Franklin’s boys swimmers celebrated winning a sixth consecutive sectional title Saturday, but they made it clear that they’ve got bigger goals in mind.
With most of their top swimmers still not fully shaved or tapered, the Grizzly Cubs still won 10 of 11 swimming events to set the table for what they expect will be a very high finish at this weekend’s state meet.
“Everybody’s satisfied with what happened here today, but now we’ve got to regain our emotional energy,” senior Michael Couet said. “We’ve got to know that next week’s the big show.”
Franklin finished with 441 points on Saturday, 64 ahead of runner-up Center Grove.
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Three different Grizzly Cubs were double individual champions. Couet won the 50 freestyle (21.46) and 100 breaststroke (56.38), while junior Jacob Destrampe, who did not swim on any of Franklin’s three winning relays at the sectional, won easily in the 200-yard freestyle (1:40.14) and 100 freestyle (46.01).
Freshman Cade Oliver excelled in his postseason debut, winning the 200 individual medley (1:54.35) and the 500 freestyle (4:39.21).
Oliver has competed at the junior national level before but said he felt a big difference in terms of team camaraderie at the sectional.
“It was more than just a team; it was like a family,” he said. “It felt like I was a part of a big family that I’ve never been a part of.”
Junior Griffin Edwards won the 100 backstroke (53.17) for the Grizzly Cubs, and he also earned an at-large state berth in the 100 butterfly (51.91).
Also advancing to the state meet for Franklin were sophomore Max Kramer in the 50 free and senior Brock Lock in the 100 freestyle.
Gauge Creech placed second in diving with a score of 452.10, easily advancing to Tuesday’s Bloomington South Regional.
Indian Creek senior Tucker Brock broke up the Franklin monopoly in the swimming races, taking the 100 butterfly in 50.18 seconds.
Brock also made the state cut in the 50 freestyle (21.52) and helped the Braves qualify in the medley and 400 freestyle relays, teaming with Mac Ratzlaff, Nolan Reed and Chase Smith on both.
“We did a great job today,” Brock said, “and for the events that are going to state, I think we can improve a lot.”
Ratzlaff, a freshman, was an at-large state qualifier in the 200 freestyle (1:43.15) and 500 freestyle (4:44.11).
Whiteland’s Brenden Gough also advanced in the 200 free with his time of 1:43.65.
Despite not qualifying any individuals for state, Center Grove was still deep enough to easily outdistance everyone else for second place. Coach Jim Todd is hopeful that his Trojans, primarily made up of sophomores and freshmen, can build on their overall performance.
“I’m very proud of what they did,” Todd said. “We’re going to start focusing on getting back in the weight room right away, and look forward to next year.”
Indian Creek wound up third with 283 points, their best sectional finish ever, while Whiteland was fourth with 242. Greenwood (57 points) was 10th.
For the Grizzly Cubs, the focus is squarely on next weekend, where they’ll be trying to at least match the fourth-place finish put up by Franklin’s girls a week ago.
“We have a lot of work to do for Friday and Saturday,” coach Zach DeWitt said. “That’s always been the endgame for us, and we’re really excited for it.”