The boys swimming and diving program at Franklin Community High School has been making some big strides in recent years, but it’s never had a day like the one it had at the IU Natatorium on Saturday.
Junior Jacob Destrampe became the first individual state swimming champion in school history when he took first place in the 200-yard freestyle, and the Grizzly Cubs followed his win with four second-place efforts on the way to a second-place team finish, easily the team’s best ever.
Destrampe was the top seed in the 200 freestyle after Friday’s preliminary round, and he hit the wall first again in Saturday’s championship final, edging Jacob Mitchell of Carmel by a quarter of a second.
His time of 1 minute, 37.15 seconds also broke the Franklin school record he had established less than 24 hours earlier.
“I was trying to think, ‘I’ve got to do this for the team,'” Destrampe said. “If I can get this first place, the rest of the team will follow me and it’ll just keep the ball rolling, and we’ll get better and better as the day goes on.”
Which is exactly what happened. Destrampe later added a second-place finish in the 100 freestyle, and he led off the 200 and 400 freestyle relays, both of which also finished second. Senior Michael Couet added a runner-up finish in the 100 breaststroke.
Franklin finished the meet with 203 points, 18 more than third-place Zionsville.
Grizzly Cubs coach Zach DeWitt, who was honored after the meet as the state coach of the year, hopes that Destrampe’s title-winning swim Saturday afternoon will send a message to the other young swimmers in Franklin.
“For (Jacob), it was the realization of a lot of hard work and a lot of determination and being detail-oriented, focused on the process,” DeWitt said. “But for me, it means that any little boy or any little girl in our program, when they start, they too can believe that they too can reach the top of the podium.”