Photo provided By Aaron Charles:
The Southmont Girls Swim and Dive team captured their first sectional title in 19 years on Saturday with a thrilling come from behind win in the last event of the day to capture the hardware
Photo provided By Aaron Charles: The Southmont Girls Swim and Dive team captured their first sectional title in 19 years on Saturday with a thrilling come from behind win in the last event of the day to capture the hardware

A sectional champion was going to be crowned Saturday at Crawfordsville High School as the girl’s swimming and diving championships got underway. The Southmont Lady Mounties knew they were in position to capture their first sectional title since 2001, but the Lady Mounties would have to hold off Twin Lakes in order to do so.

About two-thirds of the way through the events, Southmont overtook the top spot. However Twin Lakes was closing in, and with first place finishes in the 100 Yard Backstroke, and Breaststroke, took the lead over the Mounties by just two points heading into the final event, the girls 400 yard freestyle relay. Needing a win to capture the sectional crown, the Lady Mounties led by Megan and Jane Scheidler, Suzi Pedro, and Emma Tyler, did just that and won the event by a full three seconds over Twin Lakes as the team knew that they were now sectional champions as they ended with 332 points to Twin Lakes 328. Head Coach Jane Coudret knew it would probably come down to the last few events, but was overjoyed when her team came out on top.

“I can’t say enough about how excited we are as a team,” Coudret said. “I knew it was going to take everything we had since Twin Lakes is such a phenomenal team. Every time I thought we got a leg up, they’d turn right back and close the gap. It wasn’t a perfect day by any means, but it had the perfect ending and that’s what matters most.”

Twin Lakes held a slight edge in the 400 relay, but as soon as Jane Scheidler hit the water, she gave the Mounties the lead and they never looked back.

“They like to swim in that particular order,” Coudret said. “Jane does anchor that one for us and I know we were going to be saving our two of our stronger swimmers for the end.”

The Lady Mounties now will be moving on to the state finals at IUPUI. Preliminaries will get underway on Friday night starting at 6 p.m. Coudret knows that her team isn’t done and still has bigger goals they want to accomplish.

“We’re going up there and going to do the very best that we can,” she said. “We’re only about .5 seconds away from the 200 freestyle school record so we’ll have another chance to break that. We’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing and finish hard in Indy.”

Senior Emma Tyler will be competing in the 500 Yard Freestyle at IUPUI. The Mounties 200 and 400 relay teams will also be traveling to compete in the state finals.

The Crawfordsville Lady Athenians placed third overall at the sectional with 263 points. On Thursday Head Coach Kevin Hedrick elected to rest most of his girls in preparation for Saturday. That strategy seemed to pay off for the Athenians as Sophomore Alyx Bannon took home first place in the 100 freestyle (54.08) to punch her ticket to the state finals.

“We made conscious decision that Thursday (pre-lims) wasn’t going to be something that we were going to shoot for,” Hedrick said. “Between eight girls today we had 15 life-time best including our relay splits. If we would’ve suited up full strength Thursday, it would’ve been rough today. “

Bannon had some major competition in the 100 freestyle with North Montgomery’s Sidney Campbell and Southmont’s Jane Scheidler, but was able to outlast both of her county competitors.

“When you have a true sprinter like she is, it’s very easy to work with her,” Hedrick said. “She’s very motivated and coachable and she has a great fighting spirit. It’s been an all year accumulation and when you get an athlete with an abundance of talent like Alyx has, it makes it easier to work with her and mold her into the swimmer that she is now.”

Even with losing the amount of talent that the Lady Athenians lost coming into the season, they still rallied together and ended up placing third in both conference and sectional. Hedrick was very pleased with where he sees this group heading into the future.

“It a real testament to the girls and the amount of hard work that they put in,” he said. “Generally at the end of a season, it shows who has worked really hard and that came out of us today. You make Saturday a win one way or another. We said a win for us would be having a ton of lifetime bests and that’s exactly what happened.”

The North Montgomery Lady Chargers ended their season on Saturday tied for fifth place with South Vermillion as both teams scored 221 points. Head Coach Erin Yeager took a moment to talk about the emotions of a high-magnitude meet like on Saturday.

“It can be rough on the team since it’s such an emotional day,” Yeager said. “I think we covered nicely today as best as we could have. I was very proud of all the races that our girls had. Sidney (Cambell)’s 50 freestyle time was her second fastest time ever. A lot of them stepped up and dropped their times once again.”

Another goal of Yeager’s coming into the meet was to move up in placements. The Lady Chargers were able to do that as well. Even though no one will be advancing to the state meet, that still doesn’t take anything away from what the team accomplished.

“It was a great all around meet for us,” Yeager said. “Maggie Micahel and Maddie Mershon both had terrific meets for us today. Those girls really stepped up and we have more girls coming up next year. We’re building each year for us. We accomplished some of the goals that we set for the season at conference. Because of that we started to set even higher ones. We feel really excited about where we’re headed and also feel like we persevered as a group today.”

Once again the State Finals will get underway on Friday night with the prelimary rounds. The event will take place at the IUPUI Natatorium located at 901. W. New York St. and is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.