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February 19, 2014

Valley boys squads set to swim in sectionals

TERRE HAUTE — Boys sectionals involving Wabash Valley high schools will get started today with the preliminary round for swimming and conclude Saturday with the finals for swimming and diving at the Avon and Crawfordsville pools.

At Avon, the top-ranked teams in the latest state coaches poll are No. 3 Avon, No. 18 Terre Haute South, No. 29 Greencastle and No. 37 Plainfield.

“Avon always has a great team,” Terre Haute North boys coach Mike Williams told the Tribune-Star. “Terre Haute South is going to have a great team too.”

Regarding his own team, which will compete at Avon as well, Williams said he is expecting “great stuff from all three of our seniors.”

Those are Garrett Humphrey (diving), Courtland Jones (500 freestyle, 200 freestyle and two relays) and Will Hubbs (200 IM, 100 backstroke and two relays).

Williams described Humphrey as “one of the top three divers there.”

“He’s on fire,” the Patriots’ coach insisted. “He’s just on fire — in practice and in meets. I think he’s really, finally hitting his stride. His form is great and his confidence is super high. He’s going to have a great meet, no question about it.”

Williams said he’s looking forward to seeing how Jones fares in the 500 freestyle.

“I think he has the potential to be one of the top two or three swims there, definitely in the top five,” Williams assessed. “I think he’s going to have a great meet. … And he’s easily our fastest swimmer in the 200 free.”

As for Hubbs, Williams figures he will “drop a ton of time” in the 200 IM.

The North coach also mentioned junior Harrison Barnes as a potential top contender in the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke.

“This sectional is fast in every event,” Williams said of the field as a whole. “It’s so competitive. It’s good for us to be in a sectional like this. I think we always swim up. … I’ve kinda got this expectation that our boys are going to swim lifetime bests — all of them.”

In addition, West Vigo is one of the 11 schools slated to swim in the Avon Sectional.

At all sectionals around the state, the winner in each swimming event and any contestant who equals or betters the state time standard in his respective event in the consolation or championship finals this weekend will advance to the state finals Feb. 28 and March 1 at the Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis. Also qualifying will be the next fastest number of contestants in the state that would bring the total number of state-meet entrants to 32 in each event.

In diving at Avon and Crawfordsville, the top four sectional finishers will move on to the diving regional, which will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Brownsburg.

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Tribune-Star/Bob Poynter Fetch and fire: Rex third baseman #15 Ryan Sabo looks to first base after fielding a line drive down the baseline during game action against Quincy. Sabo got the runner for an out.

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