By Travis Whitton
For The Herald Bulletin
FISHERS, Ind. —
Regardless of final results, most coaches want to see their respective teams make progress throughout the season, and that’s just what Pendleton Heights and Anderson saw Satutrday at the Hamilton Southeastern girls swimming and diving sectionals.
In arguably one of the strongest sectionals in the state, Pendleton Heights was able to snag a fourth-place finish.
Arabians coach Jeff Maydak didn’t have any swimmers advance to next week’s state finals, but he was able to get junior diver Taylor Fiew into Tuesday’s regional round with her third-place finish.
“Obviously Taylor, it’s always good to have someone moving on,” said Maydak. “Circumstances last year kind of prevented that with our divers last year, unfortunately. It’s always good to have someone move on, and my expectation is that she will advance through regional as well on Tuesday and get to state for next weekend.”
He said Fiew has met all of her goals to this point by going undefeated in duel meets, winning conference, breaking the school record and now moving on to regionals.
Maydak said he foresees his team doing well for years to come with it being as young as it is this season.
“I think we only have two girls with driver’s licenses, just to put it into perspective” said Maydak. “Over half of our team is (in the) sophomore class. We’ve got another couple of years with most of them.”
He said he will have his core group of girls coming back and will only lose two kids from this year’s team — both being foreign exchange students. Maydak said he has a strong class of swimmers coming in next year as well.
The Arabians coach said his message to his girls after the sectional meet will be to work hard in the offseason so they will be in shape come October.
Along with Fiew, he said he was proud of the efforts he got this season from Micalah Booher. She broke the school record in the 500-yard freestyle last Thursday. He said he was also pleased with the performances he got from Maddy Kordes and Stephanie Achermann.
The Anderson Indians had what coach Dave Renz termed a down season, but he said there is promise in their upcoming class. He said he was definitely pleased with how this year’s team progressed throughout the course of the season.
Renz said the incoming class has a group of girls that swim year-round, and he said that is what it will take for Anderson’s girls swim team to turn the corner. He said his current group got a firsthand look at that by watching Hamilton Southeastern and Fishers in the sectional.
“Our girls were flabbergasted, they had no idea,” said Renz about his girls’ reactions after watching the sectional’s top teams. “Now they know what it takes, and we’re going to raise the commitment level next year, and things will change.”
The Anderson coach said despite their seventh-place finish, he had a core of seven girls that propelled his team all season long. He said he was happy with the performances he got from his senior captains and leaders Esther Mishler and Anna Gustin.
He also mentioned the Indians’ most productive swimmer on the year was sophomore Rebecca Mullanix. He also said sophomore Bayli Proctor showed toughness and grit throughout the season, and he said fellow sophomore Chloe Contos is another swimmer’s performance that stood out in his mind this season.
Pendleton Heights’ Fiew will dive in regionals Tuesday at Fishers for a chance to move on to the state meet next Saturday.