For the Daily Journal

Center Grove’s swim teams combined for 17 individual wins to top Whiteland’s boys and girls by identical scores of 123-63 at home Tuesday.

The Trojan boys scored nine wins and the girls took home eight victories, with 12 different swimmers winning multiple events in a strong overall performance.

“I was very happy. That was our first time to swim Whiteland in a dual meet, and I knew they would be pretty excited about it,” Center Grove coach Jim Todd said. “We had to have a pretty good meet. (Whiteland) is getting pretty good, and (coach Marci Whitford) is doing a great job with them. They’re coming around, and they’re going to be a team we’re going to have to keep our eyes on.”

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As happy as Todd was about his team’s performance, Whitford was just as pleased with hers. All seven of the Warriors’ wins on the night came from underclassmen, three of whom are just freshmen.

“We’re a young team. We’re focusing on the little things and training hard,” Whitford said.

“I think they did pretty well considering what we’ve put them through last week and this week. They’re young, so we’re just fine-tuning and teaching them how to get that quick speed.”

Center Grove sophomore Brady Ferguson was the big winner on the night with four victories including relays. Ethan Beaumont, John Hasquin and Tony Gipson each added three wins for the Center Grove boys while Jillian Castor, Devin Trammell and Hailey Bellian had three wins each for the Trojan girls.

As happy as he was with the wins, Todd was equally pleased with two of his younger swimmers, freshmen Michael Carroll and Ethan Martin.

“Their times weren’t that great, but for them they were great,” Todd said. “They’re starting to get excited about what they’re doing, and they’re starting to work really hard. It’s fun for me to watch that kind of progress.”

Brenden Gough and Addison Daily led Whiteland with two wins each. Daily was one of three freshmen to claim victories for the Warriors.

“Brenden Gough has been doing a fantastic job this year, and Evan Fisher had a great 100 fly tonight,” Whitford said. “Addison Daily is really coming along. She’s figuring out how to close races, which is exciting.”

Center Grove returns to action this weekend when it competes in the Columbus North Invitational.