With 23 consecutive sectional championships, the Center Grove High School girls swimming and diving team is no stranger to postseason success.
Under the direction of veteran coach Jim Todd, the Trojans finished fourth at last year’s IHSAA state finals and are gearing up for what he is confident will be another long tournament march.
Despite the graduation losses of 100 breaststroke state champion Emma Schoettmer and fellow state finalists Kristen Nunnelly, who finished third in the 500 freestyle, and Haley Townsend and diver Beth Haug, the Trojans return enough veteran competitors to contend for team and individual success beyond the sectional
Ranked No. 7 in the preseason poll, the Trojans’ top returners include Lauren Beaumont (200 IM and butterfly), Mikaela Saugstad (500 freestyle), Caroline Sheehan (backstroke and relays) and sophomore diver and sectional champion Maddie Gordon, who placed seventh at the state finals.
Despite the graduation losses, Todd, in his 25th year at Center Grove, said the team’s goal is to be the best it can be by the end of the year and for everyone to have their best times when the state tournament begins.
Among other county teams:
The Grizzly Cubs have been the dominant force in the Mid-State Conference.
Winners of six straight league titles, the Grizzlies finished second to Center Grove in the sectional and placed 22nd at the state finals.
The Cubs have a new coach this season, Zachary Dewitt, who was an assistant the past five years at Martinsville.
Top returners include senior sectional finalists Mikayla Carroll and Chelsea Culp; junior Grace Seibert; and sophomore distance specialists Kelsey Harper and Morgan Burton.
The Cubs host Center Grove on Saturday.
Despite the graduation of top performers Neeli Southwick and Alexa Jennings, fifth-year coach Chas Grimm is confident about the Woodmen’s ability to be competitive in the Mid-State Conference and postseason.
The top returner is Kendall Pritsch, who is expected to lead the team in scoring.
Greenwood finished fifth in both the sectional and Mid-State Conference meets last year.
The Woodmen host New Palestine and Roncalli today.
Brad Smith returns for his 18th season as coach of the Braves.
Indian Creek’s top returners are juniors Erin Burbank, who was fourth in diving at last year’s sectional, and Tori Caudill (relays), Sarah DeHart (freestyle and breaststroke) and sophomore Kaitlin Smith (200 IM, backstroke and relays).
The Braves placed eighth at the sectional.
Indian Creek begins its season at home against Shelbyville on Thursday.
Despite the graduation losses of two of last year’s top competitors, Stephanie Wolfersberger and Katie Copeland, the Warriors return with enough veterans to make 13th-year coach Tom Addington cautiously optimistic about the season.
The top returner is senior diver Kylie Mynatt ,who placed third at the sectional and regional, and 13th at the state finals.
Also back are seniors Audra Hubler and Mikayla Conway; juniors Chelseay Anderson and Sabrina Hernandez; and sophomore Cierra Choate.
The Warriors begin the season today at Shelbyville.