Rachel Sabotin is a three-time top-10 state finisher in the 500-yard freestyle.
But when it came time to pick a second event for this year’s girls swimming postseason, she opted for an event with which she was far less familiar — the 100 butterfly.
“She wanted to try something different,” her father and coach, Doug Sabotin said. “She saw it as a challenge.”
Rachel Sabotin met that challenge in Saturday’s Columbus North sectional.
The Trinity Lutheran senior and Akron University recruit, who earlier in the day had defended her sectional title in the 200 individual medley, won the 100 butterfly in a personal-best 55.78 seconds.
“This is the first time I’ve swum the 100 butterfly in a bigger meet, and I just wanted to have fun,” Sabotin said. “I did the 500 free all three years, so I figured, ‘Why not switch it up and just have a little fun with it?’”
Sabotin placed 10th at state in the 500 freestyle as a freshman, fourth as a sophomore and seventh last year. She also finished 17th as a freshman and 10th as a sophomore in the 200 freestyle. Last year, Sabotin replaced the 200 freestyle with the 200 IM and placed seventh at state in that event.
Going into Friday’s preliminaries of the Girls Swimming State Finals at the Indiana University Natatorium at IUPUI, Sabotin is seeded fourth in the 200 IM based on her sectional time of 2:02.96. But that’s only a little more than a second off top seed Devon Kitchell of Zionsville’s 2:01.67.
Sabotin, whose twin sister Hannah is a starter for the Trinity Lutheran girls basketball team that will play in the West Washington regional on Saturday, is seeded ninth in the 100 butterfly, just five-hundredths of a second out of eighth and a little more than two seconds behind top-seed Elizabeth Broshears of Evansville Memorial. The top eight from the prelims qualify for Saturday’s finals, while swimmers 9 through 16 make the consolation heat.
“I’m definitely shooting for the 200 IM this year,” Rachel Sabotin said. “The 100 fly is such a close race. So it really just depends on how your race is that day. We’ll just have to see if I can make it to that top-eight spot, and then in finals, see what I can do.”
Friday night’s preliminaries begin at 6 p.m.
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Girls Swimming State Finals
When: 6 p.m. Friday (preliminaries), 9 a.m. Saturday (diving prelims and semifinals), 1 p.m. Saturday (swimming consolations and finals and diving finals)
Where: IUPUI’s Indiana University Natatorium, 901 W. New York St., Indianapolis
Admission: Unreserved tickets are $8 per session or $15 for both days. A limited number of $18 reserved season tickets may be purchased online exclusively via the IHSAA e-commerce site at IHSAA.org