For a few fleeting moments Saturday afternoon, it appeared four Terre Haute North High School seniors would end their swim careers almost perfectly — touching out first, if only in a consolation heat of the boys state swim finals at the Indiana University Natatorium.

The team from Yorktown caught and passed the Patriots — Ty Workman, Zac Workman, Sean Wells and Jonathan Jensen — for ninth place in the 400-yard freestyle relay that ended the meet, North finishing second in the heat and 10th overall. But it was far from a disappointing weekend for the Patriots.

“We placed eighth, the best a Terre Haute team has ever done,” Coach Brian Heaton said, after sweating out Northridge’s sixth-place finish in the same event that left that team eight points behind the Patriots. “Our goal was 75 points, and we got 80.

“It was a great job all around. I couldn’t be happier.”

Greencastle’s Andrew Bretscher placed second in both freestyle sprints, losing the 50-yard race by 0.02 of a second. His 34 points lifted the Tiger Cubs into a tie for 18th place, and he was also named the winner of the Herman F. Keller mental attitude award.

North got podium finishes from Jensen, third in the 100 butterfly, and Ty Workman, seventh in the 100 freestyle, as well as a fifth-place finish from its 200 medley relay team of Zac Workman, David Broughton, Jensen and Ty Workman. Jensen was also 11th in the 100 individual medley, Zac Workman 13th in 100 backstroke.

Indianapolis North Central, getting record-setting performances in the meet’s first two events, led the entire way in repeating as state champions. North had the second-best Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference showing, with Center Grove 11th and Carmel 17th.

The big weekend started for the Patriots on Friday, when all of their entries but Broughton in the 100 breaststroke managed to qualify for Saturday’s finals or consolation finals — despite some seedings from sectional performances that indicated they might not do so.

“We had a great night,” Heaton agreed Saturday. “I was more nervous about last night then I was about today. But we had a great meet, and got everybody back [to swim on Saturday] that we needed to get back.

“And then today we came back and swam faster, so we have nothing to be disappointed about.”

For about 75 yards of the butterfly, in fact, it appeared North was going to have a state champion. Jensen led most of that race before finishing third, 0.34 of a second out of first place, and lingered in the pool for several moments after his final individual event as a Patriot.

“I was a little disappointed [not to win],” he said after the meet, “but I realized I had a best time, so I can’t be too disappointed.

“[Third place] was higher than I’d ever been before [at the state finals],” he continued. “I’m satisfied with where I am today.”

The impact of Saturday being the end of their high school careers may have hit all four North seniors, as well as some of their classmates in street clothes who were there to support them. Most wore wistful expressions, even while their coaches were more celebratory.

“The rest of the team has the same spirit [of personal satisfaction],” Jensen said, “and we placed the highest any Terre Haute team has.

“This meet has been a lot of fun. I’m glad I was part of it.”

Although Heaton would probably not disagree that the seniors he’s losing are the best class the Patriots have ever had, the coach was philosophical Saturday about the end of their careers.

“Kids grow up, they get old and they move on,” he said. “We coaches always say the kids are the same age every year; we’re the ones getting older.

“There will be some other kids watching this and paying attention,” Heaton added. “I’m a firm believer that success breeds success.”



2006 Indiana boys high school swim finals

Team scores — Indianapolis North Central 295, Homestead 200, Chesterton 182, Hamilton Southeastern 174, Munster 157, South Bend Riley 136, Yorktown 90, Terre Haute North 80, Northridge 72, Crown Point 70, Center Grove 57, Lake Central 52, Penn 46, Delta 40, Vincennes Lincoln 38, East Central 38, Carmel 35, Warsaw 34, Richmond 34, Greencastle 34, Fort Wayne Concordia 33, Lebanon 28, Mount Vernon 27, Noblesville 27, Castle 26, Westfield 26, Muncie Central 26, Zionsville 25, Crawfordsville 24, Elkhart Memorial 20, Perry Meridian 18, Highland 17, Elwood 17, Plainfield 15, Franklin 13, Bedford North Lawrence 13, Carroll (Allen) 13, Pendleton Heights 12, Columbus North 11, Bremen 9, Lowell 9, Bluffton 7, Wawasee 7, Huntington North 6, Fort Wayne Northrop 5, Concord 5, Norwell 4, Decatur Central 3, Valparaiso 3, Frankfort 2.

200 medley relay — Indianapolis North Central 1:32.95 (new record), 5. Terre Haute North (Zac Workman, David Broughton, Jonathan Jensen, Ty Workman) 1:36.76.

200 freestyle — Peter Jameson (INC) 1:37.02 (new record).

200 individual medley — Michael Christy (INC) 1:49.13, 11. Jensen (THN) 1:55.95.

50 freestyle — Bryan Chovanec (M) 20.81, 2. Andrew Bretscher (G) 20.83.

Diving — David Piercy (Home) 551.20.

100 butterfly — Chris Morin (CP) 50.47, 3. Jensen (THN) 50.81.

100 freestyle — Jameson (INC) 44.93, 2. Bretscher (G) 46.33, 7. T.Workman 47.83.

500 freestyle — Drew Sease (INC) 4:30.47.

200 freestyle relay — Homestead 1:26.24.

100 backstroke — Christy (INC) 49.86, 13. Z.Workman (THN) 54.17.

100 breaststroke — Aaron Koger (R) 56.09.

400 freestyle relay — Indianapolis North Central 3:04.24, 10. Terre Haute North (T.Workman, Z.Workman, Sean Wells, Jensen) 3:15.37.

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