Stately Owls


Countless hours of laps, P90X workouts and meets have all come down this: Heat 1, Lane 3.

Four Owls swimmers will make their first ever state start tonight at the Indiana University Natatorium at IUPUI.

The 200 freestyle relay team of Allison Hayes, Sarah Montgomery, Mackenzie Persinger and Katie Turner posted a time of 1:41.66 in the finals at sectional last Saturday.

Just two days before, the girls timed 1:45.47 in the preliminaries — a massive jump.

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At the sectional in Georgetown, the squad broke the school record in the event as each leg swam a season-best split.

Hayes, the lone senior, has gone to the state meet in the past.

However, she never got in the pool, as she acted as an alternate.

“I’m very excited; it’s a good way to end my senior year,” Hayes said. “To me, at this point, it’s all about the mindset. We’ve been doing the training for months and we need to keep our mental game strong for the last leg of the season.”

As the only upperclassmen on the relay team, Hayes has emphasized with her teammates how special it is to make it to state.

“I’m not going to put a lot of pressure on them, since it’s our last meet of the season,” Hayes said. “I just want everyone to have fun. It’s not something that happens very often, and I’ll be happy with whatever the results.”

Last weekend, Turner broke 26 seconds for the first time with a split of 25.83.

Turner, a freshman, hopes to post an even better split on the grand stage, around the 24 mark.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Turner said. “I want to drop a couple of seconds, I’m just gonna have fun with it. We’re working on our relay starts, and once we get to the meet, I think we’ll be ready.”

This past week, the Owls have prepared for the state meet doing a number of different practices.

“I’m looking forward to going there and just doing my best; we have been doing a lot of fast swimming,” Persinger said. “I expect us to do our best and not slack off.”

Persinger, a sophomore, acted as the anchor for the Owls in the sectional as the team propelled to a second-place finish.

Montgomery, another sophomore, said her biggest goal is to beat the record they set last weekend at sectional.

“I just want to see how fast the other teams can go and how we compare to them,” Montgomery said. “We’ll go the fastest we can and maybe cut some time. Maybe we will break the school record again at state.”

One of the main points of emphasis for the girls this week been getting off the blocks.

“The biggest thing would be our takeoffs,” Owls coach Dave Boggs said. “We need to get off perfect. We can drop ¾ of a second with better takeoffs. They were good at sectionals but we need to be great at state. We’ve been working on takeoffs for the past two weeks.”

A total of 32 teams will compete in the relay event.

The top eight finishers in Friday’s relays will advance to the finals, and the bottom eight will compete in consolations Saturday.

“They’ve been great. It’s been a lot of fun coaching them,” Boggs said. “They work hard and bring a great work ethic every day and want to get better. They’re driven to succeed.”

The meet is set for 6 p.m., with the 200 freestyle relays serving as the ninth event.

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