Gabhart breaks record, advances to state finals with sectional victory in 100 butterfly

BNL’s Emma Gabhart broke the school record in the 100-yard backstroke and won the 100 butterfly while advancing to the state finals during Saturday’s sectional at Jasper.

JASPER – Bedford North Lawrence senior Emma Gabhart qualified for the IHSAA state finals with a victory in the 100-yard butterfly race during the sectional at Jasper on Saturday.

Gabhart also broke the school record in the 100 backstroke as the Stars finished fifth in the field with 203 points. Jasper won the team title with 471 in the 13-team field.

Gabhart clocked 58.53 to touch first in the butterfly. The winner of each event automatically qualified for the state championship prelims on Friday at IUPUI. Gabhart also broke the backstroke mark of Sidney Carlile (59.62 in 2018) as she clocked 59.43 while finishing second to Jasper’s Nicole Fant (55.92).

“Emma Gabhart broke the 100 back record and came within .05 seconds of the fly record,” BNL coach Adam Young said. “She will hopefully take care of that at state. 

“I am hopeful that she can get an at-large invite in the backstroke. She chose to take on one of the best backstrokers in the state in order to try and get that record, and I am through the roof that she was able to make that happen.”

BNL’s other top finishes came from the 200 medley relay (Ava Lipp, Shelby Slaughter, Cookie King and Gabhart in 1:57.54 to finish second) and 400 freestyle relay (the same foursome was second in 3:55.51).

“The girls overachieved,” Young said. “The team placed fifth with the majority of our points coming from just four swimmers. I couldn’t be more proud of this group of girls. They really came through and left it all in the pool.”