IR boys turn in stellar effort at conference swim championship
They’ve been turning in an impressive performance day in and day out all season long, en route to a 10-2 overall dual-meet record. Last Saturday, Feb. 1, it was just another day at the office for the Indian River High School boys’ swimming team as they posted some incredible times with even more stellar efforts as they finished third in the team standings, with 308 points. They were just one-half point behind rival Sussex Academy (308.5).
“The boys’ meet was amazing,” head coach Colin Crandell said. “They swam better than I had imagined, and totally came prepared physically, but more so emotionally. As a coach, you can control the physical aspect of their training. I try very hard to put them in meet-like situations in practice and ask that they prepare their minds. At these kinds of meets, I truly have to let go, and have no control. It’s all in their bodies and minds. They certainly took over and showed up.”
Caesar Rodney took the overall boys’ team championship, with 388 points. Sussex Tech (265) and Cape Henlopen (229.5) rounded out the Top 5 in the standings.
Declan Burke finished third in the 200-yard freestyle with a 1:54.57. He also posted a third-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle with a 5:18.53.
IR’s 200-yard freestyle relay team of Burke, Zach Lingenfelter, Ethan Forrey and Will Douds took second place, with a 1:32.04, which was just .34-seconds behind Sussex Tech’s winning time of 1:31.70.
That same quartet also finished second in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:25.61.
Douds had himself a very good day as well, individually winning the 50-yard freestyle with a blistering 22.85. He also touched the wall for a third-place finish in the 100 freestyle with a 51.38.
“Will Douds win in the 50 free was certainly the pivotal moment in the meet for our boys,” Crandell noted. “When our boys saw that swim, it generated a belief in their own abilities, and wave of positive thinking. What followed was pure emotion and grit. I was so deeply proud of our team.”
Other Top 5 finishes for the Indians in the meet included Ethan Forrey (fourth, 23.82) and Liam O’Leary (fifth, 24.15) in the 50-yard freestyle. Shane Hall’s fourth-place finish in the 100 butterfly included a state qualifying time of 1:00.47.
Other point-producing performances for the Indians included the team of Hall, Lian Adkins, O’Leary and Jackson Donnelly in the 200-yard medley relay with a seventh-place finish. R.J. Senseny (ninth) and Donnelly (11th) also earned the Indians points in the 200-yard freestyle. That same duo also posted points in the 500-yard freestyle with eighth- and 11th-place finishes, respectively.
Lingenfelter placed seventh in the 200-yard individual medley and added a sixth in the 100 freestyle for additional points for IR. Hall finished just outside the Top 5 with a sixth-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke. He was joined in the points production for the event by Adkins (eighth) and O’Leary (12th).
Ethan Forrey was seventh in the 100 butterfly, and Derek Hills added an 11th-place effort in the 100-yard backstroke with his time of 1:10.30.
The Indians will now get themselves ready for the DIAA state swimming championships, beginning with the preliminary round on Wednesday, Feb. 26. The finals will conclude on Saturday, Feb. 29. All state events will take place at the University of Delaware’s Rawstrom Natatorium.
The IR girls’ squad turned in a solid seventh-place finish in the team standings of the Henlopen Athletic Conference swimming championships, with 131 total points. Caesar Rodney was the conference champion, with 373 points. The Riders finished just two points ahead of Cape Henlopen in the overall standings.
Sussex Academy (347), Sussex Tech (270) and Sussex Central (181) rounded out the Top 5 in the team standings. Milford was sixth, with 160 points.
IR junior Emma Barthelmess had a very nice day, with a pair of third-place finishes. She touched third in the 200 freestyle (2:10.87) and 100 breaststroke (1:13.80). She also swam a leg in the fifth-place-finishing 400-yard freestyle relay with Jordan Gonzales, Emma Kelly and Isabella Scharp, with a time of 4:22.18.
Barthelmess, Gonzales, Lauren Carter and Lexi Hall combined for a seventh-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay, clocking a time of 1:57.22.
Scharp added a pair of point-producing individual efforts as well, in the 200-yard freestyle (ninth, 2:22.25) and 500-yard freestyle (seventh, 6:20.82). She also joined up with Kelly, Hall, and Gonzales in the 200-yard medley relay for a seventh-place spot, with a time of 2:17.97.
Hall would also add a 15th-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle, which was the last of the IR efforts to earn points in the team standings.
By Jason Feather