Stars shatter records, break hearts with 9 sectional wins

BNL’s Jacob Werley won two events and broke two records as the Stars dominated the IHSAA boys swimming sectional at Jasper on Saturday.

JASPER – Bedford North Lawrence shattered multiple school records and won nine events during a spectacular performance in the IHSAA boys swimming sectional at Jasper on Saturday afternoon.

The Stars won nine events, qualifying for the state finals in eight of them, while finishing second in the team competition. Jasper, thanks to its depth, won the team title with 449 points, despite winning no events. BNL, thanks to its individual excellence, was second with 429.5. Of the 13 swimmers on the BNL roster, eight qualified for the state meet.

“I’m ecstatic,” BNL coach Terry Tlustek said. “It doesn’t matter to me that we didn’t win the sectional. I know who the better team was. Like I told the boys, what would you rather have, a sectional title like they got, or swimming another week?

“We broke a lot of hearts today. To have them perform this well was awesome.”

Andrew Swenson and Jacob Werley won two races, smashing records in the process, and helped the Stars win all three relays. The sectional champions in each event automatically advanced to the IHSAA state meet on Feb. 28-29 at the IUPUI Natatorium.

Swenson, Dayson Sorrells, Alexander Swenson and Werley got the Stars rolling, opening the meet with a dominating win in the 200-yard medley relay, combining to set a school and sectional record in 1:36.35.

Sorrells, Andrew Swenson, freshman Cole Baker and John Allen broke the school record in the 200 free relay in 1:28.39, while Allen, Alexander Swenson, Adam Tlustek and Werley closed the event by winning the 400 free relay in 3:19.34.

Tlustek juggled his normal relay units, and it paid off.

“I took a bit of a chance in two relays,” Tlustek said. “In the past, we didn’t have enough to depth to spread ourselves out.

“The surprise was Cole Baker. With him in the mix, we still broke the record. I didn’t think there was a real way to do that, but I was flabbergasted. I can’t say enough about Cole. If he had not progressed like he did, it would not have given us the leeway to move people around.

“I stressed about it, but it worked out exactly the way it should have.”

In the individual tests, Andrew Swenson took the 100 backstroke in 50.48 and broke the school record in the 100 butterfly in 51.00. Werley blasted the sectional record in the 100 free, touching first in 46.29, and he broke the sectional mark and matched the school record while taking the 50 free in 21.03.

“Jacob is just not going to lose,” Tlustek said, “if it’s within his power. He’s the most consistent kid I’ve ever coached.”

Alexander Swenson won the 500 free in 4:54.29, and Skyler Bates won the sectional championships in diving, scoring 368.80 points.

Bates advanced to the diving regional at Bloomington South on Tuesday. The top eight in the field of 16 will qualify for the state finals.