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January 13, 2013

H.S. SWIMMING: Highlanders edge Bulldogs for HHC swimming title

NORTH VERNON — New Albany won twice as many individual events as Floyd Central, but the Highlanders depth was enough for them to edge the Bulldogs, 291 1/2 to 276 for the Hoosier Hills Conference championship on Saturday at Jennings County.

Meg Taylor won the 200-yard freestyle and the 500 free and Maryn Meldrum took the 100 breaststroke title to boost Flody past the Bulldogs, who won six of the 13 events.

Helping the Highlanders was a first and third in the 200  behind Taylor and Amy McCormick, a first and third in 500 with Taylor and Meldrum, a first and third in the 100 breaststroke with Meldrum and Lauren Batliner, and a top-two sweep in the 500 with Taylor and McCormick.

New Albany, which will get another crack at its rival in the Floyd Central Sectional on Jan. 26, had two individual wins apiece from Hannah Manger and Rachel Klein. Manger and Klein were also both on two winning Bulldog relay teams.

Manger, Klein, Reagan Thom and Alexis Lete set a new Hoosier Hills record in the 200 freestyle relay with a blazing 1:41.57 that New Albany set a year ago.

Manger, Klein, Thom and Lauren McCool also won the 400 free relay in 3:43.62. The Highlanders finished second in both events.

Manger’s 58.88 broke Ariel Martin’s HHC record in the 100 backstroke along with winning the 200 individual medley. Klein took the 50 freestyle in 25 seconds and beat Jeffersonville’s Elizabeth Browne to the wall to win the 100 free.

Karlee Demsey and Alexa Waldrip were two-time winners for third-place Jeffersonville. Demsey won the 100 butterfly and Waldrip repeated as the conference diving champion. Demsey and Waldrip also teamed with Samantha Glover and Yanna Martin to open the meet with a victory in the 200 medley relay.

Browne’s runner up in the 100 free and Amelia Blankenbeker’s third-place finish in the 500 free also helped the Red Devils finish just 30 points behind the champion Highlanders.

“[It was a] great meet today,” Jeff coach Keith Gast said. “Floyd performed as expected and won the meet. New Albany gave them a good run, but I was very pleased with our performance. We closed the gap on both Floyd and New Albany from the beginning of the season.”

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