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February 21, 2013

H.S. BOYS' SWIMMING: State finals preview

Slovakian Schmuck gives Jeff shot at returning to top 10

(Continued)

INDIANAPOLIS — ANDERSON, CRATER FAST FOR FLOYD

Floyd Central senior Oscar Anderson had two top-8 finishes a year ago when he was fourth in the 100 backstroke and eighth in the 200 individual medley.

Anderson believes he can repeat last year’s performance and perhaps best it this weekend.

“I want to return to the top 4,” Anderson said. “Winning a state championship has crossed my mind. Maybe, hopefully, if the absolute best scenario possible happens, but I’m not going to think that if I don’t win a state championship, I’m going to be depressed about it.”

He also believes competing in last year’s finals in two events gives him an advantage over most of the rest of the field.

“I think that will be an advantage, especially over last year, with this being my second year doing individual events,” Anderson assessed. “It’s a big advantage over someone who’s never been before, because nerves are less likely to get the better of you.”

“His focus has been on both of those events all year,” Perkins said of Anderson. “He swam faster than he did last year at the state meet at [this year’s] sectional. And we haven’t pulled out all the stops yet. I think both of those events, he has a legitimate top-8 shot. And he has some lofty time goals. I think we’ll see those on Friday night and I expect him to swim well on Saturday.”

Fellow Floyd senior Kyle Crater outswam a tough sectional field to win the 200 freestyle title in 1:46.07 at Saturday’s sectional. He’ll be making his first appearance at state in an individual event tonight and he believes he can make it back to Saturday’s final round.

“My goal is to make it back to the top 16 and place as well as I can,” Crater said.

“I expect him to make it back [to Saturday’s top 16] and I expect him to go 1:43 or faster,” Anderson said of his expectations of Crater.

It’s unlikely that Crater — seeded 26th in the 200 freestyle — has reached his potential. All season, he’s been at a disadvantage having to swim back-to-back events in the 200 medley relay and the 200 free. This weekend, that won’t be the case.

“He doesn’t have to swim the medley relay right before the 200 free,” Perkins said. “I think he’ll be a little fresher. I think we can squeeze a little more out of him.”

Floyd finished second to Jeff in the 400 freestyle relay at Saturday’s sectional but qualified for state on time. The Highlanders will be racing to return on Saturday and become the best 400 relay team in Floyd Central history.

“I would like to make it back and break the [school] record of 3:12,” Anderson said.

“I really hope to go up there and swim even a bit faster,” Perkins said. “We’re going in seeded 21st. If they drop time, they have a shot at getting into the top 16. Oscar we know will be faster, and the other three, we expect to be faster than they were [at the sectional].”

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