Racing Pleases the Weary as Stars Split Meets with East

BNL’s Alexander Swenson powers through the water while winning the 500-yard freestyle race on Thursday. The Stars won the boys meet with Columbus East.

By Justin Sokeland

(BEDFORD) – The weary, rather than rest, finally got to race. And that made them happy.

After a 12-day break from competition (and using the word “idle” at that point is inaccurate, as swimmers go through the roughest training stretch of the season during the holidays), Bedford North Lawrence resurfaced with a vengeance on Thursday night.

The Stars splashed to a 129-55 victory over Columbus East in the boys meet, while the Olympians cruised to a 108-68 win in the girls meet as BNL’s lack of numbers took a toll.

BNL won every event among the boys as Andrew Swenson, Dayson Sorrells and Jacob Werley all won twice. That was a release of pent-up energy.

“You could tell the last few days of Christmas break, kids were getting kind of chippy,” BNL coach Terry Tlustek said. “The training was wearing on them and we hadn’t had a meet. They were itching to race.

“You always wonder what’s going to happen at that point, but I think the kids are getting over that hump. They’re learning how to swim tired, and the times are getting a little faster.”

BNL’s Andrew Swenson glides through pool while winning the 100 backstroke.

Swenson won the 100-yard butterfly (54.05) and 100 backstroke (53.53) while Sorrells was fastest in the 200 individual medley (2:08.88) and 100 breaststroke (1:04.71). Werley whirled through the 50 freestyle (22.23) and 100 free (48.27).

Other notable performances were logged by John Allen (1:54.86 in the 200 free), Skyler Bates (192.15 points in diving) and Alexander Swenson (5:11.05 in the 500 free).

“They were outstanding,” Tlustek said. “Some of the guys are swimming faster than their sectional time last year.”

In the girls meet, Ursula Patton was a double winner for BNL, taking the 200 free (2:05.39) and 100 butterfly (1:03.99). Shelby Slaughter churned to the wall first in the 500 free (5:53.16), and that duo helped the Stars (who are down to 11 on the short-handed roster) claim the 400 free relay (4:10.58) along with Kaitlyn Hackney and Georgia Sites.

”We had a lot of PRs,” Tlustek said. “The girls swam some races they weren’t used to, and they performed well.”

Jennifer Utterback (58.17 in the 100 free and 1:07.80 in the 100 backstroke) was a double winner for the Olympians.

BNL will celebrate Senior Night on Tuesday against Bloomington South.

BNL’s Shelby Slaughter won the 500 freestyle race.