News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

January 31, 2013

South has two No. 1-seeds in girls swimming sectional

TERRE HAUTE — IHSAA sectionals involving Wabash Valley girls will begin today with swimming preliminaries and conclude Saturday with swimming and diving finals at Avon and Crawfordsville.

In the Avon Sectional, Terre Haute South, Terre Haute North, West Vigo and Greencastle will be among those competing, although the host Orioles are considered heavy favorites to emerge as team champions.

“They’ll be ready to go,” South coach Jeff Thompson said of the Orioles. “Then I’d say us, Plainfield and Terre Haute North will be vying for the next spot.”

Individually, the sectional champion in each swimming event will move on to the state finals Feb. 8-9 at the Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis. Also advancing to state will be any swimmer who equals or betters the state time standard in her event and the next fastest contestants in the state who would bring the total number of state-meet entrants to 32 in each event.

For diving, first through fourth places in the sectional will go to a regional Tuesday at Plainfield.

South has two swimmers who are seeded No. 1 in their events — Indiana University-bound senior Grace Padget in the 100-yard butterfly and 100-yard backstroke and junior Katherine Senseman in the 50-yard freestyle.

Thompson promised that none of his swimmers or divers will look past this weekend.

“Grace doesn’t get a head start just because she’s seeded first,” he warned. “But Grace has had great progressions and she’s had phenomenal training sessions this season. So there’s no reason we should expect anything less than a good outcome.

“She’s excited about this weekend. I expect great things from her.”

Senseman also is seeded third in the 100 backstroke.

“Very much like Grace, Katherine has had great training progressions this season,” Thompson mentioned. “The 50-yard freestyle is all about a great start and a great turn. There’s very little swimming. … Fortunately for Katherine, she’s very athletic. So starting and turning are two of her strongsuits. I expect great things out of her this weekend.”

The top eight finishers in today’s swimming preliminaries get to compete in the sectional finals, so South could be busy Saturday afternoon.

Other Braves who are seeded high include sophomore Rachel Senseman (Katherine’s younger sister), fourth in the 100 backstroke and sixth in the 100 butterfly; sophomore Ashton Dillon, fourth in the 500 freestyle and seventh in the 200 freestyle; and senior Hannah Stelflug, fifth in the 100 freestyle and eighth in the 50 freestyle. Plus, South’s relay teams — 200 medley (seeded second), 200 freestyle (seeded third) and 400 freestyle (seeded second) — could do well.

North’s relay teams are seeded like this: 200 medley, seventh; 200 freestyle, fourth; and 400 freestyle, fourth.

From a big-picture perspective, North coach John Newhouse said he would like to see his team place higher than it did last season, which was fourth.

“We’d also like to get somebody out and advance to the next round,” he continued. “Second or third place [as a team] would be really nice. We’ve kinda come together the last three or four meets, so it’s time for the big push.”

The Patriots’ top seeds include sophomore Maria Kline, second in the 500 freestyle and fourth in the 200 freestyle; and senior TaPring Goatee, third in the 100 freestyle and sixth in the 50 freestyle. Newhouse added that divers Nicole Heath, a senior, and Kelsey Thomas, a junior, have a good chance of reaching the regional.

One West Vigo swimmer, senior Elizabeth McGlone, is seeded in the top 16. She’s 10th in the 100 backstroke and 16th in the 200 IM.

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