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By Andy Ross, Swimming World College Intern
There is only one word that can describe the Carmel Girls Swim program at this point. Perfect.
Seniors Claire Adams and Veronica Burchill put an exclamation point on their high school careers with four wins each bringing their career total to 16 and 15. Adams never lost a race at the IHSAA state championships. Those two helped Carmel win its 30th straight state championship in girls swimming and diving, making it the longest state championship streak of any state in any sport. With 30 wins now, when will ESPN 30 for 30 make a documentary about the program? One can hope it happens.
Adams and Burchill teamed up in two relays for the Greyhounds. The first being the 200 medley relay. Adams (24.38), Kendall Smith (29.34), Burchill (23.22) and Trude Rothrock (22.92) won the race with a 1:39.86, just missing the national record they set last year of 1:39.25. Penn was second at 1:44.10 and Chesterton was third at 1:44.17.
The other relay they teamed up in was the 400 free relay where they went 3:16.15. To put that time into perspective, that would have been the 21st fastest time in the NCAA last year. However, it missed the state and national high school record set last year at 3:15.38. Burchill (48.55), Rothrock (50.33), Sammie Burchill (49.08) and Adams (48.19) won the race by seven seconds ahead of Hamilton Southeastern (3:23.60) and Chesterton (3:26.59).
Burchill also led off the victorious 200 free relay team with a swift 22.39. She was followed by teammates Smith, Grace Pangburn and Kelly Pash as they touched with a 1:31.59 ahead of Hamilton Southeastern at 1:32.60 and Carroll of Fort Wayne was third at 1:35.47.
Burchill had the lone state record on the day as she took out the 100 fly with a 51.79, resetting her 52.13 record from last night. Burchill missed Katie McLaughlin’s 51.53 national record as well as Beata Nelson’s 51.70 public school record. It was expected to be a close race but Burchill ran away with it. Chesterton’s Vanessa Krause was second at 53.72 and Rothrock was third at 53.83. Burchill will swim at Georgia next fall.
Adams returned in the next event with a 48.83, just missing Amy Bilquist’s 48.36 state record from last year. Following her in that race was freshman Kelly Pash of Carmel (50.00) and Robyn Clevenger of Hamilton Southeastern (50.25). Adams will be headed to Texas next year.
All eyes were on Adams in the 100 back final and the crowd was anticipating a national record after her state record on Friday night. Adams did not have a record in her as she went 52.39 to win the race ahead of Sammie Burchill (54.01) and Hamilton Southeastern’s Natalie Mudd (54.60).
Carmel also got two wins from Junior Emma Nordin. She won the 200 free with a 1:47.95, holding off a charging Kylie Mihok of Zionsville at 1:48.16 and Pash at 1:48.49. Nordin also returned to cruise to a 500 free win at 4:52.09. Katie Hughes of Northridge was second in the 500 with a 4:53.57 and Morgan Miller of Carmel was third at 4:53.76.
Veronica was not the only Burchill with a championship today as Sammie took out the 200 IM final with a 1:57.99. She is only a junior and could possibly chase the legendary 1:56.87 state record set by Michelle McKeehan in 2008. Hannah Kukurugya of Crown Point was second at 1:59.28 and Rothrock of Carmel was third at 2:00.78.
Hamilton Southeastern’s Robyn Clevenger was one of the only winners on the day not from Carmel as she won the 50 free at 22.91. She out-touched Krause of Chesterton at 22.94 and Carmel’s Smith was third at 23.22. Clevenger will swim at Auburn in the fall.
The other non-Carmel winner was Yorktown’s Emily Weiss. The freshman won the 100 breast at 1:02.20 as she held off a charging field. Abigail Kirkpatrick of South Bend Riley was second at 1:02.45 and Kionna Clayton of Penn was third at 1:02.62. There were no seniors in the top 8 in the 100 breast so it will be interesting to see what happens in that event next year.
Carmel dominated the day with 438 points. Hamilton Southeastern finished second as their second place finish in the 400 free relay clinched second place for them. They had 193.5 points and Chesterton was third with 193 points.