Heading into Saturday’s Floyd Central Sectional, Seymour swimmer Noah Bullard knew he had one last chance to make his long-time dream of heading to state a reality.
Bullard didn’t disappoint.
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The senior dominated the 200 individual medley and was able to secure a fast enough time in the 100 breaststroke despite a slip-up to advance to Friday’s state preliminaries at IUPUI.
“State has been something I’ve been shooting for my whole career,” Bullard said. “When I started out 12 years ago, I told myself that when I get to high school I wanted to swim at state. It has always been the goal for me, and now I can finally say that I’m going to state — and it feels good.”
Bullard bullied the individual medley with a 1:59.88 in the event, beating the second-place finisher by five seconds.
“I think that I came out strong,” Bullard said. “My weakest part of the race is the first half. All season, I’ve been training myself to take that first half out faster and rely on natural ability to bring me home on the back half.”
Owls coach Dave Boggs said that Bullard put on a solid all-around performance.
“He really had four good legs,” Boggs said. “He got far enough ahead and excitement got him going. He dropped four seconds from his best time last year. Going under two minutes is really a fast time.”
In the breaststroke, Bullard and Jeffersonville’s Benjamin Doss stayed parallel through most the race.
Unfortunately for Bullard, his hand slipped on the turn off the second wall to put him back a couple strokes — which resulted in a finish .09 seconds behind Doss at 59:41.
Despite not finishing first, Bullard’s time was strong enough to make the final cut in the breaststroke.
Devin Ramsey made history at the meet in the diving well for Seymour, becoming the first freshman to advance to the Bloomington North Regional for the Owls by finishing fourth with 369.75 points.
“I think he had consistency,” Boggs said of the diver. “He increased his difficulty and adjusted positions on his dives. He came through and had a pretty consistent day.”
Jennings County’s Noah Anderson placed first off the boards, totaling 418.30 points.
Ramsey will head to the regional Tuesday.
As a team, the Owls finished third in total points 293.
Floyd claimed first with 423.5 points and Jeffersonville was second at 416.
Boggs said that his team performed well on the day.
“We swam really well,” Boggs said. “I would like to have a couple swims back, but I’m a pretty tough critic. We were probably 80 or 85 percent on lifetime bests.
The Owls started the day with a second place finish in the 200 medley relay behind a time of 1:43.37 by Bullard, Daniel Hartman, Caleb O’Brien and Levi Pfaffenberger.
Hartman, a freshman, also finished fourth in the 200 IM clocking 2:05.30 and Steve Frohling placed 13th in 2:15.93 for the Owls.
The 100 butterfly saw Hartman finish fourth, with a time of 56.60.
In the 200 freestyle, Seymour’s Dalton Polley was eighth in 2:00.91 and Isaiah Sexton was 11th in 2:06.69.
Pfafenberger finished seventh in the 100 free (51.94) and Sexton placed 14th in 56.8 ticks.
The longest swim of the day, the 500 free, saw the Owls’ Skyler Cash finish seventh (5:17.50), O’Brien claim 10th (5:20.30) and Dalton Polley notch 11th (5:39.91).
For the 100 backstroke, O’Brien finished sixth in 1:02.20 and Cash was seventh finishing in 1:03.74.
Seymour’s squad of Polley, Cash, O’Brien and Bullard was fourth in the 200 free relay (1:40.17). The team of Polley, Cash, Hartman and Pfaffenberger placed fifth in the 400 free relay in 3:56.65.