For The Tribune
While the Seymour girls swim team didn’t advance into today’s finals of the Indiana High School Athletic Association state championship meet at the Indiana University Natatorium at IUPUI, it did make a huge statement.
Allison Hayes, Sarah Montgomery, Katie Turner and Kenzie Persinger set a school record for the Owls with a 1:41.14 in the 200-yard free relay preliminaries Friday.
The Seymour relay team finished 26th overall. The top 16 teams advance into today’s finals and consolation finals.
“I’m pleased to death,” Seymour coach Dave Boggs said. “This is such an intense environment, and it’s really tough to come here and drop time. We came and dropped our school record.”
Boggs said his swimmers handled the pressure.
“The girls have been great all day, and it’s a ball to be here,” he said. “Our goal is always to drop time. You can’t dictate who you swim against, you can only dictate how well you perform yourself. We’ve improved a lot from early in the season.”
Although it wasn’t a perfect ending, it showed substantial progress from last season when the Owls barely missed qualifying for the state meet.
“It just fell into place for us,” Boggs said. “I’m a big proponent of big meet experience. The more you can get, the more it will pay off somewhere down the road. This will give them more excitement to train even harder, and hopefully we’ll have even bigger and better things next year.”
The Owls were still excited after their record-setting swim.
“I would love to come back,” said Montgomery, a sophomore. “It’s exhilarating. I just want to come back.”
Hayes, a senior, was the only one in the group who won’t be back.
“It happened so fast,” Hayes said of the experience. “By the time I caught my breath, it was like it was over.
“I said to just enjoy being here, because it’s not something that happens very often. It’s really special. We wanted to lower the school record, and we did that. I didn’t expect it to be this emotional, but it’s a lot of work put in to the last six months.”
Freshman Katie Turner will have more chances to earn a spot in the championship finals.
“It’s not the time I anticipated, but I’m still so proud of us being here,” Turner said. “It was a good race.
“I definitely expect us to come back next year, whether individually or with the relay.”
Sophomore Kenzie Persinger was happy as well. “I was happy that we cut time,” she said. “It was really fun to come here.
“I want us to come back next year, and I feel like we can. I think we can break records next year.”