BNL boys start season with win over Edgewood

BNL’s Jayden Kemp splashes through the water during the 200-yard freestyle race. The Stars won six events while topping Edgewood in the season opener on Tuesday night.

By Justin Sokeland

BEDFORD – Bedford North Lawrence opened the 2023-24 regular season with a victory over Edgewood during boys high school swimming action on Tuesday night.

The Stars won six events, including all three relays, while posting a 96-75 win in the boys meet. The Mustangs cruised to a 120-56 triumph in the girls meet.

Garrett Gabhart was a member of all three winning relays and added an individual victory in 100-yard butterfly (56.83). Carson Puckett was on two relays and also claimed the 50 freestyle (25.11), and Oliver Brown was on two relays and took the 100 free (54.96).

Gabhart, Logan Langley, Puckett and Brown combined to win the 200 medley relay (1:52.18). Jayden Duke teamed with Puckett, Brown and Gabhart in the 200 free relay (1:39.47), while Duke, Isaiah Conner, Brown and Gabhart touched first in the 400 free relay (3:43.78).

“We swam an off lineup in order to get as many times for our guys as we could,” BNL coach Adam Young said. “Edgewood only had about 10 swimmers, but they were very good. I think some of our guys got some surprises in their races.

BNL’s Ava Lipp churns toward the wall during the backstroke race.

“Oliver continues to impress and improve. Garrett had a great start to the season, going right at lifetime-best times. Carson has really gotten focused this year. He is another one at or better than his lifetime bests already.”

In the girls meet, BNL’s Ava Lipp was a double winner as she took the 100 free (1:02.34) and 100 backstroke (1:08.96). Cookie King was second in the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly, and Mia Manke was second in the backstroke. Emma Heinzman was second in the 100 breaststroke.

“On the girls side, we came in feeling like we could make a race of it,” Young said. “However, Edgewood won their conference last year, likely will this year, and they have a heck of a team. Ava did a great job tonight taking a couple of events. Cookie (King) swam the best the Mustangs had and was right there with them. We just ran out of gas as the meet went on.

“The first meet of the season is always a rough one, win or lose. We learned a lot tonight with regards to stroke mechanics and conditioning. We are on track with the first, far behind on the second. I believe that will take care of itself over the course of the season.”

BNL will host league rival Floyd Central on Saturday.

“They boys will have their first test of the season and it’s a big one,” Young said. “Everyone is going to have to be sharp if we want to have a chance. We will learn a lot about ourselves in that one.”

BNL’s Cookie King flys through the water during the butterfly event.
BNL freshman Emma Heinzman comes up for air during a freestyle race.