Nolan Roach was disappointed by his performance at this weekend’s IHSAA Boys Swimming and Diving State Finals.
His coach isn’t going to dwell on that.
“I’m proud of Nolan,” Terre Haute South coach Jeff Thompson said on Saturday after Roach finished in 16th place in the 50 freestyle consolation race. “To think how far that young man has come, when you look at the full body of work, from freshman year to the end of today, wow, really neat story. When you look at it that way, it’s been a great career.
“You try not to define yourself on the 20-some seconds that happened today, and we’re not going to do that. I told him I was proud of him, and we’ll go back to work Monday; we’ve still have some swimming ahead of us.”
Roach was .01 of a second from qualifying for the championship race in the 50 free after Friday night’s prelims; instead, Roach had to settle for the consolation.
“Nolan had the second-best time of his life last night in prelims, but .01 of a second separated from swimming in the championship final and not,” Thompson said. “I think that was a little bit of a disappointment, as you would expect.
“When you love what you do and when you’re passionate about what you do, there can be disappointment involved in that. So he was disappointed. And I think it transferred over to today.”
Roach swam the 50 in 21.42 seconds on Friday night, but slipped to 22.00 seconds on Saturday.
South’s 200 medley relay team of Dalton Mitchell, Vannara Sakbun, Collin McCord and Roach finished 15th, in 1:38.79.
“Our relay was good, but not as good as we hoped it would be,” Thompson said. “Again, we had a great weekend last weekend [at sectional], and no one can take that away from us.
“We have to learn as a team to swim like we did last weekend and turn around and repeat that performance again. We’ll keep getting better and training hard, and we’ll figure those things out.”
While South will lose seniors such as Roach and Sakbun, Thompson is optimistic.
““I’ve been saying for a couple of years that last year was year one of a five-year building process. This year’s year two,” Thompson said.
“Dalton Mitchell, he’s special. We’re losing some good seniors, but Dalton is the beginning of some really neat things to come. We’ve got a real strong sophomore class, we’ve got some nice juniors, and we’ve got some really good freshmen coming in next year. So this won’t be our last visit to state finals.”
South’s Alex Davis was 24th in diving; South Vermillion’s Max Catterson was 28th in the event.