JASPER – Bedford North Lawrence junior Ursula Patton qualified for the IHSAA girls swimming state finals with a sectional championship on Saturday afternoon.
Patton splashed to a victory in the 500-yard freestyle, touching the wall in 5:22.67 and shattering the school record in the event while earning an automatic invitation to the state meet on Feb. 14-15 at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis.
Patton broke her own record of 5:24.19, which she set last year, and won her third individual sectional title. Patton won the sectional in 5:24.79 in 2018 and reached the state meet last year in her primary event.
“Ursula did an outstanding job,” BNL coach Terry Tlustek said. “I was really happy to see her drop her record by a significant amount. She has worked hard and really wanted that improvement. She felt strong and thinks she can go much faster next week.”
In the team competition, the Stars finished fifth with 205 points. Jasper won the team title with 428.
Other top finishers for BNL included Patton (second in the 200 free in 1:59.89) and the 400 free relay (3:55.97 with Patton, Shaylee Summers, Georgia Sites and Shelby Slaughter). Slaughter was fourth in th 100 free and Summers was fourth in the 100 backstroke.
“It was a great meet,” Tlustek said. “I was very pleased with the effort. I was really impressed with our underclassmen. Shelby Slaughter and Cami Breedlove. They were a bit hard on themselves but when you step back and put into perspective you see what they accomplished.
“I was also happy with Shay and Georgia being our seniors being in the finals heat and scoring as high as they did. They have always been very solid and they will be missed on the team. I was really happy for all the girls.”