MIDDLEBURY — A mere one-hundredth of a second kept the Northridge Raiders from a perfect night when it came to advancing swimmers from the Thursday night’s preliminaries into the championship finals of the IHSAA boys swimming sectional.
Northridge leads in six individual events and one relay heading into the finals Saturday.
The Raiders are going for a 12th consecutive sectional championship.
“We just missed having all 24 swimmers in the championship finals. So we will have one bottom swim on Saturday,” Northridge coach Joe Keller said. “We only had one guy shaved for tonight and there were only three races where we let swimmers wear racing suits.”
The sectional resumes on Saturday with diving preliminaries at 9 a.m. The consolation and championship finals in all events begin at 1 p.m.
Event winners and any swimmer or relay team meeting the state standard advance to the state meet on Friday, Feb. 28 and Saturday, March 1 at the Indiana University Natatorium on the IUPUI campus in Indianapolis.
“Our top priority on Saturday is to get as many swimmers as we can to state,” Keller said. “The next priority if they don’t make state cut is get them in a position where they might have a chance to get called down to state.”
Senior Jon Stoller is the leader in the 200 individual medley (1:59.87) and 100 breaststroke (59.09) to pace the Raiders. Sophomore Seth Cripe tops the field in the 500 freestyle (1:48.45), sophomore Jeremy Burbrink in the 100 butterfly (53.98), freshman Spencer Lehman in the 500 free (4:47.24) and freshman Camden Koch in the 100 backstroke (56.74). Koch, sophomore Conner Sandt, sophomore Alex Bernth and senior Takoda Friesen lead in the 400 free relay (3:21.40).
The Raiders have been idle since winning the NLC title back on Feb. 1.
“The layoff is not too bad,” Keller said. “It gives us time to make the change from training mode to resting mode. During the resting phase a lot of the preparation is mental. You might not be in the pool racing physically but you can be picturing it in you mind.