Three individuals who captured five state championships a year ago will be in the hunt for more glory this weekend during the 77th Annual IHSAA Boys Swimming & Diving State Finals at the Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis.
Top-ranked Chesterton is the defending team champion and seemingly has plenty of depth to be in contention for its fourth title in seven years if things go their way this weekend. The Trojans have 18 swims set for Friday’s prelims, the most of any team, followed by sixth-ranked Carmel (17) and third-ranked Avon (16).
Chesterton senior teammates Blake Pieroni and Aaron Whitaker both earned a pair of individual crowns in this meet last season in addition to their relay honors.
Whitaker is the top seed in both the 100 backstroke (49.80) and 100 butterfly (48.73), events he won in 2013 and set state records in. Pieroni is the top seed in the 100 freestyle (45.26) once again after setting the state record in taking his second straight title. Pieroni also returns as the defending title holder in 200 individual medley but enters the weekend with the fifth‐best time (1:51.70) following Saturday’s sectionals.
That top time belongs to Columbus North’s Cody Taylor (1:48.99) who settled for second place in last year’s event behind Pieroni. Taylor is also the defending champion in the 100 breaststroke where he returns with the fastest time of 54.55, which is actually better than the state record of 54.82 set in 2007 by Tyler Lemert of Fort Wayne Concordia.
Another to keep an eye on is Avon junior Parks Jones who had the state’s best time in both the 200 freestyle (1:39.16) and the 500 free (4:28.33).
Preliminary swimming heats get underway Friday night at 6 pm ET / 5 pm CT. The top 16 in each event will return for competition on Saturday with the top eight individuals vying for state championship honors. Those finishing ninth through 16th on Friday will make up the competitors in the consolation heats. All diving will take place on Saturday beginning at 9 am ET / 8 am CT with the top 20 of 32 competitors advancing from the prelims to the semis after five dives each. After three dives each in the semis, the top 16 will advance to the final round for another three dives each. All championship and consolation finals, including diving, will commence at 1 p.m. eastern, noon central time on Saturday.
Saturday’s championship and consolation finals will be streamed live on IHSAAtv.