Franklin swimming coach Zach DeWitt was off getting married Saturday, trusting that his teams would do what was expected of them at the Johnson County meet.
The Grizzly Cubs didn’t disappoint, lapping the field at Indian Creek to retain both the boys and girls championships for a third consecutive year.
Franklin’s girls finished with 486 points, 108 more than runner-up Center Grove, while the boys wound up with a total of 478 points, enough to beat the Trojans by 70.
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“Zach let us have the meet for the first time this year, and it went really well,” said junior Jacob Destrampe, who was named the meet’s outstanding swimmer along with classmate Ali Terrell. “We had a lot of people step up.”
The intrigue came in the races for second. Center Grove used its superior depth to outpoint Whiteland by 27 in the boys meet, and the Trojan girls nosed past the host Braves by a single point after Sarah Kempf took first in the 1-meter diving competition.
Nobody was able to get within shouting distance of Franklin, though.
Destrampe was a double individual winner for Franklin, taking first in the 200-yard freestyle and the 500 freestyle. Freshman Cade Oliver set a meet record in the 200 individual medley (1:55.51), and Michael Couet did the same in the 100 breaststroke (57.51). The Grizzly Cubs also got wins from Gauge Creech in diving, Max Kramer in the 100 freestyle and Griffin Edwards in the 100 backstroke.
Franklin’s girls got two individual wins each from Terrell (200 IM, 100 breaststroke), junior Carla Gildersleeve (200 freestyle, 100 butterfly) and freshman Gracey Payne (50 and 100 freestyle). Sarah Hoffman (500 freestyle) and Jessie Fraley (100 backstroke) also earned victories.
In both meets, Franklin swept all of the relays. The boys established new meet standards in all three of theirs, taking the medley relay in 1:35.16, the 200 freestyle relay in 1:28.61 and the 400 freestyle relay in 3:10.21.
Tucker Brock was able to break Franklin’s monopoly on first-place finishers in the boys meet. The Indian Creek senior set a meet record in the 100 butterfly (50.40 seconds) and also won the 50 freestyle, setting four school records overall on the day.
“I swam really well,” the Indiana University recruit said, “but there are also some things I need to work on, like my turns and my start and stuff. I can definitely improve in some areas.”
For the Grizzly Cubs, setting county records wasn’t a priority; the team has had a heavy practice workload recently and wasn’t set up to go its fastest. Several meet records set last year by the same swimmers held up.
That wasn’t a big deal — Destrampe said that “it’s all about the process” of building toward a strong finish at the state meet. While going low on times isn’t a high priority at this time of year, though, maintaining county supremacy still is.
“It always means something,” Destrampe said. “It’s like a tradition now; we’ve just got to keep on going, keep on carrying it on no matter what.”
For another year, that tradition was continued. The sole disappointment for Franklin’s swimmers was that they weren’t able to go to DeWitt’s wedding afterward.
“None of us were allowed to go,” Gildersleeve said. “We all wanted to, but I guess we’ll have to wait for pictures.”