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Clark County Sports

February 12, 2014

GIRLS SWIMMING STATE PREVIEW: Advancing will be tough for locals

Taylor, Thom are area’s best hopes

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — None of the four individual swimmer nor any of the three local relays are projected to advance to Saturday’s final round of the state finals at IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis.

However, several are on the borderline and would only have to pass a few swimmers seeded in front of them in order to make it into the state’s top 16.

The best individual chance is Floyd Central’s Meg Taylor, who advanced to the state meet with sectional titles in the 100-yard and the 200-yard freestyle.

The Highlander junior is seeded 24th in the 200 and 23rd in the 100 — a new event for her this season after going to state in the 200 and 500 a year ago. Taylor said she’s been focused on Friday night’s preliminary round since she placed 18th in the 200 at last year’s state meet.

“I’ve been focused on state all season,” Taylor said. “That’s where my focus has been.”

Taylor believes that not only is she capable of reaching the top eight, she thinks she can get into the final heat of her individual events.

“I’d like to make it back in both the 200 and the 100,” Taylor said. “My goal is to get into the top eight at state. I don’t know if that’s going to be this year or next year, but that’s definitely the long-term goal.”

“Her 200s right now are faster than they were at the state prelims last year,” Floyd coach Joe Perkins noted. “She’ll be at her best on Friday night. Hopefully we’ll see a great swim out of her and we’ll see her swim on Saturday. We’d love to see her in two events on Saturday.”

Also making a return trip to the state meet for Floyd is junior Maryn Meldrum in the 100 breaststroke. Meldrum is seeded 30th after finishing 29th last year in her first state meet in 2013.

Despite her seed, Meldrum believes making it back to Saturday’s final round is a possiblity in her best event.

“Top 16 is where everyone wants to be,” Meldrum said. “That’s my goal for this year. I’m ready.”

“I think she’s got a little left in the tank,” Perkins said of Meldrum.

Simply making a return trip should help.

“I know what to expect this year,” Meldrum said. “Last yer, I was a little fish.”

Making her first trip to the state meet for the Highlanders is senior Amy McCormick. McCormick, who won the 500 free at Saturday’s sectional, is seeded 23rd. McCormick said she believes she can make the top 16, but her top priority is to enjoy the experience.

“My goal is to just get my personal best and enjoy the moment because it’s my last year,” McCormick said.

“We expect her to drop time Friday night,” Perkins said. “She’s on the right track.”

Perhaps the Highlanders’ top overall chance to advance is their 400 freestyle relay team. Floyd returns after making the state meet in the event a year ago and are seeded 22nd. The Highlanders are also ranked 23rd in the 200 free relay.

“I think both can place really well,” Taylor said. “The 400 free may be our better relay, but we can do well in both at state.”

“Those two relays should be really close to making it back,” Perkins said. “Hopefully we can squeeze a little more [speed] out of them on Friday.”

The other area relay team is Jeffersonville’s 200 medley relay. The Red Devils enter the state meet seeded 30th after winning the sectional title in 1:54.04

“We’d like to go to state and improve our time a little bit,” Gast said. “Sometimes you do everything you can just to get to the state meet and sometimes you get to the state meet and try to do more. We’ll see what happens.”

The area’s other individual is New Albany sophomore Reagan Thom, who qualified for state in two events. While she’ll concentrate on the 100 butterfly, in which she’s seeded 21st, she’ll also compete in the 200 individual medley as the 26 seed.

“My goal for Friday is to get my fly down as fast as I can, hopefully high-56 if I can, and my IM down to a 2:10,” Thom said. “My goal for the 100 fly is to finish in the top 16, but if I don’t accomplish that this year, there’s always next year.”

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