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Franklin rides momentum after sectional triumph

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The competition swimming pool at the Indiana University Natatorium at IUPUI doesn’t include waves.

Good thing first-year Franklin Community High School boys coach Zach DeWitt is counting on his team supplying its own.

The unmistakable momentum garnered by capturing the program’s first sectional title last weekend has carried over to practices this week in preparation for tonight’s state finals preliminaries. Johnson County will be represented in all 12 events, with 13th-ranked Center Grove included in 10, Franklin four and Indian Creek two.

It should be noted there are two events in which the Grizzly Cubs field two competitors.

“I’ve been looking forward to this since I took the job here,” DeWitt said. “To me it’s a celebration of all the hard work we’ve put in. It’s almost like my own little rendition of Christmas. I’ve been counting down the days.”

The dual objective of personal-bests leading to a place on the victory podium is one shared by DeWitt, veteran Center Grove coach Jim Todd and Indian Creek’s Brad Smith, the latter selected as Coach of the Year following the Franklin Sectional after guiding the Braves to a fifth-place finish.

Based on seeding, Franklin sophomore Adam Destrampe and Center Grove junior Dan O’Brien appear to have the greatest chance. Destrampe comes in fourth in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:42.01, which is slightly better than O’Brien’s 1:42.34. Destrampe also is top 10 in terms of the 500 free, where last week’s 4:38.11 puts him in the No. 9 spot tonight.

“Adam, I assume, will want to place top three in both events, but that will be hard to do,” DeWitt said. “My goal for the team would be a top 15 or top 16 finish. Emotions are high right now. I just hope we can keep riding this wave for another week.”

In the 100 freestyle, Center Grove sophomore Chase Bettner comes in 12th with a time of 47.33 seconds and also is taking part in the 50 free after touching the wall first at the sectional in 21.98. Bettner also is part of the Trojans’ 11th-seeded 200 medley relay and their 14th-seeded 200 free relay.

O’Brien also could factor in, according to his coach.

“Probably our best chance (to place) would be in the 200 freestyle, but the times are very close right now,” Todd said. “(O’Brien’s) 200 free last week at sectional was his lifetime best, and his (100) backstroke time (:53.12) wasn’t his lifetime best, but it was his season-best.”

Senior Jake Eckert is in his final meet representing Center Grove. Eckert, too, will be busy today, as he’s seeded 14th in the 100 butterfly and 16th in the 200 individual medley and takes part in the Trojans’ 200 medley relay.

Aside from his two individual specialties, Destrampe will be in Franklin’s two relays, the 200- and 400-yard freestyle.

In both cases at sectional, Destrampe was joined by sophomore Clayton Culp and juniors Kevin Stahl and Daniel Rice. Culp is seeded 15th in the 200 freestyle and 18th in the 500 freestyle.

Indian Creek is being represented by junior Levi Brock, who is making his way to downtown Indianapolis after finishing first at sectional in the 100 breaststroke and runner-up to Bettner in the 100 free.

Center Grove senior diver Joshua Carmichael will be present after making it out of Tuesday’s Bloomington North Regional with 414.5 points.

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