Carmel High School Swimming Wins 29th Indiana State Title, Ties All-Time National Record

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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INDIANAPOLIS – The Carmel High School girls swim team has already established itself as the best that the state of Indiana has seen. Today’s 29th consecutive state title cemented that status, and put this year’s squad from the northern Indianapolis suburb in contention as the best girls’ high school swim team in history. The team broke all three national high school relay records, something very few high schools have been able to accomplish in history.

The state title also puts Carmel High School swimming in a tie with the Punahou High School’s boys swimming program, which also won 29 straight Hawaii state titles from 1958-1986 to become the only high school sports team in the 50 United States to win that many consecutive titles. Based on the dominance Carmel showed today, that record is almost certain to fall next year.

Today’s competition mirrored the dominance that the Bolles School men’s team showed in November 2012 when the team dominated at the Florida high school championships and set three seemingly unbreakable national high school relay records to win the Swimming World Magazine Boys High School national title. Carmel appears to be headed toward its third-straight national title.

Highlighted by the three national relay high school records broken by Carmel today, the girls dominated the meet, winning by 266 points over runner-up Fishers, which scored 179 points. Every swimmer on the 27-person Carmel squad scored points in the competition, further accenting the depth that head coach Chris Plumb has created on the team. Amy Bilquist was the key contributor in her final high school meet, swimming on two of the record-setting relays and winning the 50 and 100 freestyles.

Carmel wasted no time in setting the tone for the meet, breaking their own 200 medley relay national recordin prelims with a 1:40.33. Sammie Burchill (25.39), Alex Clarke (29.00), Veronica Burchill (23.31) and Amy Bilquist (21.55) returned in finals to become the first high school squad under 1:40 with a 1:39.25.

Because she swam two individual events, Bilquist could only compete in two of the relays. The 400 free relay was a barnburner, and a memorable way for Carmel to put a bow on an impressive meet. Burchill (48.48), Claire Adams (48.68), Kendall Smith (50.52) and Bilquist (47.70) combined for a 3:15.38, breaking their own public school record by almost six seconds. It also claimed the overall national high school record, erasing the 3:20.42 that Carondelet swam in 2013. For more perspective, Carmel’s 400 free relay would have placed 13th at last year’s NCAA championships, and would stand fifth among all collegiate relays swum at this point in the season.

The 200 free relay national record further exemplified the depth that Carmel has on the team. Even without star sprinter Bilquist, the team lowered their national public school record from 1:31.37 to 1:30.72. That also beat out the overall national record of 1:31.18 set by the Baylor School in 2012. Burchill (22.29), Adams (22.53), Smith (22.77) and Trude Rothrock (23.13) were responsible for the new record. Notably, Adams and Burchill were part of the previous record that had also included Bilquist.

Bilquist’s 50 free was one of the standout individual swims of the meet. Bilquist nearly cracked 22 seconds, and nearly took down Abbey Weitzeil’s national record of 21.98 – with a 22.15 after a 22.19 in prelims. That ties her personal best from last year’s state meet. Bilquist also got within five tenths of Weitzeil’s 100 free national record of 47.82 with a 48.36 in her winning swim.

Carmel won all but two of the swimming events today. Lillia King of F.J. Reitz High School was responsible for both of those victories, taking the 200 IM with a 1:59.24 and the 100 breast in 59.70. King had faster prelims swims in both events, posting a 1:58.86 for a lifetime best in the 200 IM and a 59.63 in the 100 breast, breaking her state record and persona best by four hundredths of a second.

Adams was Carmel’s other double individual event winner, taking the 200 free in a 1:45.78 to win by nearly two seconds over teammate Emma Nordin (1:47.63). Adams just missed out on resetting her state record of 1:45.09 from prelims which marks a personal best. It’s bound to be one of the top eight swims in the country, though far behind the new national record of 1:41.82 swum by Katie Ledecky last week. Adams returned to lead another Carmel 1-2 finish in the 100 back with a 52.14. Adams, who was second at last summer’s junior nationals in the event behind Bilquist, swam a 51.99 in Friday’s prelims for a state record.

Burchill set a state record of 52.26 in winning the 100 butterfly, lowering the record from the 52.29 she swam in yesterday’s prelims. It also sliced seven tenths of a second off her lifetime best, which she swam at last December’s nationals. And after finishing second in the 200 free, Nordin got her state title with a 4:45.87 in the 500 free, just missing the state record of 4:45.15 she swam in yesterday’s finals that marked a lifetime best by 10.5 seconds.

Hamilton Heights’ Brooke Schultz won the 1-meter diving competition as a sophomore, earning a state record score of 563.65 points and beating runner-up Lawrence North’s Morgan Meixner by 55.5 points.

Indiana Girls High School State Swimming and Diving Championships – Results

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2 Comments

2 comments

  1. avatar
    Swimfan

    Note that Claire Adams had already broken 2 state records in Friday’s prelims – 1:45.09 (200 free) & 51.99 (100 back).

  2. avatar
    Dunc1952

    I agree with intimation that this Carmel girl’s squad may be the nations best girl’s team of all-time, especially based on the relay performances — 3 up, 3 national records.

    Congratulations must go to Coach Plumb and anyone else who may have contributed to the development of any of the Carmel girl scorers. They won by over 300 points and that fact, along with the gloriously out of the box thinking Plumb made in event selection for Veronica Burchill (all three relays and only one individual event made me realize they had the horses for something even more impressive. Burchill was incredible, being an important part of all three national record relays and then swimming :52.26 in her individual event foray in the 100 fly. That swim surpassed Misty Hyman’s record that had lasted from 1996 until the last reporting period when Beata Nelson of Minnesota (Public) and Katie McGlothlin (Independent) finally surpassed Misty’s mark with :51.70 and :51.78, respectively.

    It is normal/reaonable box” thinking to maximize your point total (certainly a worthy goal) by normal swimming standards your “studs” in two individual and two relays, which is what Chris did with Amy and Clare. It occurred to me during the course of the meet as Carmel’s margin in the team race continued to balloon, that some really amazing things were left undone when Adams and Bilquist followed “normal” course and swam two individual events, though those team points were certainly not important to the final outcome of the meet.

    Carmel broke three National High School relay records, with impressive performances, 2 breaking “barriers,” 1:40 MR and 3:20 400 FR; consider for a moment what might have occurred had three choices occurred, including another likely barrier breaker, surpassing 1:30 in the 200 FR :
    1. Each relay member simply equaled their best actual swim of the weekend;
    2. Adams gave up the 200 free to take part in the 50 back of the Medley relay; Carmel had the 2nd place finisher who would have moved to the 20 point position without Adams;
    3. Bilquist gave up the 100 free to take part in the 4×50 Free. Carmel had the 2nd AND 3RD place finishers who would have garnered the 20 and 17 without Bilquist.

    MEDLEY RELAY — Replace Sammi Burchill (:25.39) with Clare Adams on the 50 back; in the 100 Back, Adams outsplit S Burchill by about .8 or so, both a.m. and p.m. including a :25.43 TO THE FEET in the 100 back prelims. It’s probably fair to say Adams would have gained about a second for the relay == 1:38.2 or so.

    4 x 50 FREE RELAY — Simply add Bilquist in the anchor spot; she was :21.55 on the end of the Medley relay; the actual 4×50 FR anchor was :23.13; that 1.58 difference produces a 1:29.12 — BUSTING THE 1:30 MAGIC MARK. It is reasonable to note in terms of Amy’s development that she was winning the Arizona 10&Un State Meet High Point as an 8 year old for Westside Silverfins and 8 years later won her 3rd and 4th division 4A high school titles as a Verrado High sophomore, including a still standing 4A 50 freestyle state record :22.96 (would have even won the Indiana meet for Amy this year where second behind her was over 23 seconds) before the family moved to Indiana where Amy stepped into a wonderful Carmel program which appears to have done done a wonderful job in furthering her development.

    4X100 FREE RELAY — Leave V Burchill leadoff and Bilquist anchor untouched. Adams was :48.68 but had been an even more wonderful :48.10 anchoring this relay in prelims. Kendall Smith split a :50.52 but this was after she had done a flat start :50.31 in the prelims of the individual 100, in which she eventually finished 2nd at :50.63. Giving a somewhat standard 0.60 adjustment for a flying start, Smith might have been expected to pitch in a :49.71, 0.81 better than the :50.52 actually swum. Giving an idea of the depth available to this contender for team honors. “best ever,” Also available was Trude Rothrock, a freshman who was 3rd in the individual 100 at :50.70 and 500 winner Emma Norden who lead off the prelim relay at :50.95.

    With the noted adjustments we woud have:
    200 MR — 1:38.2
    200 FR — 1:29.12
    400 FR — 3:13.99

    With these relay numbers the discussion of “best ever” would simply melt away.

Author: Jeff Commings

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Jeff Commings is the Senior Writer for SwimmingWorld.com and Swimming World Magazine. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism and was a nine-time NCAA All-American.

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