As Carmel Continues Dominance, Alex Shackell Chasing National High School Record in 100 Butterfly

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Alex Shackell -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Carmel Girls to Chase 38th Consecutive Indiana High School State Title Next Week

The Carmel Greyhounds will be heavily favored to extend the longest streak of high school state swimming titles in the nation next week when they race for their 38th consecutive Indiana girls’ crown at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis Friday and Saturday. Last season, Carmel won every event except the 100 freestyle at the state championship meet and earned 15 individual top-three finishes (out of a maximum 24 in eight individual events). And Carmel won all three relays in dominant fashion, two of them with national records.

Carmel dominated not only its competition in Indiana but also the mythical national rankings, scoring 235 points to beat runnerup (and defending mythical champion) Santa Margarita Catholic (Calif.) by a whopping 70.5 points. The second-place public school, Brookfield East (Wis.), was 97 points behind Carmel.

And while Carmel graduated key contributors such as Berit Berglund and Meghan Christman, both members of a national-record-setting 200 medley relay, every other star from last year’s team returns. That includes junior Alex Shackell, who led the national rankings in the 100 butterfly, as  well as junior Lynsey Bowen and sophomore Molly Sweeney, who both had multiple top-eight national swims.

Since the last high school season, Shackell has emerged as a bona fide star, qualifying for the World Championships team last year in the 200-meter freestyle as a relay swimmer and anchoring the U.S. women to silver in the 800 free relay in Fukuoka. Shackell also came close to qualifying for the Worlds team individually in the 200 fly.

Back in yards this high school season, Shackell could chase the national high school record in the 100 fly. That mark belongs to Claire Curzan at 49.24, an American record at the time she swam the mark two years ago, while Shackell swam a time of 49.49 to win the event at U.S. Junior Nationals East in December, ranking her ninth all-time. Torri Huske holds the public-school national record at 49.95. Shackell will also pursue the 100 backstroke at the high school state meet.

At their sectional meet, the Greyhounds won every individual swimming event. In addition to Shackell’s victories, Bowen topped the 200 and 500 free, and Sweeney got first place in the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke, with the sprint freestyles covered by Faith Gorey (50) and Grace Dougherty (100).

The only swimming event without a Carmel victory was the 200 free relay, in which the team was disqualified, although Carmel’s prelims time would have won by more than one-and-a-half seconds.

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Robin Walker
Robin Walker
26 days ago

Go Hounds! Carmel is so proud of all of you!

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