PREP GIRLS SWIMMING: Concord four-peats as sectional champs with Wawasee group joining Minutemen at state.

Feb. 3—MIDDLEBURY — Seemingly at full-power, the Concord girls swim team dominated the water Saturday afternoon at Northridge High School, qualifying for state in eight events and sending two divers to Tuesday's regionals.

Following a less-than impressive performance in the Northern Lakes Conference finals two weeks ago in Middlebury, Concord head coach Tom Johnson was much more satisfied with his group who seemed to shift into a higher gear.

"Absolutely, I'm very happy with the way we competed," Johnson said. "I'm very proud, our top-level kids swam well, our depth kids swam well. We had a very good night Thursday [at prelims]. We got most of everything that we had hoped to get to state."

Concord's standout sophomore Catie Brenneman was the largest advantage to the Minutemen's success, powering the team to a fourth-straight sectional title. The sophomore qualified for next weekend's state competition in the 200-yard freestyle (1:50.27), the 100-yard freestyle (51.20) and was part of both the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:39.63) and the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:32.83).

Giving in to her peers, Brenneman answered her teammates call to belly-flop into the pool after the win.

Brenneman was first in all of those events except the 400, falling to Wawasee which finished third but sent the second-most swimmers to next weekend.

"She's probably not too happy, especially with the 200, Johnson said about Brenneman. "She was a little faster last year. She looks like she needs some more rest. Her sights, both her and Brynlee Yoder, have been on next weekend."

Brenneman didn't have too much to complain about.

"The focus for me is on state next weekend and I think I'm happy with where I'm going to be at," the sophomore said before agreeing with her coach that her 200-yard freestyle time could be a time to improve upon.

She was prouder of the way her teammates joined in on the success.

"It was awesome, I'm really proud of them," Brenneman said. "I felt like today was our meet, like we showed what we could do. I'm blown away with how good we did. It's such a team effort and everyone pulled through."

Johnson echoed her statements about the team, adding that he thinks they have a chance of getting more swimmers called down to fill out the 32-swimmer field.


Junior Julie Mishler of Wawasee caused the most uproar for Wawasee fans Saturday.

Setting a new pool record in the 50-yard freestyle (22.24) and doing it again in the 100-yard backstroke (54.53), the junior exerted the top talent for the Warriors.

"I would say I definitely met my expectations for the 50-free," Mishler said about the event that saw her snap her sister's record for the pool's time. "It would have been nice to go 21, unsuited, not rested or anything. I am excited to start the state meet off with just that enjoyable experience."

Wawasee qualified in six events, including two relays.

Addison Beasley was another swimmer for the Warriors who impressed yet again.

Part of the 200-yard medley relay (1:46.88) and the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:31.18) with Mishler, she also claimed at spot at the state round in the 200-yard individual medley (2:04.77) and the 100-yard breaststroke (1:03.56).

"This year we were really nervous with losing my oldest sister and two other seniors that were also a big part," Mishler said of the team's thoughts going into this season losing a large chunk of Wawasee's 2023 state finishers. "Everyone stepped up, got better and succeeded."

Johnson and Wawasee head coach Jason Scott were named Coach of the Year at the end. Scott was also given the same reward for the Northern Lakes Conference.

Divers to qualify for Tuesday's regionals in Valparaiso included Concord's Kalia Starzyk and Maggie Weldy. Northridge's Bella Estep and NorthWood's Kloe Mills joined the top four advancing. The top eight finishers Tuesday will be sent to the state finals that week in Indianapolis.


200-yard medley relay: Wawasee (1:46.88, Mishler, R. Beasley, A. Beasley, Yoder) — Concord (1:47.28, Ernsberger, Biggers, Oiler, Yoder)

200-yard freestyle: Catie Brenneman (Concord, 1:50.27)

200-yard individual medley: Addison Beasley (Wawasee, 2:04.77) — Brynlee Yoder (Concord, 2:06.04)

50-yard freestyle: Julie Mishler (Wawasee, 22.24, Pool Record) — Ella Sears (Angola, 24.17)

100-yard butterfly: Mya Ernsberger (Concord, 57.50)

100-yard freestyle: Catie Brenneman (Concord, 51.20)

500-yard freestyle: Brynlee Yoder (Concord, 5:05.26)

200-yard freestyle relay: Concord (1:39.63, Brenneman, Sponseller, Oiler, Posthauer)

100-yard backstroke: Julie Mishler (Wawasee, 54.53, Pool and Meet Record) — Ella Sears (Angola, 57.34)

100-yard breaststroke: Addison Beasley (Wawasee, 1:03.56) — Izzy Melvin (Northridge, 1:05.38)

400-yard freestyle relay: Wawasee (3:31.18, Yoder, R. Beasley, A. Beasley, Mishler) — Concord (3:32.83, Yoder, Biggers, Ernsberger, Brenneman)


Kalia Starzyk (Concord, 347.60)

Maggie Weldy (Concord, 314.85)

Bella Estep (Northridge, 292.20)

Kloe Mills (NorthWood, 290.65)

Team scores: Concord (468), Northridge (349), Wawasee (324), Elkhart (229.5), Angola (212), Goshen (200.5), NorthWood (153), East Noble (131), Eastside (53), DeKalb (50), Jimtown (29)

Reach Matt Lucas at 574-533-2151, ext. 240325, or at