The Seymour swimming and diving team always put their best performances together when the lights shine brightest on the water.
Bringing their largest girls team ever, the Owls placed third at the Hoosier Hills Conference meet, hosted by Floyd Central on Tuesday.
Jeffersonville topped the competition with 347 — behind six first-place finishes — Floyd Central scored 287 and the Owls compiled 181 points.
Columbus East finished fourth with 147 points followed by New Albany (120), Bedford North Lawrence (119), Jennings County (94) and Madison (10).
“We improved from our seeding coming into the meet,” Owls coach Dave Boggs said “Jeff is just too deep and strong. We thought we would have a real battle with East all night. It was pretty close through most of the meet. I told the kids not to worry about the team scores and we would get (East) on the back half of the meet.”
Top-12 finishes tallied points in team scoring on the night.
Seymour’s highlight of the night came in the 200 freestyle relay, as Katie Turner, Sarah Montgomery, Kenzie Persinger and Nastya Yakovlyeva won the event in 1:43.55.
Earlier in the meet, that same group placed second to Jeff in the medley relay, as the Red Devils posted a time of 1:53.53 and the Owls timed 1:55.05.
Both the first- and second-place times broke the previous HHC meet record.
“We knew it would be a close race,” Boggs said of the 200 freestyle relay. “Jeff swam better than we thought they would, but we also thought East would be right there with us. We were out for a little revenge after getting second in the medley relay. The three seniors were pretty motivated.”
Turner placed second in the 100 backstroke (1:02.4) and fourth in the 200 freestyle (2:013.19). Other Seymour placers in the 200 freestyle included Libby Rohr (ninth, 2:12.89) and Marcegui Vasquez Osorio (11th, 2:16.64).
In the 100 breaststroke, coach Boggs saw a first at an HHC meet.
Jeff’s Adeline Dixon placed first in 1:10.55 before a three-way tie for second place hit the wall simultaneously.
Persinger, Jeff’s Caroline Elliott and New Albany’s Greer Manger all shared second, timing 1:12.69. Seymour’s Bailee Wolfe was 10th (1:19.00), and Molly Hayes got 12th (1:19.45) in the same event.
Persinger also was fifth in the 100 freestyle (57.40) while teammates Alexa McKinney (1:02.37) was 11th and Charisma Barnard (1:02.86) scored for SHS in 12th.
In the 100 butterfly, Montgomery claimed fourth (1:01.89) and Abby Boyt was 12th (1:18.38). Montgomery also swam a 26.18 for fourth in the 50 freestyle.
The diving well saw the Owls’ Breanna Hammond score 236.90 for sixth place.
For the 500 freestyle, Yakovleyva placed ninth (5:50.24), Rohr was 11th (6:04.67) and Vasquez Osorio finished 12th (6:08.15).
Yakovleyva was eighth in the 200 individual medley (2:26.88) and Hayes finished 11th (2:32.81).
The meet, which was rescheduled from Saturday, was moved from Bedford North Lawrence to Highland Hills Middle school in Floyds Knobs.
“We had a pretty good meet overall,” Boggs said. “Nobody had an ugly swim. They really did a good job. We were 21 for 27 with season or lifetime bests.”
The Owls’ girls team will host Columbus East today, go to Bedford North Lawrence on Saturday, and host Trinity Lutheran and Providence on Monday before the sectional Feb. 4.
While the duals come first on the schedule, there’s no doubt the Owls are eyeing the postseason while they taper.
“Coach (Dennis) Bowers and I were discussing on the bus after the (HHC) meet how well we do in championship meets,” Boggs said. “It’s kind of our culture now. We will do what we can in dual meets, we will try to win them all, but we raise the bar in the conference and championship meets. We learned that a long time ago.”