BNL’s Baker advances to state finals in two events

BNL’s Cole Baker will compete in the 50 and 100-yard freestyle races during Saturday’s IHSAA state finals.

INDIANAPOLIS – Bedford North Lawrence senior freestyler Cole Baker qualified for two state championship races and set a school record during the IHSAA prelims on Friday night at IUPUI.

Baker is seeded fifth in the 100-yard freestyle in 45.97, with Carmel’s Sean Sullivan grabbing the top spot in 44.22.

In the 50 free, Baker finished in a three-way tie for seventh after clocking 21.03 (just 0.01 seconds off Jacob Werley’s 2020 school record of 21.02). In the swim-off to break the tie and advance, Baker finished first (setting the school record in 20.93) to claim the seventh spot for the final. Lafayette Harrison’s Matthew Klinge is the top seed in that event in 20.10.

The top eight in each event advanced to the state final, while positions 9-16 qualified for the state consolation races.

The remainder of BNL’s contingent did not advance. Isaiah Eicle was 32nd in the 200 individual medley (2:07.01) and 31st in the 100 breaststroke (1:02.43), while Garrett Gabhart was 28th in the 100 butterfly (54.09) and 31st in the 100 backstroke (54.46).

Hayden Puckett was 32nd in the 500 freestyle (5:10.67), while the 400 free relay team of Gabhart, Eicle, Trey Kimbley and Baker was 21st (3:16.66).

The finals will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday.