With the school record already shattered and a sectional title to their names, the members of Seymour’s 200-yard freestyle relay team have their sights aimed at one final competition — the state meet.
Seymour High School seniors Nastya Yakovlyeva, Sarah Montgomery and Kenzie Persinger and junior Katie Turner will take to IUPUI’s Natatorium tonight in hopes of re-breaking the record and advancing to Saturday’s final heats.
The Owls are seeded 22nd of 32 teams in the event with a time of 1:39.78, which was set at last Saturday’s Floyd Central Sectional.
“They’re loose and ready,” Owls coach Dave Boggs said. “We’ve just been tweaking this week and riding out the taper. We’re building the week up mentally and emotionally.”
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The top 16 in each event during tonight’s prelims will return for competition Saturday, with the top eight individuals vying for state championship honors.
Those finishing nine through 16 tonight will make up the competitors in the consolation heats.
Fishers comes in as the state favorite with a time of 1:34.85.
Boggs said the team likely will break the school record again this week and will need a time in the high 1:37 or low 1:38 to make it to Saturday’s races.
Each of the swimmers agreed with Boggs that the little things will make the difference.
“Each individual swim has to be perfect,” Turner said. “Everything has to be so fine and perfect since it’s a short race. Each of us dropping that little bit of time will help us succeed in this state meet.”
All four of the Owls’ swimmers are familiar with the natatorium.
Montgomery, Persinger and Turner all swam the 200 freestyle relay in 2015, and Yakovlyeva was an alternate for then-senior Allison Hayes. That year, the Owls placed 26th with a time of 1:41.14.
“It’s exciting because I got to see how the state meet works my sophomore year,” Yakovlyeva said. “It’s exciting that I get to swim with these girls that I’ve grown up with. I’m really glad I get to do that in my senior year.”
While there are some nerves, the relay team feels confident.
“We’ve done this before and kind of know what to expect,” Montgomery said. “We’re all a little anxious since it’s such a big meet, but I think once we get there, we’ll settle down. I’m looking forward to just racing. I haven’t seen the natatorium since their updates, and I think it will be really fun to race in that pool with such great competition.”
This year’s race is especially special for the three seniors.
“It’s super exciting. I really wanted to go this year,” Persinger said. “I can’t wait to swim and try and break the record again. Coach Boggs has been telling us to just do our best and we will get it.”
While it has been a season to remember for the girls, they don’t plan on one final swim tonight.
“We’re very excited and proud of these girls,” Boggs said. “We’re going to go up there with the best intentions of dropping time and moving to Saturday.”