BNL’s Baker finishes fourth in state 100 free

INDIANAPOLIS – BNL’s Cole Baker finished fourth in the 100-yard freestyle and eighth in the 50 free during the IHSAA state finals on Saturday. Courtesy photo

INDIANAPOLIS – Bedford North Lawrence senior Cole Baker finished his high school career with two trips to the awards podium during the IHSAA state championships at IUPUI on Saturday.

After earning the fifth seed following Friday night’s prelims, Baker finished fourth in the 100-yard freestyle, posting a time of 45.75 seconds, breaking his own school record (45.95) that he set while winning the sectional race. Carmel’s Sean Sullivan won the race win in 44.09.

Baker finished eighth in the 50 free final. After qualifying seventh (and setting a school record of 20.93 in the three-man swimoff to advance), he clocked 21.22. West Lafayette Harrison junior Matthew Klinge won the race in 19.95, taking his second straight state crown in the event.

“Great state meet. One of the best in a long time,” BNL coach Adam Young said. “I believe it is the first time we’ve had a double medalist in individual events since Dan Schultz. Only the 3rd, maybe 4th time ever.

“Everyone dropped time in their last swims of the season. A rare feat. When you look through the results, at least half the swims at state are usually slower than entry times. A great sign as we look to next year. 23rd in the team competition. One of our higher team finishes in recent memory.

“Cole really finished like we had hoped. Sure you hope and dream of that state title, but he put up impressive times and reset two school records with times that might keep them out of reach for a while. I don’t think any of our swimmers have finished that high, 4th, at state since Schultz did it in the early 90s. The three-way swim off yesterday was the first in state meet history. So that’s kind of fun to be a little part of that kind of thing. A really really special year all around for both boys and girls stars swimming.”

With Baker’s two finishes, BNL scored 26 points in the team competition.