The North Central Girls Swimming & Diving Team dominated the IHSAA Sectional at Lawrence North on Saturday, racking up 555 points and easily outdistancing runner-up Franklin Central (367.5) for the championship. The Panthers set three new Lawrence North pool records, two new North Central school records, won 11 of 12 events and will send eight girls in 15 different events to this weekend’s IHSAA State Finals.
Senior Meggie McPherson had a banner day for the Panthers, setting new school records with her first-place swims in the 100 Butterfly (56.49) and 100 Backstroke (56.31). McPherson’s 100 Backstroke time was also a new Lawrence North pool record as was the showing by the 200 Medley Relay team of McPherson, seniors Claudia Buddenbaum and Grace Lough and sophomore Lauren Diercks, who touched first in 1:46.85.
Junior Alani Hightower set a new Lawrence North pool record with her victory in the 200 IM (2:06.47). Hightower also won the 100 Freestyle and was on a pair of first place relays, teaming with Buddenbaum, junior Emma Horton and sophomore Eleanor Reno to win the 200 Freestyle Relay; and teaming with Horton, senior Sally Jones and freshman Keira Kask to win the 400 Freestyle Relay.
Freshman Emily Buening had an impressive day, winning the first two Sectional races of her career in the 200 & 500 Freestyle. Buddenbaum won the first individual Sectional title of her career in the 50 Freestyle and Lough was the champion in the 100 Breaststroke. All winning swims automatically advance to the State Finals, as do Jones in the 100 Butterfly and 100 Backstroke (2nd in both events) and Kask in the 200 IM (2nd) and 100 Butterfly (3rd), who were pulled in based on their times to fill the field in their respective events.
Additional scoring performances for the Panthers were turned in by:
200 Freestyle – Horton (2nd); freshman Lily Wolfe (4th)
200 IM – Sophomore Reagan Shaar (7th)
50 Freestyle – Lough (2nd); Diercks (6th)
Diving – Junior Elizabeth Chamness (6th); sophomore Ella Youtsey (7th); sophomore Caroline Thoman (8th)
100 Freestyle – Buddenbaum (2nd); Horton (3rd)
500 Freestyle – Wolfe (3rd); Reno (5th)
100 Backstroke – Diercks (3rd)
100 Breaststroke – Freshman Dillon Horsley (6th); Shaar (11th)