The Seymour Owls boys swimming program has a long history of success.
Stacked up against other schools in the state, not too many can say they’ve had three state champions as well as an Olympian.
Tonight, at the Indiana High School Athletic Association’s boys swim state preliminary heats at the Indiana University Natatorium at IUPUI, Seymour senior Trevor Layne will look to continue that state-level tradition for the Owls.
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Layne, who will be competing in the 100-yard breaststroke, is heading to state for the second year in a row in the same event. Even though he went to Indianapolis last year, it’s still going to feel like a first-time experience for him.
“It’s definitely going to feel like the first time again,” Layne said. “It’s an incredible experience to go there. Just the pool is insane and the environment.”
Last season, he fell just short of making the second day but still swam an impressive time of 58.56 seconds for 18th in the state and was almost two-tenths of a second faster than his seed time.
That time was just the second instance Layne broke the minute mark in the event. He did it a third time last Saturday at the Floyd Central Sectional final, swimming a career-best 58.02.
Taking a bit of a gamble, Layne didn’t taper for the sectional and wanted to simply go as fast as he could. He believes he can take off even more time today.
“I just wanted to go as fast as I could go,” Layne said. “My goal was to get the win and break a minute. I can go even faster when I shave. I didn’t have any intentions of tapering for state, but I am shaving for state.”
Seymour coach Dave Boggs was aglow about Layne’s sectional time — and about the performances of all of his swimmers this season — and hopes Layne can improve upon his mark from a year ago.
“We’ll have to re-evaluate the time here,” Boggs said after the sectional. “We’d like to make the top eight at state and medal. It’s going to take a low 57 to get in, so he’s right there knocking on that door. I’m hoping for a 56 out of him.”
According to the IHSAA’s psych sheets, Layne is seeded 12th in the event. If all of the swimmers seeded above him were to hold their time, Layne would need at worst a time of 57.48 to make the championship heat.
Layne believes he can cut down to that time if he improves his turns.
Though he breezed by the competition at the sectional, he wasn’t very happy with his turning. If he wants a shot at the podium, he’s going to have to see improvement in that aspect, and that has been the focus of his training this week.
“I want to make sure those are good and also make sure I’m bettering my underwater so I can get as far off each turn as I can,” he said.
Layne’s sectional-winning time puts him third all-time in the 100 breaststroke in Seymour swimming history.
He’s up there with some pretty good company, too.
Kameron Chastain holds the top spot with a time of 55.41 seconds, which he set at the 2010 state meet to win the 100 breaststroke — the Owls’ last swimming state championship.
The other name above Layne’s is Patrick Calhoun, who swam a 56.67 at the 2000 state meet to capture the Owls’ second state title — and at the time first — in the 100 breaststroke.
Seymour’s first swim state title came in 1979 when Kordy Reid blitzed the competition in the 50 freestyle.
Though Boggs’ goal for Layne is to make the podium, Layne’s goal is much loftier.
“The school record is a 55.41, so my goal is a 55.40,” he said. “Seymour has a good legacy of (breaststroke swimmers), and I’m glad I can be a part of it.”
If Layne can hit that time, he could breeze to a podium finish.
Prelims for the 2020 IHSAA Boys Swim State Finals start at 6 p.m. today. Layne will swim in the second heat of the breaststroke, the penultimate event of the night.