fourth overall was Carmel freshman Gretchen Lueking, who won the second heat with a 1:49.28.

Racing Underhill in the final heat to place third overall was Mary Catherine Pruitt (1:48.59) of South Bend St. Joseph. Pruitt has a very good chance of stopping the Carmel trio from winning the 200 free, as the top 3 girls are all within under two-tenths with each other.

Kelly Pash of Carmel was the only swimmer under 2 minutes in the 200 IM. Pash finished with a top time of a 1:59.10. Also coming back for finals is Yorktown’s Emily Weiss (2:01.61), who had a powerful breast split to challenge Pash in the final heat. Despite placing third overall, could Weiss be holding back and really show her power against Pash in the closing free leg in the final?

The 50 free was a very fast event, with the top 16 under 24 seconds and the top 8 all under 23.50. Elsa Fretz of Northridge snagged the top spot with a 23.07, nearly three-tenths ahead of second seed swimmers Lake Central’s Paige Bakker and Penn’s Madilyn Ziegert (23.32).

Kelly Pash once again took the top spot going into finals, this time in the 100 fly (53.25). Both her and #2 seed South Bend St. Joseph’s Aislinn Walsh (53.76) had propelling underwaters throughout their swims. Franklin’s Carla Gildersleeve is seeded third (54.04) while Carroll’s Teagen Moon (54.51) is seeded fourth.

After the 15-minute break, Elsa Fretz was not done as she made her statement for Northridge. Fretz finished with her second top spot for finals with a 50.24. After placing 10th in the 50, Hobart’s Emma Wright (50.43) earned a championship final spot for the #2 seed. Could Fretz be deemed sprint queen and sweep both the 50 and 100 free?

SBSJ’s Mary Catherine Pruitt returned in the 500 free to earn the top seed with a 4:51.04, knocking 5.47 seconds off her sectionals seed time. Fishers’ Samantha Hieptas, top seed going into this evening, placed second overall with her time of 4:52.57. Carmel’s Ashlyn Underhill (4:56.40), Kendra Bowen (4:59.14), and Morgan Croaning (4:59.81) also return as the #3 and #5 seeds for finals. Chesterton’s Maisyn Klimczak (4:57.12) was part of the top 6 under 5 minutes as she is the #4 seed for Saturday’s finals.

After the distance swims came the 200 free relay, where Carmel claimed another top time with a 1:34.49. Closing out a tight top three is Carroll (1:34.90) and Northridge (1:35.02). According to the commentators, some of these relays had alternate swimmers hop in to rest up the finals relay roster. With Northridge as the defending state champ, Carmel’s dominance, and Carroll’s contention for team scores, it really could be anyone’s race.

Speaking of anyone’s race, the 100 back has a talented top quartet of girls who all have an equal chance at the title. Chesterton’s Jaclyn Klimczak leads the pack going into finals with her prelims swim of 54.34. Right behind her is #2 seed Carmel’s Madelyn Christman (54.60), who won the final heat of the event. Carroll’s Mallory Jackson won heat 2 to seed third into Saturday’s finals with a 54.93. Just 0.06 seconds behind Jackson is Hamilton Southeastern’s Abigail Harter (54.99).

On a different note, the question for Emily Weiss and the 100 breast is not will she win, but  can she break her own national high school record of 58.40? Weiss’ prelims swim of 59.46 looked almost too easy, but can she focus on time as a one-woman race?

Almost 3 seconds behind Weiss will be a close race for second, with SBSJ’s Aislinn Walsh (1:02.22) and Noblesville’s Sammy Huff (1:02.79) both winning their own separate heats.

In the final event, the 400 free relay, the top 6 relays were all under 3:30. Leading the group is, you guessed it, Carmel with a 3:25.79. In a closely-knit top 4, Carroll (3:27.66), Homestead (3:27.97), and Northridge (3:28.51) are all within one second of each other.

Find out who will come out on top for Saturday’s finals session at the IUPUI natatorium. The session and live stream will begin at 1 pm ET.

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About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro has had a huge passion for swimming since his first dive in the pool. He joined the sport at age 11 and instantly became drawn to the sport. He was a breaststroker and IMer when competing, but still uses the sport as his go-to cardio. As a kinesiology …

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