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By Andy Ross, Swimming World College Intern
Carmel will be looking to extend its state championship winning streak to 30 years on Saturday. The national record for most consecutive state championships is 29 years, which is held by Carmel’s girls swim team and Punahou’s boys swim team in Hawaii. Carmel’s win last year tied the national record. With a win this year, Carmel could stand alone. The meet will be held at the historic IUPUI Natatorium in downtown Indianapolis in front of a packed house.
When looking at the psych sheet, it is evident that Carmel will rely on seniors Claire Adams and Veronica Burchill for the bulk of the points. None of Carmel’s relays are seeded first, but that is because they did not need to use their best swimmers to qualify for the meet. So, the seedings for the relays is a little skewed right now because of that.
The race of the meet will be the 100 butterfly. The top seed is Crown Point junior Hannah Kukurugya, who is on the US National Junior Team. Behind her are seniors Veronica Burchill (Carmel) and Vanessa Krause (Chesterton). Kukurugya didn’t swim the 100 fly last year as Burchill won it with a state record (52.76). Krause finished third. Is the state record in jeopardy? What about the national record? Katie McLaughlin’s 51.53 is a bit of a reach at this point but you never know with the Carmel girls.
How fast will Claire Adams go this year? The Olympic hopeful from Carmel is the top seed in the 100 back with a modest 54.21, compared to her 51.99 state record. If she is fully tapered for this meet, then she could push the national record of 51.43 set by Olivia Smoliga in 2012. Adams is also the state record holder in the 200 free, but elected to swim the 100 free for her senior year instead. Adams is the sixth seed at 51.13. First in that event is Hamilton Southeastern’s Robyn Clevenger at 49.80. Can either of those girls chase down Amy Bilquist’s 48.36 state record?
There are two events that have freshmen as top seeds. Franklin Community’s Carla Gildersleeve leads the way in the 500 at 4:55.51 and Yorktown’s Emily Weiss leads the 100 breast field at 1:01.59. The defending champion and state record holder in the 500, Carmel’s Emma Nordin is in the field. The 100 breast is relatively wide open as the top two finishers from last year graduated. Weiss’s time is already faster than third place finisher Lauren Edelman’s time from last year. Edelman is seeded third in that race this year. It is unclear right now which swimmers rested fully last week at sectionals and which swimmers are putting full emphasis on this weekend. That makes for an exciting and unpredictable state meet.