Bryce Miller got bonus good news Wednesday night.
Not only will the Seymour senior swimmer be in contention for a state title in the 100-yard freestyle race at the Indiana High School Swimming and Diving Championships, but he will be allowed to compete in the 50 freestyle, too.
Coach Dave Boggs said Miller got the word that he was accepted into the field after one delayed sectional championship reported in.
Miller is the only Owl individual in the two-day meet that begins Friday at the Indiana Univeristy Natatorium in Indianapolis, a meet that will play out over two days against a backdrop of detailed restrictions and protocols as offshoots of the COVID-19 pandemic.
One major difference for the entrants will be the lack of spectators at what is often a raucous meet at the renowned pool. No fans allowed this time. The same applied to the recent girls championships.
“It was very quiet,” Boggs said.
So unlike past events, Boggs said he was proposing to other coaches that they support the piping in of crowd noise and other sounds to give the place a boost in energy, much as some professional sports teams have done during recent baseball, basketball and football play.
“It has to help,” Boggs said.
There are numerous other rules in place. Teams will be separately cloistered in bleachers where fans ordinarily sit and must approach and leave the pool by following designated paths.
Heats for Friday’s races, leading to Saturday’s championship and consolation finals, have been split up with schools that competed in even-numbered sectionals, such as Seymour, racing starting at noon and the odd-numbered sectional teams going off at 5:30 p.m.
Since those who advance will be determined by time, it will not be until hours after they race that Seymour swimmers will know if they have advanced.
Seymour’s only other qualifiers for state, by virtue of winning the Floyd Central Sectional in that event, is the quartet of guys who make up the 400-yard freestyle relay. Miller is in that group, as well, joined by Clayton Greenawalt, Paul Montgomery and Pedro Cerino.
Although the meet always issues a schedule, there usually is some slack time allowed for, Boggs said. Not this year. Swimmers have been told to the minute when their heat is scheduled to go off and the feeling, Boggs said, is that the time won’t deviate much from the plan.
“They will stick with the timeline,” Boggs said.
Illustrating that point, Miller is scheduled to race at 12:39 p.m. and 1:18 p.m., and the relay is scheduled to go off at 2:29 p.m.
“It’s pretty spelled out,” Boggs said.