Swimming World Presents – Indiana’s Carmel High School Girls’ Team: A One-of-a-Kind Dynasty

SW September 2020 - In A Class of its Own - Carmel High School Girls Team 2016 -
Indiana's Carmel High School Girls' Team (2016)

Swimming World Presents – Indiana’s Carmel High School Girls’ Team: A One-of-a-Kind Dynasty

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Indiana’s Carmel High School Girls’ Team: Undefeated State Champs 34 Years In A Row

By Dan D’Addona

Indiana’s Carmel High School has won the girls’ state swimming and diving championships for 34 straight years, a feat unequaled by any other high school—not only in swimming, but in any other sport.

It started more than a third of a century ago when the Carmel High School girls’ swim team claimed the Indiana state title in 1986. With another state championship added last February—before COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic—Carmel’s win streak has now reached an unprecedented 34 straight.

“You feel the pressure to keep the streak going, but it’s a positive pressure—and we don’t want to let people down,” said Kendra Bowen, a 2019 Carmel graduate now swimming at Purdue. “I didn’t really know much about the legacy until I was in high school. I knew they had won so many years in a row, and people would ask me, ‘Is that 28 or 29?’…and I’d be like, ‘I don’t know.’ So it was cool to get into high school to be a part of it and learn what it was.”

Carmel has won with star-studded teams—like the recent teams led by Amy Bilquist, Claire Adams and Veronica Burchill—and has won with teams that may have captured fewer individual titles, but relied on unparalleled depth.

It is a culture that is cultivated through tradition and a link with the Carmel Swim Club.

“We were really fortunate that our club and high school teams both had Chris Plumb as coach, so there was definitely an understanding at an early age that you are going to get to high school, and those values that the high school team has is something you are learning from Day 1 at the club,” said Adams, who went on to win a national championship and swim at Texas. “That is something we really benefit from. We are able to create that continuous culture.

“I remember being 9 years old and looking up to the high school seniors and wanting to be like them. We had a legacy to uphold because of the people who came before us. We felt that responsibility. We wanted to make sure we weren’t the ones who lost the streak. That is a pressure that not many high school athletes experience.”

Plumb said the process of winning a state championship every year starts with big goals.

“It has been our goal to be a perennial national competitor, both among the high school ranks and on the USA Swimming level. Our goal at the beginning of the season is to win the (Swimming World) national title,” Plumb said in 2015.

“If we are shooting for the national title, the state championship takes care of itself. Our state provides plenty of competition both for our relays and individuals. This year was one of the fastest state meets I have seen. While we haven’t been pushed as a team, our individuals and relay teams are pushed. Our state provides tremendous competition.”

Plumb always has had a plan for success both short and long term.

 

To read more about the undefeated Carmel High School Girls’ Swimming and Diving Team,
Check out the full article in September’s issue, available now!

SW September 2020 Cover - Matt Grevers - Age is Just a Number[PHOTO CREDIT: TAYLOR NATIONS]

 

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Swimming World Magazine September 2020 Issue

FEATURES

010 IN A CLASS OF ITS OWN
by Dan D’Addona
Indiana’s Carmel High School has won the girls’ state swimming and diving championships for 34 straight years, a feat unequaled by any other high school—not only in swimming, but in any other sport.

012 BEST OF THE DECADE (2010-19)
In Swimming World’s first mythical national high school championships to determine the best teams of the last decade, Carmel High School of Indiana won both the girls’ and boys’ competitions.

013 GIRLS’ NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIPS MOCK HEAT SHEET: BEST OF THE DECADE (2010-19)
Times compiled by Bob Klapthor

015 BOYS’ NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIPS MOCK HEAT SHEET: BEST OF THE DECADE (2010-19)
Times compiled by Bob Klapthor

017 PREP POWER
by Andy Ross
Since Swimming World first began recognizing the top high school teams in the country in 1971, The Bolles School of Jacksonville, Fla., has won 18 national prep school titles—10 boys’, eight girls’. The Bulldogs have also captured 12 combined championships (public and independent schools), with both teams finishing No. 1 six times.

020 THE GOLDEN YEARS OF HIGH SCHOOL SWIMMING
by David Rieder
Public schools Santa Clara and Mission Viejo built high school swimming dynasties from the 1960s through the early 1980s. Not only did they dominate high school swimming, but unlike today, they also produced many of the swimmers from that era who competed in the Olympics.

026 STILL CHASING EXCELLENCE
by John Lohn
Matt Grevers does not need to achieve anything more to stamp himself as an all-time great. But even at 35, there is a desire to accomplish more, and there is no reason to doubt Grevers can come through.

029 SUMMER OF SPEED
by John Lohn
Politics interfered at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, preventing South Africa’s Jonty Skinner from competing head-to-head against the USA’s Jim Montgomery in the men’s 100 freestyle. But that summer, they became the first two swimmers to break the 50-second barrier in the event, with Montgomery clocking 49.99 at Montreal, followed by Skinner with a 49.44 at the AAU National Championships three weeks later.

032 THE TROUBLE WITH SPRINTERS (Part 3): GARY HALL JR.
by Bruce Wigo
The theme of this series of articles has been that sprinters are different from other swimmers—athletes who have historically been considered troublemakers by the establishment, but who have been great for the sport. This month’s featured sprinter is Gary Hall Jr.—one of the greatest in Olympic history…but, perhaps, one of the most maligned and misunderstood.

COACHING

038 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: TRUST IN SCIENCE
by Rod Havriluk
Based on the many counterproductive technique elements that are conventional wisdom, it seems logical to ask why there is not a greater acceptance of science in swimming. The purpose of this article is to give swimmers and coaches some very real reasons to trust in science and scientists.

040 SPECIAL SETS: BACK TO BASICS
by Michael J. Stott
While college swimming as we know it faces a roadmap unlike any in recent memory, Coach Eric Skelly of the University of the Cumberlands, Ky. is treating the return to campus and formal practice as business as usual.

043 Q&A WITH COACH SION BRINN
by Michael J. Stott

044 HOW THEY TRAIN TAYLA LOVEMORE
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

036 DRYSIDE TRAINING: MORE CORE
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

046 UP & COMERS: GABI BRITO
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

023 DID YOU KNOW? JIM CROW

037 THE OFFICIAL WORD

042 MOMS AT MEETS

047 GUTTERTALK

048 PARTING SHOT

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