Stars blast to sectional championship

JASPER – BNL celebrates after winning the sectional championship on Saturday. Courtesy photo

JASPER – Bedford North Lawrence won eight events while powering to the team title during the boys swimming IHSAA sectional at Jasper on Saturday.

The Stars totaled 416 points, with Jasper second at 377, while winning their first sectional championship since 2017 (and 15th overall). The winner of each individual event qualified for the IHSAA state finals at IUPUI on Feb, 24-25.

“The guys put together a complete performance,” BNL coach Adam Young said. “Every single one of the guys came through with lifetime swims by large margins.  

“I just couldn’t be more proud of these guys. A special team to be sure. We will now turn our attention to state.”

JASPER – BNL’s Cole Baker set a school record in the 100-yard freestyle race. Courtesy photo

BNL had three double winners. Cole Baker set a school record in the 100-yard freestyle, touching in 45.95. He also claimed the 50 free in 21.08. Garrett Gabhart took the 100 backstroke (54.71) and the 100 butterfly (54.43), while Isaiah Eicle won the 200 individual medley (2:06.87) and 100 breaststroke (1:03.47).

Hayden Puckett blasted to the wall first in the 500 free in 5:11.61, and BNL won the 400 free relay with Gabhart, Isaiah Conner, Jayden Duke and Trey Kimbley combining to clock 3:28.85.

The Stars, the top seeds in the 200 free relay, were disqualified during that race.

BNL divers Jaevyn Nikirk (second with 328.80 points) and Kade Bailey (third with 305.05 points) both advanced to the diving regional on Tuesday.

“The divers really came through,” Young said. “Just a complete team victory.”

Jasper will host the diving regional, with the top eight advancing to the state finals.