Joe Keller always has a plan.
After all that is one of the reasons why his Northridge High School girls swimming program has won 11 straight NLC championships and the Raiders will be going for a 12th consecutive title on Saturday.
The Raiders won the regular season championship and put themselves in position to compete for the title after Thursday night’s preliminaries when the meet resumes with diving prelims Saturday at 9 a.m. and the event finals starting at 1 p.m.
“Tonight the plan was to race for times. On Saturday the idea is going to be to race for places,” Keller said. “We had a lot of lifetime bests tonight and we will see if we can move up some places in the finals.
“This is a little different than how we approached the meet a year ago. We finished second in regular season so we had to approach the conference meet from a different perspective.”
The Raiders won the meet last season without having a top seed in any event for the finals. Northridge set the tone early on by winning the first three events.
Senior Brittani Grove is the top seed for the finals in the 50-yard freestyle (25.02) and classmate Brittney Walters the leader in the 100 backstroke (1:00.98) for the Raiders,
“Grove had a season-best time in the 50 free and Walters a lifetime-best in the back,” Keller said.
Walters won the 200 free last season in a meet record time of 1:51.39.
“We put Walters in the back this season since we were a little weaker in that event and there were three other girls we could use the free,” Keller said.
Northridge’s other top seed is in the 400 free relay as Grove, junior Tessa Peter, Walters and sophomore Nikki Willey finished in 3:51.13. The seed time for the Raiders entering the meet was 3:50.0. Concord’s seed time was 3:49.13.
The Concord foursome of sophomore Rachel Enright, senior Laura Housman, senior Allie Herkenroder and sophomore Peyton Miller finished second in 4:02.28.
“Any time you put Grove and Walters on a relay it’s going to be fast,” Keller said. “They are two of our hardest workers. They trained this morning from 5:30 to 8 a.m. before school. That is something I only do with the ones that can handle it.
“We will have to take a look at the relays on for Saturday and see what we can do. Breanna Robinson (Wawasee sophomore) didn’t swim any relays tonight, but I’m sure we will see her in some on Saturday.”
Robinson is the leader in both the 100 (53.22) and 200 (1:53.74) frees.
She finished first in the 100 free last season in a meet record time of 51.25.
Goshen sophomore Natalie Evans is the top seed in the 100 butterfly (1:02.51).
“We really started thinking about this for Natalie after last year’s finals when we saw all the seniors ahead of her,” Goshen coach Nate Duell said.
Evans was able to stay as the top seed.
“It’s different for each kid,” Duell said. “For Natalie I think it was important for her confidence to stay No. 1. It’s nice when you are No. 1 to make a statement by staying there.
Another one of our girls — senior Haley Ronci — was the top seed in the 500 free but she was very comfortable swimming just to get her lane position for Saturday.”
Ronci is third in the 500 (5:34.48).
“I was really happy with the way girls positioned themselves for the finals.
“Heather Ronci (sophomore) dropped six second off her best time in the 100 free. That was important for us. Claire Palczynski (freshman) did a nice job in the 100 back (fourth in 1:07.72). She is one of several girls on our team that are experiencing a meet like this for the first time.”
Concord is also in good position for Saturday with two relays and two girls in three events the top seeds.
Freshman Mariah DeFreese, sophomore Ashley Schrock, senior Laura Housman and sophomore Sydney Shuff lead in the 200 medley relay (1:57.30); Schrock, Miller, senior Avery Smith and junior Kenzie Wright in the 200 free relay (1:45.00); Miller in the 500 free (5:30.28), Schrock in the 200 individual medley (2:14.52) and 100 breaststroke (1:07.64).
“In most of the areas we did the job we needed to,” Concord coach Tom Johnson said.
“There were a few places we wanted to move up and didn’t.”
Shuff was one swimmer the coach highlighted for moving up in her individual events.
“Sydney was seeded ninth in the 50 free and moved up to sixth and ninth in the 100 back and moved up to seventh,” the coach said.
200-YARD MEDLEY RELAY — 1, Concord (Mariah DeFreese, Ashley Schrock, Laura Housman, Sydney Shuff) 1:57.30; 2, Warsaw (Malorie Rhienhardt, Ashley Van Wormer, Jessica Sweatland, Margot Rheinhardt) 1:58.30; 3, Northridge (Anela Helmuth, Nikki Willey, Ashley Owens, Courtney Clark) 2:02.16; 4, Wawasee (Caitlin Clevenger, Hannah Winters, Rachel Rozow, Elizabeth Rozow) 2:06.88; 5, Goshen (Maggie Walters, MacKenzie Bilbrey, Gale Immel, Molly Hill) 2:11.94; 6, Elkhart Memorial (Taylor Kendall, Rachel Colllins, Carlie Manges, Delaney Gilbert) 2:12.25; 7, Plymouth (Megan Senter, Lauren Page, Lexi Fetters, Layne Holloway) 2:17.17; 8, NorthWood (Katleyn Davis, Jamie McBride, Natalie Hostetler, Kenzi Baker-Ott) 2:18.95.
200-YARD FREESTYLE — 1, Breanna Robinson (Wawasee) 1:53.74; 2, Brittney Walters (Northridge) 1:54.18; 3, Peyton Miller (Concord) 2:03.26; 4, Tessa Peter (Northridge) 2:04.19; 5, Kendra Miller (Wawasee) 2:04.63; 6; Avery Smith (Concord) 2:06.16; 7, Cynthia Juarez (Warsaw) 2:07.01; 8, Rachel Enright (Concord) 2:07.76; 9, Emma Hussey (Goshen) 2:07.94; 10, Heather Ronci (Goshen) 2:10.14; 11, Jessica Haines (Warsaw) 2:14.33; 12, Lexi Manges (Elkhart Memorial) 2:15.27; 13, Isabella Stalari (Northridge) 2:16.13; 14, Taylor Musialik (Elkhart Memorial) 2:16.67; 15, Megan Senter (Plymouth) 2:17.44; 16, Jamie McBride (NorthWood) 2;17.45.
200-YARD INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY — 1, Ashley Schrock (Concord) 2:14.52; 2, Kayla Hershberger (Wawasee) 2:20.65; 3, Laura Housman (Concord) 2:21.49; 4, Hayley Ronci (Goshen) 2:25.08; 5, Ashley Van Wormer (Warsaw) 2:26.74; 6, Nikki Willey (Northridge) 2:27.02; 7, Courtney Clark (Northridge) 2:28.33; 8, Jenna Crane (Elkhart Memorial) 2:20.00; 9, Cassidy Manning (Wawasee) 2:32.69; 10, Caitlin Clevenger (Wawasee) 2:32.74; 11, Miranda VanCoppenolle (Northridge) 2:33.45; 12, MacKenzie Bilbrey (Goshen) 2:35.22; 13, Jessica Sweatland (Warsaw) 2:35.43; 14, Laura Olivo (Goshen) 2:37.43; 15, Meghan Boston (Warsaw) 2:37.45; 16, Taylor Kendall (Elkhart Memorial) 2:40.44.
50-YARD FREESTYLE — 1, Brittani Grove (Northridge) 25.02; 2, Kenzie Wright (Concord) 25.37; 3, Mariah DeFreese (Concord) 25.87; 4, tie, Sydney Boyer (Northridge) and Margot Rheinhardt (Warsaw) 26.12; 6, Sydney Shuff (Concord) 26.27; 7 Kendra Miller (Wawasee) 26.29; 8, Natalie Evans (Goshen) 26.91; 9, Olivia Wenger (Goshen) 27.06; 10, Erin Sandberg (Warsaw) 27.10; 11, Claire Palczynski (Goshen) 27.39; 12, Mikala Mawhorter (Wawasee) 27.45; 13, Sydney Petersheim (Northridge) 28:55; 14, Layne Holloway (Plymouth) 29.29; 15, Samantha Bontrager (Wawasee) 29.29; 16, Tricia Petit (Elkhart Memorial) 29.37.
100-YARD BUTTERFLY — 1, Natalie Evans (Goshen) 1:02.51; 2, Ashley Owens (Northridge) 1:03.31; 3, Laura Housman (Concord) 1;04.80; 4, Rachel Rozow (Wawasee) 1:07.22; 5, Mikala Mawhorter (Wawasee) 1:09.19; 6, Erin Sandberg (Warsaw) 1:09.31; 7, Molly Hill (Goshen) 8, Margot Rheinhardt (Warsaw) 1:09.87; 9, Megan Campbell (Northridge) 1:10.58; 10, Cassidy Manning (Wawasee) 1:13.37; 11, Anela Helmuth (Northridge) 1:14.03; 12, Frankie Lietzan (Goshen) 1:14.11; 13, Lexi Fetters (Plymouth) 1:15.08; 14, Estella Donis (Concord) 1:15.36; 15, Katelyn Davis (NorthWood) 1:20.22; 16, Makenzie Todd (Elkhart Memorial) 1:22.86.
100-YARD FREESTYLE — 1, Breanna Robinson (Wawasee) 53.22; 2, Brittani Grove (Northridge) 54.93; 3, Kenzie Wright (Concord) 56.81; 4, Sydney Boyer (Northridge) 57.64; 5, Heather Ronci (Goshen) 58.33; 6, Elizabeth Rozow (Wawasee) 58.54; 7, Olivia Wenger (Goshen) 58.99; 8, Carlie Manges (Elkhart Memorial) 1:00.92; 9, Jessica Sweatland (Warsaw) 1:01.04; 10, Malorie Rheinhardt (Warsaw) 1:01.27; 11, Layne Holloway (Plymouth) 1:02.17; 12, Surae Woods-Cross (Goshen) 1:02.64; 13, Delaney Gilbert (Elkhart Memorial) 1;03.15; 14, Sydney Petersheim (Northridge) 1:03.63; 15, Izzy Heiden (Warsaw) 1;03.82; 16, Tricia Petit (Elkhart Memorial) 1:04.07.
500-YARD FREESTYLE — 1, Peyton Miller (Concord) 5:30.28; 2, Tessa Peter (Northridge) 5:31.58; 3, Hayley Ronci (Goshen) 5:34.48; 4, Kayla Hershberger (Wawasee) 5:34.61; 5, Cynthia Juarez (Warsaw) 5:39.73; 6, Rachel Enright (Concord) 5:40.55; 7, Avery Smith (Concord) 5:43.76; 8, Emma Hussey (Goshen) 5:48.46; 9, Jenna Crane (Elkhart Memorial) 5:49.45; 10, Miranda VanCoppenolle (Northridge) 5:52.16; 11, Courtney Clark (Northridge) 5:56.96; 12, Hannah Winters (Wawasee) 5:59.82; Audra Harman (Warsaw) 6:01.56; 14, Megan Senter (Plymouth) 6:04.22; 15, Meghan Boston (Warsaw) 6:06.82; 16, Lexi Manges (Elkhart Memorial) 6:11.28.
200-YARD FREESTYLE RELAY — 1, Concord (Ashley Schrock, Peyton Miller, Avery Smith, Kenzie Wright) 1:45.00; 2, Northridge (Sydney Boyer, Ashley Owens, Courtney Clark, Miranda VanCoppenolle) 1:49.79; 3, Warsaw (Margot Rheinhardt, Jessica Sweatland, Erin Sandberg, Meghan Boston) 1:05.15; 4, goshen (Natalie Hetler, Natalie Evans, Olivia Wenger, Laura Olivo) 1:52.75; Wawasee (Kayla hershberger, Cassidy Manning, Mikala Mawhorter, Hannah Winters) 1:53.08; 6, Elkhart Memorial (Tricia Petit, Delaney Gilbert, Taylor Musialik, Lexi Manges) 1:56.86; 7, Plymouth (Layne Holloway, Lexi Fetters, Lauren Page, Megan Senter) 2:01.91; 8, NorthWood (Crystal Wise, Brianna Tuttle, Melissa Berger, Kenzi Baker-Ott) 2:08.30.
100-YARD BACKSTROKE — 1, Brittney Walters (Northridge) 1:00.98; 2, Elizabeth Rozow (Wawasee) 1;04.38; 3, Malorie Rheinhardt (Warsaw) 1:06.57; 4, Claire Palczynski (Goshen) 1:07.72; 5, Mariah DeFreese (Concord) 1:08.30; 6, Surae Woods-Cross (Goshen) 1:11.28; 7, Sydney Shuff (Concord) 1:11.32; 8, Anela Helmuth (Northridge) 1:11.71; 9, Caitlin Clevenger (Wawasee) 1:11.85; 10, tie, Samantha Bontrager (Wawasee) and Gale Immel (Goshen) 1:12.34; 12, Jessica Haines (Warsaw) 1;12.37; 13, Carlie Manges (Elkhart Memorial) 1:12.46; 14, Isabella Stalari (Northridge) 1:13.20; 15, Katelyn Davis (NorthWood) 1:13.73; 16, Lexi Fetters (Plymouth) 1:16.98.
100-YARD BREASTSTROKE — 1, Ashley Schrock (Concord) 1:07.64; 2, Ashley Van Wormer (Warsaw) 1:11.53; 3, Ashley Owens (Northridge) 1:12.68; 4, Nikki Willey (Northridge) 1:14.01; 5, Rachel Rozow (Wawasee) 1:16.04; 6, Hannah Winters (Wawasee) 1:16.59; 7, Rachel Collins (Elkhart Memorial) 1:19.58; 8, Molly Hill (Goshen) 1:19.96; 9, Taylor Kendall (Elkhart) 1:20.49; 10, Megan Campbell (Northridge) 1:20.95; 11, MacKenzie Bilbrey (Goshen) 1:20.97; Izzy Heiden (Warsaw) 1:21.38; 13, Emma Donahoe (Wawasee) 1:22.81; 14, Jamie McBride (NorthWood) 1:23.05; 15, Audra Harman (Warsaw) 1:25.30; 16, Laura Olivo (Goshen) 1:26.48.
400-YARD FREESTYLE RELAY — 1, Northridge (Brittany Grove, Tessa Peter, Brittney Walters, Nikki Willey) 3:51.13; 2, Concord (Rachel Enright, Laura Housman, Allie Herkenroder, Peyton Miller) 4:02.28; 3, Warsaw (Cynthia Juarez, Jessica Haines, Meghan Boston, Erin Sandberg) 4:07.20; 4, Wawasee (Kayla Hershberger, Caitlin Clevenger, Cassidy manning, Mikala Mawhorter) 4:10.20; 5, Elkhart Memorial (Taylor Musialik, Jenna Crane, Lexi Manges, Carlie manges) 4:12.79; 6, Goshen (Hayley Ronci, Maddie Newell, Katie Younghans, Gale Immel) 4:34.88; 7, NorthWood (Jamie McBride, Katelyn Davis Brianna Tuttle, Natalie Hostetler) 4:44.16; 9, Plymouth (Brianda Lowe, Anya Hettich, Savannah Mae, Brianna Hayes) 5:12.35.
Northridge, Concord in driver’s seat after Thursday prelims
Joe Keller always has a plan.
Bears terminate Peppers' contract
The Chicago Bears released eight-time Pro Bowl defensive end Julius Peppers
Bears agree to 5-year contract with DE Houston
The Chicago Bears agreed to a five-year contract with former Oakland Raiders defensive end
Kentucky's imperfect season shows one-and-dones have lots to learn
The pre-season college basketball guides proclaimed this as the year of the Kentucky Wildcats
Colts re-sign kicker Adam Vinatieri
Adam Vinatieri had two wishes in free agency
Bynum expected to make Pacers debut vs. Celtics
The Pacers will finally get a chance to see what Andrew Bynum can do
Crawford lifts Northwestern over Purdue 74-65
Northwestern had a message to send before the start of the Big Ten Tournament
Mavs extend Pacers' skid to 4 with 105-94 win
Devin Harris rolled through the lane
- COLLEGE CONNECTIONS: Goshen's Newell an ace for Bethel softball GOSHEN — The Bethel College women’s softball team concluded a spring trip out west with a 4-6 record with standout pitcher junior Natalie Newell (Goshen) posting a 4-2 record.
- Odds and ends from the Elkhart Sectional The 60th boys basketball sectional at historic North Side Gym in Elkhart last week produced a few odd twists and even some firsts.
- WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: No. 2 ND routs No. 10 Duke 69-53 for ACC title GREENSBORO, N.C. — Jewell Loyd scored 18 of her 26 points in the second half, and No. 2 Notre Dame capped its perfect first run through the Atlantic Coast Conference by beating No. 10 Duke 69-53 on Sunday night in the league tournament final.
- More Sports Headlines
- Bears terminate Peppers' contract