By GREG MENGELT
INDIANAPOLIS — Saturday’s IHSAA state finals was a mix of pride and disappointment for Jeffersonville senior Timothy “T” Martin.
Martin closed his career with a pair of third-place finishes and leaves as the program’s all-time leader in individual top-8 finishes with seven. After an 11th-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay, Martin was also on six Red Devil relay teams that finished 11th or better.
It was quite a career for Martin, but it was so close to being capped by the Red Devils’ first state championship since Ben Hesen won the 100-yard backstroke and 100-yard butterfly in 2004.
In Saturday’s 50 freestyle final, Martin led at the turn for the second straight season. He still had a slight lead with 10 yards remaining before being passed by eventual-state champion Kyle DeCoursey of Zionsville and runner-up Mate Kovacs of Penn just before touching the wall.
In the end, Martin’s personal best of 20.75 was .16 behind DeCoursey’s state championship time.
“I thought I had it,” Martin said, “but I knew I was getting a little choppy at the end. So I really wasn’t all that surprised when I looked up and saw I got beat by two people.”
“I would have loved to have seen him get that state title, but I’m not disappointed at all,” Jeff coach Keith Gast said.
Martin later finished third in the 100 freestyle behind Chesteron’s state-record breaker Blake Pieroni, who will joined Martin at Indiana University as a freshman in the fall, and DeCoursey. Martin’s 45.60 was also a personal record.
“I got lifetime bests in both events, so I can’t complain about it,” Martin said. “This is the fastest the state meet has ever been. I am a little disappointed, but third place is pretty good. It’s a pretty good way to end.
“I’m proud [of the career achievements]. It’s all about hard work. This is the sport I was meant to do. I’m looking forward to the next stage.”
Jeffersonville junior Evan Shive had three top-16 finishes on Saturday. He was eighth in the 100 backstroke, 11th in the 100 butterfly and swam the anchor leg on the 400 freestyle relay team.
After swimming fast Friday to get into Saturday’s finals, Shive’s Saturday times were nearly a half-second off of Friday’s heat times.
“I tried my hardest,” he said. “It would have been nice to go faster, but I still was top-8 in the state. I gave my all.”
“It’s a long day and he had to swim really hard Friday just to get to Saturday,” Gast explained. “Sometimes you get the bear and sometimes the bear gets you.”
Shive combined with Martin, Tyler Sariscsany and Zach Grifis to go 3:10.8 in the 400 relay to earn 11th place in the day’s final event.
“They were a little tired,” Gast said. “We had a goal of going 3:06 this year. I was a little disappointed to see that 3:06 could have placed second, and we just weren’t able to get there. But I’m not going to take anything away from these kids.”
The Red Devils scored 61 points and finished 15th as a team for their fourth consecutive top-15 finish.
“I’m pretty proud of that,” Gast said.
Floyd Central senior Colin Lyell finished fourth in the consolation heat of the 50 freestyle, giving him an overall 12th-place finish in 22.88.
“Really, I went in with the attitude that I just wanted to improve time,” he said. “I really didn’t care about how I was going to finish. I just wanted a personal best and I definitely did that. I couldn’t be happier right now.”
Lyell also led off the Highlanders’ 200 freestyle relay. Along with Noble Guyon, Eli Anderson and Nathan Manias, Floyd placed 10th in 1:27.03.
“In prelims [on Friday], it just wasn’t a great race,” Lyell explained. “No one had their best times, but we still made it back to the [consolation] finals. We came in [Saturday] and just did what we needed to do. It was a great swim. We were all just at the top of our game.”
Chesterton won the state title for the second straight season and the fourth time in the last seven years. The Trojans opened the meet with a state-record 1:29.64 in the 200 medley relay. That time beat runner-up Bloomington South by over three seconds and is the second-fastest medley relay time recorded by a high school team in the nation in 2014. The Trojans later closed the meet with an easy victory in in the 400 freestyle relay, six seconds ahead of runner-up Columbus North.
Pieroni and Aaron Whitaker each won twice individually for Chesterton. Whitaker set state records in the 100 butterfly and the 100 backstroke on Friday then broke them again on Saturday.
Columbus North finished second as a team. Bull Dog senior Cody Taylor, who is also headed to IU, broke his own state record in the 100 breaststroke in 54.24.
IHSAA BOYS’ SWIMMING STATE FINALS
At IUPUI Natatorium, Indianapolis
Team scores: 1. Chesterton 240, 2. Avon 198, 3. Penn 187, 4. Columbus North 133, 5. Carmel 124, 6. Bloomington Soth 115, 7. Hamilton Southeastern 109, 8. Northridge 107, 9. Zionsville 105, 10. FW Carroll 84, 15. Jeffersonville 61, 26. Floyd Central 19.
200 medley relay: 1. Chesteron (Aaron Whitaker, Jack Wallar, Blake Pieroni, Gary Kostbade) 1:29.64*; 2. Bloomington South 1:32.71; 3. Avon 1:33.22; 27. Floyd Central (Brandon Smith, Noble Guyon, Colin Lyell, Nathan Manias) 1:40.01.
200 freestyle: 1. Parks Jones (Avon) 1:37.11, 2. Ethan Whitaker (Chesterton) 1:38.10, 3. Adam Destrampe (Franklin) 1:39.77, 23. Eli Anderson (Floyd Central) 1:44.81.
200 individual medley: 1. Pieroni (Chesterton) 1:46.83, 2. Cody Taylor (Columbus North) 1:48.35, 3. Jon Stoller (Northridge) 1:49.42.
50 freestyle: 1. Kyle DeCoursey (Zionsville) 20.59, 2. Mate Kovacs (Penn) 20.65, 3. T Martin (Jeff) 20.75, 12. Lyell (Floyd Central) 21.57, 29. Tyler Sariscsany (Jeffersonville) 22.28.
1-meter diving: 1. Cody Coldren (Hamilton SE) 377.95, 2. Kevin Frebel (Homestead) 370.70, 3. Dylan McCammon (Pendleton Hts.) 327.00.
100 butterfly: 1. A. Whitaker (Chesterton) 46.31*, 2. Daniel O’Brien (Center Grove) 49.26, 3. Gabriel Swardson (FW Snider) 49.39, 11. Evan Shive (Jeffersonville) 50.85.
100 freestyle: 1. Pieroni (Chesterton) 43.81, 2. DeCoursey (Zionsville) 44.74, 3. Martin (Jeff) 45.60, 26. Sariscsany (Jeffersonville) 48.03.
500 freestyle: 1. Bowen Anderson (Penn) 4:27.05, 2. Jones (Avon) 4:29.11, 3. E. Whitaker (Chesterton) 4:29.47, 26. Marc McCormick (Floyd Central) 4:48.68.
200 freestyle relay: 1. Penn (Kovacs, Anderson, Hudson Bursch, Adam Wait) 1:24.65; 2t. Evansville Memorial 1:25.05; 2t. Columbus North 1:25.05; 10. Floyd Central (Lyell, Anderson, Guyon, Manias) 1:27.03.
100 backstroke: 1. A. Whitaker* (Chesterton) 47.06, 2t. Wilson Beckman (Munster) 47.82, 2t. Adam Noens (Lawrence North) 47.82, 8. Shive (Jeffersonville) 52.20, 31. Eli Anderson (Floyd Central) 55.11.
100 breaststroke: 1. Taylor (Columbus North) 54.24*, 2. Christian Loren (Avon) 54.88, 3. Ian Finnerty (Bloomington South) 55.16.
400 freestyle relay: 1. Chesteron (Pieroni, E. Whitaker, Patrick Curley, A. Whitaker) 3:01.65; 2. Columbus North 3:07.27; 3. Avon 3:07.53; 11. Jeffersonville (Martin, Sariscsany, Zach Griffis, Shive) 3:10.80; 24. Floyd Central (Lyell, Smith, Manias, Anderson) 3:15.07.
* State record