Floyd swimming

Floyd Central girls’ swimmers, from left, Christine Cleveland, Carmen Miralda and Maria Perkins cheer for a teammate during a dual meet last Thursday at Jeffersonville. Despite an inspired effort, the Highlanders lost a close meet with the Red Devils, 94-92. But Floyd got the best of Jeff in the boys’ meet with a 97-89 triumph.

Since the local swimming season began, Jeffersonville and Floyd Central have been on a collision course.

Last Thursday, they finally met at Jeff High in a meet that lived up to the expectations. Both the boys’ and girls’ meets were hotly contested, with the Floyd Central boys handing Jeff its second conference loss of the season, and the No. 17-ranked Jeff girls edging the Highlanders by two points in a match that was tied heading into the final race.

The meet drew the biggest crowd of the season at the Jeff Natatorium, and they witnessed the Jeff girls eke out the 94-92 victory by winning the 400-yard freestyle relay. Ariel Martin, Emily Collins, Andrea Gibson and Katie Daily teamed up to swim the winning race.

“The girls’ meet proved to be one of the premier meets in southern Indiana,” Jeff coach Keith Gast said.

It was an up-and-down affair throughout, with five lead changes and 15 places decided by less than one second. Floyd Central trailed by six points with three events left, but rallied to tie the meet heading into the final relay.

“When these two teams get together for a December dual meet, it reminds me of March Madness,” said Floyd coach Joe Perkins. “In a sport that does not always get a lot of attention, this meet was one that these athletes will remember for a long time.”

The Floyd Central girls got wins from the 200 medley relay team of Katelyn Cato, Janelle Nassim, Amanda Fetz and Morgan Baumgartle. All four of them also won individual events, highlighted by Cato’s win in the 100 backstroke and Fetz’s win in the 100 butterfly. Kelsey Durr won the diving portion of the event for the Highlanders.

Martin won the 200 and 500 freestyles for Jeff, while Collins took home first place in the 50 and 100 freestyles.

For the Jeff boys, who lost a streak of 50 consecutive Hoosier Hills Conference meets two weeks ago against New Albany, it meant the end of a seven-year run of domination over the Highlanders.

“I am very happy for our boys’ team,” Perkins said. “They did a fantastic job of following our game plan and worked very hard throughout the meet.”

Floyd got a season-high of 151.40 points from diver Jason Wisniewski to win that event, and Seth Robertson won the 100 backstroke with a season-best time. Junior Matt Brandenstein also had a big meet for the Highlanders, finishing first in the 200 individual medley and the 100 breaststroke.

Still, the Jeff boys did not go quietly in the 97-89 loss, pulling to within four points on several occasions despite trailing the entire meet.

Brad Rissler led the way for the Red Devils, winning the 200 and 500 frees, and was a part of the winning team in both the 200 and 400 free relays.

Andy Hesen won both the 50 and 100 frees, while Joey Coats won the 100 butterfly.

Perkins says that the team is already eager for a rematch.

“This has always been a great rivalry and a fantastic dual meet for both teams,” Perkins said. “The fact that we will see them two more times in the conference and sectional meets is always a great motivator for these teams to keep working.”

Jeff will be the only local team to swim though the holiday break, as it hosts Bedford North Lawrence tonight. The Red Devils will also travel to Jasper for a dual meet on Dec. 28.

Boys

• Floyd Central: The Highlander boys had little time to celebrate, getting back into the water at Saturday’s Jasper Invitational. Floyd finished third overall, behind Bloomington North and Jasper.

The most thrilling race of the day came in the 200 medley relay, where Robertson, Daniel Wells, Renn and Brandenstein out-touched North for the victory. Robertson also swan season-bests in winning the 200 and 500 frees.

“This meet was a good sign of how the swimmers and divers have been working over the past weeks,” Perkins said. “It was a good opportunity for our kids to test the waters with only a day off between meets.”

On Tuesday, the Highlander boys celebrated Senior Night with a 132-49 victory over Jennings County.

Nine different Floyd boys won events, including Brandenstein, Robertson, Keith Kulwicki, Renn, Mike Bruns and Jonathan Loyd. Wisniewski again won in diving.

Girls

• Floyd Central: Janelle Nassim led the Highlanders to a second-place finish at the Jasper Invitational, as they finished behind the host Wildcats.

The senior won the 100 breaststroke and turned in a second-place finish in the 50 free.

The girls also beat Jennings County 141-45 on an evening when 20 Highlander seniors were honored.

Nassim notched two wins for Floyd, which also got wins from Baumgartle, Carmen Miralda, Rachel Mefford, Trisha Bingham, Christine Cleveland and Shelby Weathers. Durr again prevailed in diving.

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