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PREP GIRLS SWIMMING: Wawasee's experience leads young area group at state competition

Feb. 8—INDIANAPOLIS — State swimming returns to Indianapolis this week as girls swimming prelims begin Friday with the swim finals running Saturday alongside the diving prelims and finals.

The four divers advancing from the Northridge sectional (Concord's Kalia Staryzk and Maggie Weldy, Northridge's Bella Estep and NorthWood's Kloe Mills) fell short at the diving regionals at Valparaiso High School earlier this week, meaning the focus for our area this weekend turns all attention to swimming.

A common theme at this year's competition following last year's senior-led groups at Wawasee, Concord and Northridge is that despite the overall youth leading roster's this season, there is no share of lost talent from our area come Friday and Saturday. Of the 15 individuals set to compete this week, one-third are upperclassmen. Wawasee holds three of those participants.

Julie Mishler leads that group.

The Wawasee junior makes her third state appearance in as many years and will has a strong chance to bring an individual state title back to Syracuse. While a part of both Warrior relay teams, Mishler stands as the top seeded time in the 50-yard freestyle.

Swimming 22.88 last year and finishing third, her sectional time of 22.24 narrowly leads the pack competing this Friday. Not stopping there, the junior is slated second in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 54.53. Carmel's Alexandra Shackell has the better time by nearly two seconds, but Mishler could be competing for a second title that day.

Wawasee's top talent extends down to another junior in Addison Beasley. Beasley brings herself back to the state meet and has shown great improvement since last year's competition.

Slated seventh in the 200-yard individual medley (2:04.77) and sixth in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:03.56), Beasley also is a prominent member on each Warrior relay team that are also placed inside the top 12 groups in both events.

Concord's Catie Brenneman should pop up a lot on Saturday as well. Back for her sophomore year, Brenneman is in the top group for both the 200-yard freestyle (6th, 1:50.27) and the 100-yard freestyle (7th, 51.20).

The younger Minutemen are talented and have reloaded since last year's sixth-place team finish at the finals. First-year competitors Brynlee Yoder and Bella Biggers feature themselves in the field as well as returner Mya Ernsberger. Yoder sits 12th in the individual medley (2:06.04) and is placed 11th in the 500-yard freestyle (5:05.26) while Biggers finds herself in the 100-yard backstroke (21st, 58.20).

Making an appearance for Northridge is Izzy Melvin as the most prominent feature for the Raiders this weekend. In the individual medley (2:08.72) and the 100-yard breaststroke (1:05.38), the sophomore will carry Northridge's torch as well in both Raider relays.

In the three relays, Concord is the lone school making the cut for all three. Wawasee and Northridge both send down a 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle team with the Minutemen adding a 200-yard freestyle team in the mix.

A summary of this year's state participants from The Goshen News area is below with their seeded times from last week's sectionals at Northridge.

PREP GIRLS SWIMMING

IHSAA State Championship at Indiana University Natatorium, IUPUI

Area Competitors and Seed Times

200-yard medley relay — Wawasee (1:46.88), Concord (1:47.28), Northridge (1:51.15)

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

200-yard individual medley — Addison Beasley (Wawasee, 2:04.77), Brynlee Yoder (2:06.04), Izzy Melvin (Northridge, 2:08.72)

50-yard freestyle — Julie Mishler (Wawasee, 22.24)

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 — Concord (1:39.63)

100-yard backstroke — Julie Misher (Wawasee, 54.53), Bella Biggers (Concord, 58.20)

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

400-yard freestyle relay — Wawasee (3:31.18). Concord (3:32.83), Northridge (3:40.55)

Reach Matt Lucas at 574-533-2151, ext. 240325, or at matt.lucas@goshennews.com.