Carmel Shatters National High School Record in 200 Medley Relay; Hounds Secure 37th Straight Indiana Title


Carmel Shatters National High School Record in 200 Medley Relay; Breaks Pair Of Barriers During Iconic Effort

Carmel High School’s pursuit of a 37th consecutive team title began in style on Saturday, thanks to a national high-school record in the 200-yard medley relay at the Indiana State Championships. Racing at the Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis, the squad of Berit Berglund, Molly Sweeney, Alex Shackell and Meghan Christman clocked a time of 1:36.98, marking not only the first sub-1:38 performance in scholastic history, but the first sub-1:37 showing.

The Greyhounds’ effort blasted the previous high-school record of 1:38.13, which was established by Fossil Ridge (Colorado) during the 2018 season.


Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Berglund got the Hounds rolling with a leadoff backstroke leg of 24.36, with Sweeney following with a breaststroke split of 27.46. On the third leg, Shackell unleashed an eye-popping butterfly split of 22.74, which put Carmel in superb position. Shackell was 23-low during prelims, but obviously saved something spectacular for finals.

On the anchor leg, Christman put together a 22.42 split and allowed Carmel to celebrate an iconic record. The fact that Carmel took more than a second off the previous national record speaks to the power, and special nature, of this relay quartet.

When Carmel clocked a state record of 1:38.51 during Friday night’s preliminaries, it was clear the Greyhounds had the five-year-old national record on life support. And indeed, it took less than 24 hours for Carmel – coached by Chris Plumb – to venture into territory never before visited in the scholastic ranks. Christman was a new addition to the relay for finals, as Lucy Enoch handled the freestyle leg on Friday night.

The second relay of the competition saw Carmel break another national record, a standard which already belonged to the Greyhounds. The foursome of Sweeney, Grace Dougherty, Christman and Shackell combined for a time of 1:30.23 to easily break the former mark of 1:30.72, set in 2015.

Sweeney led off in 23.00, an effort which reflected her versatility, and Dougherty kept the momentum going with a second leg of 22.81. Christman took care of the third 50, covering her two lengths in 22.63 and setting the stage for Shackell to split 21.79 on the anchor leg.

Carmel continued its blitz of the competition through the first three individual events, as Lynsey Bowen, Sweeney and Shackell claimed solo crowns. Bowen won the 200 freestyle in 1:45.49 while Sweeney bested the field in the 200 individual medley, on the strength of a 1:56.82 clocking. In the 50 freestyle, Shackell won the head-to-head showdown with Penn’s Lily Christianson. Both athletes went under the state record, with Shackell emerging victorious in 21.93, to the 22.02 of Christianson.

Shackell went back to work in the 100 butterfly, cracking the 51-second barrier to earn her second individual win and third overall gold of the day. Shackell touched the wall in a state-record time of 50.89, which provided her a cushion of more than two seconds over the runnerup. Carmel’s run of victories came to an end in the 100 freestyle, where Christianson went 48.59 to register a half-second decision over Berglund.

Bowen and Alexandra Ward gave Carmel a one-two finish in the 500 freestyle, with Bowen lowering her state record from prelims to 4:42.81. In the 100 backstroke and 100 breaststroke, Berglund (51.80) and Sweeney (59.78) collected victories. For Sweeney, it was her second consecutive finish under one minute.

Carmel wrapped up its 37th straight team championship with a triumph in the 400 freestyle relay, as the all-senior foursome of Christman, Erin Cumins, Berglund and Vivian Wilson went 3:21.84. Carmel finished with 498 points, with second place going to Fishers with 233 points.


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Indy swim mom
Indy swim mom
1 year ago

It was so much fun to watch. Fantastic state high school finals. Most of those Carmel wins would have placed them individually in the top 12 of the NCAA championship swims from 2022. Such fast swimming in Indiana.

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