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February 20, 2014

BOYS' SWIMMING: Jeff heavy favorites again at sectional

Devils have top seed in seven events

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Jeffersonville has won the last three Floyd Central Sectional titles.

Unless several of the Red Devils get lost on the way to Highland Hills Middle School tonight, they will win a fourth straight on Saturday.

Jeff has six of the 12 top seeds, including two of the three relays, and is favored by nearly triple-digits over presumed runner-up Floyd Central beginning with tonight’s preliminaries. The championship will be crowned after Saturday’s final round.

“We’re swimming strong in all of our spots,” Jeff coach Keith Gast said. “Our goals are two-fold. For the kids who won’t be moving on [to next week’s state meet], we want to try to win by 100 points. That’s the team goal. At the same time, we want to set up the group that’s going to go to state and set up a third-straight top-10 [team] finish [at state].”

The sectional champion in each event will automatically qualify for the state meet, which takes place next Friday and Saturday at IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis. There is also a set time in each event that swimmers can beat to earn an automatic state berth.

There is only one defending champion swimming in the sectional. That is Jennings County’s Trever Wilson in the 100-yard breaststroke. He’s the heavy favorite to repeat in that event.

Jeffersonville’s Timothy “T” Martin is the top seed and likely champion in two events, but he didn’t win the sectional title in either event a year ago. He’s swimming the 100 freestyle instead of the 500 this year, and he was upset by New Albany’s Luke Lete in the 50 free a year ago.

“He really wants to win that,” Gast said of Martin, who is the top seed in the event with a top time of 21.40, which is already under the state cut. Martin finishedthird in the 50 — a career-best finish — at state last season.

Red Devil junior Evan Shive is also favored in two individual events. He didn’t win either the 100 backstroke or 100 butterfly at the sectional last year, but he did qualify for state in both events as a sophomore.

Jeff’s other top seed is Max Weidekamp in a wide-open 200 individual medley field. Weidekamp is battling teammate Evan Lopez, Jennings County’s Devin Vanosol and Floyd’s Noble Guyon for the sectional crown.

“Max has been the fastest, but Evan Lopez is a fighter,” Gast said.

In the night’s other hotly contested race — the 200 freestyle — Floyd Central’s Eli Anderson is a slight favorite over the Jeffersonville pair of Zach Griffis and Zach Daily and teammate Marc McCormick.

“Those two guys have swum in the shadows of T Martin and Zach Blankenbeker and I think they’re ready to come out and swim,” Gast said of the Red Devil duo.

McCormick is also the top seed in the 500, where he and Daily figure to go mano-a-mano for the sectional title.

Jeffersonville is favored in the 200 medley relay and the 400 free relay. Floyd is the favorite in the 400 free relay. None of the three top seeds figure to be seriously pushed.

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