BNL’s Gabhart, Patton win sectional titles

JASPER – BNL’s Emma Gabhart celebrates after winning a sectional title.
Courtesy photo

JASPER – Bedford North Lawrence’s Emma Gabhart and Ursula Patton claimed individual championships during the IHSAA girls swimming sectional meet at Jasper on Saturday.

Gabhart won two events and set school records in both. She blazed to the wall first in the 200-yard individual medley in 2:09.11, breaking Sidney Carlile’s mark of 2:11.53. She also broke her own school mark in the 100 breaststroke, clocking 1:06.95. Her previous record was 1:08.68.

Patton won the 500 freestyle for the fourth straight year, as she finished in 5:35.86.

The winners in each event automatically qualified for the state finals.

BNL was also the top seed in the 200 medley relay, but the Stars finished second in that event by .03 seconds to Tell City (which won in 1:57.62).

”That one will keep me up nights for a while,” BNL coach Adam Young said. “But the girls (Kaitlyn Hackney, Gabhart, Patton and Shelby Slaughter) dropped a ton of time, and Tell City had to earn it.”

BNL also had runner-up finishes from Patton (2:05.90 in the 200 free), Slaughter (5:44.46 in the 500 free) and the 400 free relay (Hackney, Slaughter, Patton and Gabhart in 3:50.69).

The Stars finished fourth in the team competition with 226 points. Jasper won the team title with 403.

“I don’t know that it will translate to how big a deal that is,” Young said. “We only had 10 individual finals swims. But they were all, every one of them, monster performances. 

“This girls team is, pound for pound, one of the best I’ve seen here.  No offseason swimming, a team quarantine, multiple individual quarantines, missing half of the critical Christmas break training time and having hardly any dual meets. What they pulled off this weekend I would put in the improbable category. They overachieved in every phase.”

The IHSAA state finals are set for Feb. 12-13.