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By Andy Ross, Swimming World College Intern
The Indiana Boys High School State meet is a little different than the girls meet. Carmel comes in as the defending champions, but the field is not as lopsided as it is for the women. Two weeks ago, Carmel won by almost 250 points over the second place team Zionsville. In the boys meet, Carmel comes in as the favorite, but they will be challenged by teams like Fishers, Zionsville and Carroll Fort Wayne.
The Greyhounds will be looking for upperclassmen Troy Li and Charles Vaughan to carry them to another championship. Li is the top seed in the 200 free and sixth in the 100 free. Vaughan is seventh in the 200 IM and third in the 100 breast. Vaughan had a breakout meet at the 2015 East Winter Junior National Championships this past December picking up a win in the 200 breast. The Carmel guys did not fully stack their relays at their Sectional meet so it is hard to predict how their relays will fare. Vaughan is entered in all the relays and Li is entered in the free relays, so who knows what will happen.
The race of the meet will probably come down between Vaughan and Avon Senior Chandler Bray in the 100 breast. Bray was second last year to Ian Finnerty, who broke the state record. Bray had a breakthrough summer as he was a finalist at the FINA World Junior Championships in the 200 breast. Bray is a better 200 breaststroker, but the 53.19 could be pushed by either Bray or Vaughan this year. There are a number of guys in the race that could play spoiler as well and it will be a fun race to watch.
The 100 free will also be a good race to watch. Jackson Sandala of Warren Central is the top seed at 45.94 and he is closely followed by Freshman Jacob Destrampe of Franklin Community at 45.99 and Senior Jake Heidecker of Castle at 46.08. There are seven other guys that are under 46.5 and it is hard to predict who was fully tapered for sectionals and who wasn’t. Traditionally, teams like Carmel, Chesterton and Zionsville have done better at state versus at sectionals. So, guys like Sam Kravitz of Chesterton (4th seed), Jack Franzman of Zionsville (5th seed) and Troy Li of Carmel (6th seed) will be looking to move up to help their team chase the overall title.
The 200 free state record has been standing since 2006 when Peter Jameson of North Central (and future Texas Longhorn) set the record at 1:37.02 in prelims. The last few years, the winner has been a 1:37 but could not crack Jameson’s mark. Li of Carmel comes in as the top seed at 1:39.30 and has an outside chance to get that record. The senior headed to Brown next year will get some pressure though from guys like Sandala and Destrampe.
Carroll Fort Wayne leads the psych sheet in two of the three relays with the 200 medley and 400 free. They are not one of the typical powers in the state of Indiana but guys like Ryan Huizing, Will Schrensky and Jackson Kent have built them to be one of the powerhouses. Huizing is the top seed in the 50 free and 100 fly and is considered a favorite in both. Did those guys fully rest for sectionals? Will they have enough left for the ‘third and fourth quarters’ of the state meet? Only time will tell.
Other top seeds include Glen Brown of Fishers in the 200 IM (1:50.14), Spencer Lehman of Northridge in the 500 (4:30.87) and Jacob Steele of Fort Wayne Snider in the 100 back (49.97). Chesterton also leads the 200 free relay field at 1:25.47. They could chase down the record of 1:23.75 that was set by Carmel in 1994.
Based on the psych sheet, it doesn’t look like any records are in major jeopardy, but the meet will be highly competitive and fun to watch. Prelims kick off on Friday night at 6 p.m. EST and finals will be on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. EST. The meet will be at the historic IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis.