Carmel Repeats as Indiana Boys State High School Champions

INDIANAPOLIS, March 6. THE Carmel Greyhounds rolled to their ninth state championship in the last 13 years at the 65th Annual Boys Swimming and Diving State Finals at the I.U. Natatorium on Saturday, February 23.

After winning by 80 points a year ago, coach Ken Stopkotte’s squad began racking up points early on and were never headed, winning by 145.5 points, 299.5-154 over second place South Bend Riley. North Central (Indpls.) placed third, just .5 behind with Hamilton Southeastern fourth and Homestead rounding out the top five.

Carmel got off to a strong start to open the event. After setting a new state meet mark of 1:33.05 in the prelims Friday night, Matt Belcher, Andrew Albright, Brandon Rector and Jason Cousins swam their way to a win in the 200 yard medley relay in 1:34.05 for the first 40 points of the meet. Their 400 yard freestyle relay team of Matt Belcher, Chase Hitchens, Mark Enoch and Grant Wieczorek finished off the day in record fashion, defending last year’s title and leaving the rest of the field to chase their 3:04.24 time, which broke the old standard of 3:04.30 that was established in 1994 by Carmel and pushed them six seconds in front of runner-up South Bend Riley.

The only individual winner for the Greyhounds was Andrew Albright who finished first in the 100 yard breaststroke in 57.19, barely .13 ahead of Hamilton Southeastern’s Daniel Walter.

North Central (Indpls.) led the way in individual champs with three, but Carmel’s depth in so many of the events, and a pair of relay victories, allowed them to pile up the points and lay claim to yet another championship for the school. It was the ninth title in boys swimming and diving for Carmel overall and the fourth state championship of the school year (Girls Soccer, Girls Cross Country, Girls Swimming and Diving).

It was a super swimming day for Brian Hartley of North Central (Indpls.) as he made it two in a row in the 200 yard free in a time of 1:37.96, some .6 off the state meet record, and bettering his winning time of 1:39.54 in 2001. Hartley was back later in the meet with an impressive victory in the 500 yard freestyle. At 4:25.73, a new record, besting the 4:26.25 set by Jason Mallory of Penn in 1998, he finished some six seconds ahead of second place Ted Brown of Western, laying claim to his third consecutive title in the event and cutting over three seconds off his winning clocking a year ago. In all, Hartley completes his career with five state titles. To top off a perfect day, Hartley was also named winner of the Herman F. Keller Mental Attitude Award.

The Panthers also hit the win column in the 200 yard individual medley as Alex Dawson, who finished second last season and qualified sixth this trip, led the way to the finish line in 1:50.66, over four seconds quicker than his preliminary time.

In the 50 yard freestyle, fans on hand at the Natatorium were on their feet as Ben Dexter of Roncalli, a second place finisher in 2001, came within .01 of a second of the state meet record as he finished at 20.47 for the Rebels’ only blue ribbon medal of the meet.

In the 100 yard butterfly, Chad Ames of Crawfordsville, in a time of 49.08, became the first name-change in that event since 1998, after three consecutive first place finishes by Matt McDonald of Hamilton Southeastern.

Louis Cavadini, a junior from South Bend Riley, and his brother, David, were both contestants in the 100 fly, believed to be the first brother combination to compete for a state title in the same event. Louis was a runner-up on Saturday, while David finished seventh.

In the 100 yard freestyle, Seth Barry of Chesterton, third last year, moved to the head of the class in 2002 with a 45.36 timing and prevented Ben Dexter of Roncalli from doubling by a slim .04.

South Bend Riley gathered in its only first place finish for the day in the 200 yard freestyle relay, with Mark DuBois, David Cavadini, Brian Johnson and Louis Cavadini working in tandem for the triumph.

Jeffersonville got its name in the winners column when sophomore Benedect Hesen led the way to the finish line in the 100 yard backstroke in 50.88.

In diving, Jeffersonville’s Marsh Lindley was a 462.0 to 456.20 winner over J.R. Hillis of Kokomo. Lindley had finished fifth last year.

North Central’s Brian Hartley Named Winner of Keller Mental Attitude Award

Brian Hartley of North Central (Indpls.) was selected winner of the prestigious Herman F. Keller Mental Attitude Award by members of the IHSAA Executive Committee.

Brian was a two-time champion at the meet, with victories in the 200 yard freestyle and a record setting effort in the 500 yard freestyle. A co-captain of this year’s team, he has been a winner of a number of awards, including being an eight time individual Marion County champion and a former USA Swimming Indiana 13-14 Boys Overall High Point Champion. He was named the school’s Most Outstanding Athlete in 2000 and 2001, and the Northern Lights Rookie of the year in 2001.

He is co-editor in chief of the North Central High School newspaper, Northern Lights, and enjoys playing the piano and flag football with his friends. He will attend the University of Florida to major in Broadcast Journalism. Upon graduation from North Central, he will be awarded the North Central Honors Diploma, symbolic of the many honors classes he has taken while attending school.

The award honors the former IHSAA assistant commissioner, Herman F. Keller, who served the association from 1961-1973. The recipient of the award, who was nominated by his principal and coach, must excel in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability in swimming and diving. Doug Wigand, a representative of Farm Bureau Insurance, IHSAA corporate partner, presented a $1,000 scholarship to North Central High School in Indianapolis in the name of Hartley, whose parents, Jan and Bob Hartley, were on hand to witness the occasion.

Top 10 Team Scores
1. Carmel – 299.5
2. South Bend Riley – 154.0
3. North Central (Indpls.) – 153.5
4. Hamilton Southeastern – 149.0
5. Chesterton – 123.0
6. Harrison (West Lafayette) – 13.0
7. Homestead – 101.0
8. Center Grove – 97.5
9. Yorktown – 74.0
10. Northridge – 73.5

Individual State Champions

200 Medley Relay—Carmel (Matt Belcher, Andrew Albright, Brandon Rector, Jason Cousins) 1:34.05. State Meet Record set in prelims by Carmel (Matt Belcher, Andrew Albright, Brandon Rector, Jason Cousins) 1:33.05.

200 Freestyle—Brian Hartley, North Central (Indpls.), 1:37.96.

200 Individual Medley—Alex Dawson, North Central (Indpls.), 1:50.66.

50 Freestyle—Ben Dexter, Roncalli, 20.47.

One Meter Diving—Marsh Lindley, Jeffersonville, 462.0.

100 Butterfly—Chad Ames, Crawfordsville, 49.08.

100 Freestyle—Seth Barry, Chesterton, 45.36.

500 Freestyle—Brian Hartley, North Central (Indpls.), 4:25.73, State Meet Record.

200 Freestyle Relay—South Bend Riley (Mark DuBois, David Cavadini, Brian Johnson, Louis Cavadini,) 1:25.89.

100 Backstroke—Benedect Hesen, Jeffersonville, 50.88.

100 Breaststroke—Andrew Albright, Carmel, 57.19.

400 Freestyle Relay—Carmel (Matt Belcher, Chase Hitchens, Mark Enoch, Grant Wieczorek) 3:04.24, State Meet Record.

State Finals Programs Available

Couldn’t be there for the swimming and diving state finals? You can still purchase a copy of the official state finals program while supplies last! Extra copies are usually available for a period of one year following the event. Programs are $3.00 if you purchase in person at the IHSAA Office (9150 N. Meridian Street in Indianapolis) or $4.50 by mail (postage included). To order, send a check for $3.50 made payable to the IHSAA, a note with your return address and brief description of your request and mail to: IHSAA Programs, PO Box 40650, Indianapolis, IN 46240-0650. Sorry, no credit cards. To further inquire, e-mail Assistant Sports Information Director Jason Wille at

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