Carroll head coach John Gibson didn't say anything to his team after its rough start to begin the finals of the boys state swimming meet Saturday afternoon. On its medley relay, the first event of the day, his team suffered a disqualification, which cost it potentially up to 18 points.
It was a big blow to a Chargers team looking to place in the top 15, but instead took home 17th place with 26 points. Snider finished highest in the area in 16th with 32 points, Homestead finished 38th with 11 points and Warsaw was 54th with two points.
“They were definitely not happy and disappointed,” Gibson said. “They knew we could have done pretty well in that relay because we were looking to get some decent points out of it …. but we didn't really make a big deal out of it and focused on the next swim.”
Looking past the results was especially critical for Carroll's two senior swimmers. Grant Music still had to swim in 100 breaststroke 'A' finals, the only area swimmer to make top cut after Friday's preliminary round, and Blaine Nichols still had two events.
Music took sixth place and Nichols 13th place in the 100 breaststroke and Nichols finished 9th in the 200 individual medley.
“It's definitely bittersweet because they've (Music and Nichols) both been great for the program, good leaders for the underclassmen,” Gibson said. “Definitely going to be sorely missed not just from the performance side but from the leadership side probably as much as anything.”
As Carroll got over a disappointing start to its day and said goodbye to key seniors, Homestead and Snider began to potentially see the future.
Snider's Brennan Lill finished his career with a 16th place finish in the 100 freestyle and as part of two relay teams that took 11th and 14th, but more importantly for the Panthers was the performance of freshman Gabriel Swardson.
Swardson was part of both of Snider's relay teams and also placed 11th in the 200 individual medley and 10th in the 100 butterfly.
Alongside Swardson with an impressive first run was the Spartan's Kevin Frebel in the one-meter diving event. Frebel had to respond after seeing his Homestead teammates not have a single swimmer qualify for the finals after preliminaries Friday night and came out strong.
“He was in second place with two dives left, and we were optimistic and excited about what he was going to do, but to place in the top eight as a freshman is outstanding,” Homestead head coach Chad Englehart said.
Overall, Chesterton won the team state title with 238.5 points, followed by North Central with 203.5 and Carmel with 173. The championship was Chesterton's 23rd overall and ended Carmel's three-year run atop the standings. It is Chesterton's first title since 2008-09.
1st place Chesteron 238.5 points
2nd North Central 203.5
3rd Carmel 173
16th Snider 32
17th Carroll 26
38th Homestead 11
54th Warsaw 2
Note: Area swimmers only.
200 Medley Relay: Snider's Jesse Radike, Landan Mintch, Gabriel Swardson, Brennan Lill 11th place; Carroll's Ryan Huizing, Grant Music, Bradley Trahin, Brian Niebuhr Disqualified
200 Individual Medley: Carroll's Blaine Nichols 9th; Swardson 11th
100 Butterfly: Swardson 10th
100 Freestyle: Lill 16th
200 Freestyle Relay: Lill, Radike, Swardson, Mintch 14th
100 Backstroke: Warsaw's Jayden Parrett 15th
100 Breaststroke: Music 6th; Nichols 13th
1 Meter Diving: Homestead's Kevin Frebel 8th