FORT WAYNE — For the second time in school history Saturday, the Carroll boys became back-to-back swimming sectional champions. The Chargers defeated runner-up Homestead for the second year in a row after ending a 3-year Spartan streak in 2019.
“When making the roster for sectionals we kind of played to our strengths, as any team should,” Carroll senior Tristan DeWitt said. “A few of the events today, there were a lot of points being gained by us rather than Homestead, and when Homestead gained points we were always close. We just didn’t let them get too far ahead.”
The Chargers ended up edging out the Spartans by 27 points, 526-499, while breaking four sectional records at South Side. DeWitt had a hand in all four record-breaking swims, winning the 50-yard freestyle in 20.34 seconds and the 100-yard butterfly in 47.51 seconds, while also sharing in first-place performances in the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:06.86) and 200-yard-freestyle relay (1:24.78) alongside Dorian Raedisch, Christian Cseri and Chandler Lipp. The Chargers’ 200-yard medley relay team of Lipp, Luke Lawson, Bryan Lower and Cseri also swam a state-qualifying time at the meet.
Also winning events for Carroll were Lipp in the 100-yard freestyle (46.69 seconds) and Noah Shearer in the 100-yard backstroke. Freshmen Adam McCurdy and Owen Dankert also swam state-qualifying times in the 200-yard individual medley and 500-yard freestyle, respectively.
“We knew it was going to be harder this year since we lost Jack McCurdy and Noah Yarian, but we brought up some really good freshmen this year with the likes of Owen in the 500 and Adam,” DeWitt said. “They’ve definitely contributed to our team this year, and they were probably one of the biggest parts of our success.”
Homestead collected five first-place finishes on the afternoon from Zach Zishka in the 200 free (1:42.21) and 500 free (4:37.39); Cameron Luarde in the 200 IM (1:48.56) and 100-yard breaststroke (56.42); and Luarde, Spencer Koehrn, Ethan Dalton and Jack Burke in the 200 medley relay (1:33.91). The Spartans’ 200-yard freestyle relay team of Burke, Dalton, Zishka and Joey Hammes also qualified for state.
Diving was the only event that wasn’t won by a Carroll or Homestead athlete. Snider’s Connor Mihaviccs was the sectional champion in the 1-meter dives, scoring 481.75 points. Homestead’s Isaac Hunter placed second for a regional qualification.
The state prelims begin at 6 p.m. Friday at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Natatorium. The finals begin with diving prelims at 9 a.m. Saturday. All competition will be streamed live at IHSAAtv.org.
“State’s looking great right now,” DeWitt said. “Coming into sectional not tapered — just slightly rested — and going the times I went, I’m feeling pretty good. I’m basically ending sectionals off where I was in the state last year at the end of the season. We just came in here as practice for state — that was the mindset.”