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Local athletes pay frequent visits to awards podium

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Johnson County swimmers put on an impressive performance Saturday on the state’s grandest high school stages.

Four swimmers from county schools swam in finals races at the IHSAA boys swimming and diving championships at the IU Natatorium at IUPUI.

Franklin’s Adam Destrampe led the way, swimming in two individual finals and a relay final, as well. He helped lead the No. 7 Grizzly Cubs to an 11th-place finish in the team competition, matching 2010 for the program’s best finish.

Destrampe, a junior, improved on both of his top-five finishes from a year ago. In the 200 freestyle, where he finished fourth last year, he moved up one spot to third, breaking the school record with a time of 1:39.62.

He also improved by one podium place in the 500 freestyle, clocking a 4:30.03 time, good for fourth place.

In relays, Destrampe swam with Clayton Culp, Daniel Rice and Kevin Stahl as the Cubs took seventh place in the 400 freestyle relay.

Finally, he swam the third leg of the 200 freestyle relay squad, which won the consolation heat for a ninth-place finish.

Franklin coach Zach DeWitt said Destrampe’s performance proved that he is among Indiana’s elite high school swimmers.

“I don’t know if there was a question before, but if there was, I’m sure that the doubters got a little preview of what he’s capable of,” DeWitt said. “I think he could have had even better swims, but there’s no doubt that he’s one of the state’s better swimmers.”

While Destrampe collected the most points of any county swimmer, Center Grove’s Dan O’Brien claimed the highest finish. The senior finished second in the 100 butterfly.

O’Brien’s performance was especially remarkable, given that he did not specialize in the butterfly until this year.

“We train all the strokes, so I’ve always had a good feel for it,” O’Brien said. “I thought, ‘Why not?’ this year.”

O’Brien, who finished ninth in the 100 backstroke and 10th in the 200 freestyle last year, was confident he could stay with the best butterfly swimmers in the state, as well.

“My goal was to get up to the top three, so I’ve been planning on this from the beginning,” he said. “It was a good, fun race.”

O’Brien also won the consolation heat of the 200 freestyle to claim ninth place in that event.

Two other county swimmers placed in the finals, as well.

Center Grove junior Chase Bettner took eighth in the 100 freestyle, and Indian Creek senior Levi Brock was eighth in the 100 breaststroke.

Franklin also racked up points in three consolation events. Along with the 200 freestyle relay team, Culp, a junior, finished 11th in the 50 freestyle and 15th in the 100 free.

DeWitt said despite finishing just five points behind Fort Wayne Carroll for 10th place, it was an exceptional season for the Cubs, who claimed team championships at Johnson County and Mid-State Conference meets, also won their second straight sectional title.

“The goal is always tenth place,” DeWitt said. “We had some amazing swims and really a better season than we could have hoped for. That was the last thing on our checklist, and we really banged everything else out, so I’m perfectly content with this season.“

In diving, Center Grove sophomore Chandler Head was 31st in the preliminaries.

In the team standings, Chesterton defended its state title, earning 240 points to second-place Avon’s 198. Center Grove finished in 20th place with 37 points. Indian Creek was 25th with 20.

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