By Will Willems
Garrett Goff accomplished something that hasn’t been done since 2006 — become a state qualifier for Lebanon in a swimming event.
Goff won the 200-yard freestyle Saturday at the Zionsville Sectional in a time of 1:48.32 to earn a berth in the state preliminaries Friday night at the IUPUI Natatorium.
“It is great; just terrific,” Lebanon head coach Michael Dollens said. “He has been working on turns a lot. He came out ahead on the last turn and never gave it up. It was a really good race.”
Goff become the first Tigershark since A.J. Boeh and Cody Sowder to make the state finals.
Goff entered the race seeded fourth in the finals. He hung around the lead but was behind heading into the last turn, when he flew off the wall and into the lead. Not bad for someone who didn’t start racing the 200-freestyle until late in the year.
“We like to try things a lot,” Dollens said. “We put him in 200 free on a lark. We had a meet we knew the result of and through him in there and blew it up. Tried at conference, he swam better, and he embraced it.”
The Tigersharks placed seventh as a team with 165 points. Zionsville won the team title with 497.
“We had a great meet,” Dollens said. “Everyone who swam today had a best. The boys swam really well.”
Zionsville will be sending five events to state.
The Eagles won all three relays and Kyle DeCoursey won the 50- and 100-yard freestyles.
“He is one that didn’t swim in the sectional last year, and he helps win three events and sets a school record,” Zionsville head coach Scott Kubly said. “That is a credit to him for taking bull by the horn, swimming year round to get better.”
Also scoring for Lebanon were: the 200-yard medley relay team of Russell Stump, Goff, Cameron Howard and Stewart Rivers (fifth), Joey Plunkett (14th) and Stump (15th) in the 200-yard IM, Howard (seventh) in the 50-yard freestyle, Jared Kaiser (10th) and Evan Cortez (13th) in diving, Howard (third) in the 100-yard freestyle, Drake Burger (13th) in the 500-yard freestyle, the 200-yard freestyle relay team of Goff, Burger, Ben Faust and Howard (seventh), Stump (15th) in the 100-yard backstroke, Goff (second) and Plunkett (13th) in the 100-yard breaststroke, and the 400-yard freestyle relay team of Rivers, Nick Samson, Burger and Plunkett (eighth).
Dollens said he is happy with what the Tigersharks accomplished this year.
“The seniors really, for the last three years have put it upon themselves to not be terrible as team,” Dollens said. “They pushed each other, recruited and got new kids out for team. They got a lot better; these seniors wanted to be competative. We were seventh, not that far from fifth and with our numbers I am really excited for the guys.”
Stars nearly end sectional drought
Crawfordsville — The Western Boone boys swimming and diving team nearly ended a 20-year sectional drought Saturday afternoon at the Crawfordsville Sectional.
The Stars scored 358.5 points, just 10.5 behind first place Twin Lakes.
Owen Richardson had the best day for the Stars, advancing to the state finals with his victory in the 500-yard freestyle in 4:58.91.
Also scoring for the Stars were: the 200-yard medley relay team of Richardson, Conner Smith, Colt O’Brien and Jakob Ison (fourth), Cole Henry (fourth), Eli Nelson (fifth) and O’Brien (12th) in the 200-yard freestyle; Smith (sixth), Lee Kouns (10th) and Eli Weber (13th) in the 200-yard IM; Ison (ninth), Tyler Squibb (12th) and Robbie Hine (14th) in the 50-yard freestyle; Cody Rice (10th) and Matthew VanDokkenburg (12th) in diving; Cody Boone (seventh), O’Brien (eighth) and Kouns (ninth) in the 100-yard butterfly; Henry (seventh), Ryan Borders (eighth) and Squibb (14th) in the 100-yard freestyle; Nelson (third) and Hine (sixth) in the 500-yard freestyle; Henry, Ison, Squibb and Smith (third) in the 200-yard freestyle; Richardson (second), Borders (seventh) and Brenton Roy (eighth) in the 100-yard backstroke; Conner Corwin (fifth), Smith (sixth) and Weber (11th) in the 100-yard breaststroke; Henry, Richardson, Borders and Nelson (fourth) in the 400-yard freestyle relay.