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February 23, 2014

BOYS’ SWIMMING SECTIONAL: Jeff takes fourth straight sectional

Highlanders will have at least five state finalists

(Continued)

FLOYDS KNOBS —

Floyd coach Joe Perkins admitted that his Highlanders surprised even him.

“We had some really good relay exchanges,” he said. “Noble is always great on Saturday. He’s not always great [in the prelims], but he always shows up [for the finals]. He got us back in it and Brendon got us off to a great start in the backstroke.”

Jeff’s 1:39.00 wasn’t good enough to make the state finals immediately. However, it figures to be fast enough to get the Devils in as one of the fastest 32 relay teams in the state.

“Our medley relay was a little off,” Gast admitted. “We didn’t make the state cut and we got second, so we’ll have to hold our breath on that. Hopefully we’ll get that through and be a little faster next week.”

Floyd made it 2 for 2 early in the meet when Eli Anderson won the 200 freestyle in 1:44.71, over two seconds ahead of Jeff’s Zach Griffis.

“That was a great swim for Eli,” Perkins said. “It was a very good, consistent, strong swim.”

Five races later, the Highlanders went back-to-back again. First, Marc McCormick won his first sectional championship with a 4:49.74 in the 500 free, nearly three seconds faster than Red Devil sophomore Michael Cain.

“He’s had a breakthrough year,” Perkins said of McCormick, whose sister Amy also went to state for the first time this season. “He’s so consistent with that race. To go 4:49, that’s in the top two or three in school history.”

The Highlanders won their second relay — the 200 free relay with the same group that won the medley relay — following McCormick’s win. Floyd later finished second to Jeff in the 400 free relay, but its time was good enough to beat the state cut and qualify for state. All three Highlander relay teams will compete at state.

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