Center Grove swimmer Alex Krasutsky used to get nervous before big meets, which at times prevented him from performing to his potential.
As a senior, he’s picked the perfect time to break tradition.
He won two individual events at the Franklin Sectional and is preparing for four events at the IHSAA State Swimming and Diving Finals. He’s competing in the 200 individual medley, 100 breaststroke and leading off both the 200 and 400 relays.
At the sectional, Krasutsky posted personal-best times in both individual wins, touching the wall in 1:56.80 in the 200 medley and 57.50 seconds in the 100 breaststroke.
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“My sectional performance was beyond belief. I dropped about 2 1/2 seconds off my time in the 100 breaststroke. In the 200 IM, I dropped 2 1/2 to 3 seconds,” said Krasutsky, whose previous state finals experience came as part of the Trojans’ medley relay in 2014 and 2015.
“As a senior I felt it was my chance to leave something behind,” he said. “This year I was a lot more relaxed than in the previous years.”
For sake of comparison, last season Krasutsky was second in the 200 IM at sectional in a time of 1:59.49. He took second in the 100 breaststroke in 1:00.27.
Center Grove coach Jim Todd had been reinforcing to Krasutsky the importance of remaining as relaxed as possible before competition.
“I’ve been pretty lucky to watch Alex grow,” Todd said. “This season he matured as much as he ever has, and it’s that maturity that’s really helped him.”
Krasutsky will be leading off both freestyle relays at the state finals. In both races he’ll be followed by, in order, juniors Jamie Vance, Alex Feitl and Noah Tallman.
“My coach wanted me to go first because I’m the fastest of the four of us, and he wants us to get off to a fast start,” Krasutsky said. “For us, this is the way that works best.”
Tallman, too, is qualified as an individual after winning sectional in the 500 freestyle in 4:43.91.
A year ago at this time, Tallman was coming off a runner-up finish in the 500 freestyle in a time of 4:51.99.
Center Grove’s record is the 4:31.69, clocked by Chris Oleksiak in 2005.
One of Tallman’s goals is break Oleksiak’s 11-year-old program standard, preferably at the state meet.
“Throughout high school, I’ve tried to get that record,” Tallman said. “I’m trying to get a little closer to it at state. I just want to go out there and do my best and see if I can continue to improve.”
Todd, who would love to see all of his swimmers post personal records at state, also wants his athletes to enjoy competing in the venue.
“I tell them every year we need to go up there and have fun,” Todd said. “It’s a great opportunity and a great experience.”
Johnson County also will be represented in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke thanks to Indian Creek senior Wyeth Brock. He won both at the Franklin Sectional in respective times of 51.35 and 52.12 seconds.
STATE SWIMMING AND DIVING FINALS
When: 6 p.m. Friday (swimming prelims); 9 a.m. Saturday (diving prelims and semis); 1 p.m. Saturday (consolations and finals for all events).
Where: Indiana University Natatorium on the campus of IUPUI
Admission: Unreserved tickets $8 per session or $12 both days
Johnson County qualifiers (and seeds)
200 medley relay: (15) Franklin, 1:36.89.
200 freestyle: (3) Jacob Destrampe, Franklin, 1:40.66.
200 individual medley: (26) Alex Krasutsky, Center Grove, 1:56.80.
100 butterfly: (14) Wyeth Brock, Indian Creek, :51.35.
100 freestyle: (2) Destrampe, Franklin, :45.99.
500 freestyle: (18) Noah Tallman, Center Grove, 4:43.91.
200 freestyle relay: (16) Franklin, 1:27.80; (25) Center Grove, 1:28.92.
100 backstroke: (10) Brock, Indian Creek, :52.12.
100 breaststroke: (9) Krasutsky, Center Grove, :57.50.
400 freestyle relay: (19) Center Grove, 3:14.98