At Indiana High School Girls States, the Talent In the Pool Is Striking


At Indiana High School Girls States, Talent In the Pool Is Striking

In less than 24 hours, the best swimmers in the state of Indiana will gather at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis for the 2023 IHSAA Girls Swimming & Diving State Finals. Swimming in Indiana is a big deal, especially on the high school level, with multiple USA Swimming National Teamers and Olympians competing in this meet at some point in their career. 

As the next generation of Indiana’s top swimmers get set to take the water, a few athletes stand out.  More, a few will leave their mark on the state meet long after they have left high school.

Psych Sheets


To be able to display their dominance at the state meet, athletes have to qualify first. There are three ways to qualify for the state competition, the first of them by winning a race at one of the 20 sectional competitions that took place last weekend. Next, going under the state cut time will earn a bid. That time is created based on the average time of the 16th-place finisher from the previous three years. The final way to qualify is to be called down, which means having a time that wasn’t a state cut but fills the entry lists to their required 32 spots. 

After the official psych sheets were released last weekend, four swimmers stood out in a talent filled pool. These are the swimmers to keep an eye on as they take the water this weekend.

JoJo Ramey

A senior at Fishers High School, JoJo Ramey is on the hunt for her first individual state titles in both the 200 and 500 yard freestyles. 

A key piece to Fisher’s three consecutive state runnerup finishes, Ramey is one of the best swimmers in the class of 2023.  She burst onto the radar in 2021 when she finished in seventh in the 200-meter backstroke at the 2020 Olympic Trials in Omaha. In November of 2021, Ramey announced her verbal commitment to swim at the University of Florida.

While Ramey has never won an individual IHSAA State Title, she is an international medalist, winning a silver medal in the 200 backstroke at the World Aquatics World Cup in Berlin.  With one more IHSAA state meet left for Ramey before heading off to college, this year looks to be her best shot to win her first state title. Though she prefers long course, she comes in seeded first in both the individual events she will swim and has a very good shot of bringing home state titles in both.

Lily Christianson

A junior from Penn High School, Lily Christianson is looking to join an elite club this weekend, as a three-time  event champion. At the 2021 state meet, she became the first freshman in 23 years to win a state title in the 50 free and last year she continued her dominance. Winning the event again, this time in a state record time of 22.14, she broke the previous mark set by Amy Bilquist of Carmel in 2015.

A true sprinter, Christianson is another swimmer who has had success in both short and long course competitions. Last summer, she won the junior national title in the 50 free at Summer Juniors in Irvine and last fall she announced her verbal commitment to continue her swimming career at N.C. State. She will swim both the 50 and the 100 free this weekend and she comes in with the second and first seeds, respectively. At sectionals last weekend, Christianson never faced a challenge in either of her individual events, winning the 50 by a second and the 100 by four and a half seconds. Seeing what she will be able to do with the state’s best competition will be exciting to watch, and her biggest challenger is the next swimmer on this list.

Alex Shackell

Only a sophomore, Alex Shackell is looking to bring home even more hardware from the state meet. Last season, she won the 100 butterfly in a state-record time of 51.71, and added an additional two state titles in the 200 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay. 

A generational talent, Alex has shown her dominance not just on the high school level, but on the national level as well. Last summer she won the 100 fly at both Junior Nationals and Junior Pan Pacs, while also helping lead Carmel Swim Club to USA Swimming team titles at last summer’s Juniors and at the past two Winter Junior national meets. 

At this weekend’s state meet, she will face some of her biggest challenges of the season. While she is a shoe-in for the 100 fly title, as the top seed by two-plus seconds from a time she did in a practice suit, she will face a challenge in the 50. Shackell comes in as the top seed but will have to go against the two-time defending champion in that event, and another member of this list, Lily Christianson.  

Berit Berglund

A senior at Carmel High School, Berit Berglund is another swimmer looking to join an exclusive club this weekend: The four-time event champion club. In the history of the IHSAA State Meet, only 11 swimmers have completed this feat, and headlined by Olympian Lindsay Benko, there is no doubt this is an elite group of swimmers.

Berglund, who set the state record in the 100 back last year in a time of 51.50, comes into the meet as the top seed in the backstroke by over a second, with a time she did in a practice suit. Committing to continue her athletic career at Texas, Berglund finished second in the 100 back at both Summer and Winter Juniors in 2022. While she is the undeniable favorite to win another title in the backstroke, she is also one of the favorites to win in the 100 freestyle, after finishing third last year behind Lily Christianson. 

The Team Race

Although showdowns await in the individual races, the team side is a different story. The Carmel Greyhounds look to bring home their NFHS record 37th consecutive title. With stars like Shackell and Berglund, Carmel brings depth to the state meet that many teams would envy to see at their own sectional meet. Carmel has no one seeded worse than 18th in any individual event and in five events, they have all three possible swimmers seeded in the top eight, with an impressive one, two, three in the 100 breaststroke.

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Carrie Hall
Carrie Hall
1 year ago

Liliana Ratzlaff…one to watch!

1 year ago

Why doesn’t Indiana swimming go into a two class system? Carmel and everyone else. If you are a female swimmer in the state of indiana, you will never win a state title. Why swim? Everyone is hushed when they bring this up, Carmel runs the state in swimming. Nobody has the money and population Carmel high school. On a serious note, if you go big and small schools as the two divisions. It allows Carmel to go against an all big school sectional which may make it slightly harder to get out of sectional and slightly harder to win state. I’m sure no one out there cares.

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