Stars race to 8 top seeds in sectional prelims

JASPER – Bedford North Lawrence claimed eight top seeds during the IHSAA boys swimming sectional preliminary races on Thursday night.

The Stars suffered a setback when the favored 200-yard medley relay was disqualified for an early exchange in the opening event, but they roared back, setting up their chase for the first team sectional title since 2017.

The winners in each event (during Saturday’s finals) will qualify for the IHSAA state finals on Feb. 24-25.

“We are looking really good in the team competition this year,” BNL coach Adam Young said. “Hoping we can be the bride rather than the bridesmaid this time around.”

Top seeds for BNL include Isaiah Eicle (200 individual medley in 2:12.84 and the 100 breaststroke in 1:08.17), Cole Baker (50 freestyle in 21.80 and 100 free in 47.95) and Garrett Gabhart (100 butterfly in 56.26 and 100 backstroke in 57.47). The Stars also took the top spot in the 200 free (1:37.16) and 400 free (3:26.46) relays.

“A fantastic night overall, with our second and third spot guys producing monster swim after monster swim,” Young said. “We needed everyone to swim big tonight in order to get as many to the A final as possible.  All of our swimmers made it back for finals, which is a rare accomplishment. 

“We will need those points. Our medley was disqualified for leaving early in an exchange. I wish there was instant replay in swimming, but no luck there. Our guys will shave and don their tech suits for Saturday, so we should see some huge swims from them.”

The diving competition will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, with the swimming finals set to start at 2 p.m.