BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
All of his years of hard work swimming at the club level paid off for Tippecanoe Valley freshman Marcus Smith paid off in an hour.
It was a spectacular hour at the Warsaw sectional on Feb. 21, unprecedented over decades of Valley swimming history.
In that hour, Smith qualified for the IHSAA state finals in three events – two individual events and a relay – and is our choice for RTC boys swimmer of the year.
First, he swam the butterfly leg on Valley’s victorious 200 medley relay team.
Then he won the 200 individual medley, an event that measures the well-roundedness of a swimmer, by almost five seconds over the rest of the field.
He capped off his night by coming from behind and using both deft strategy and good conditioning to win the 100 butterfly.
While the area will say goodbye to very fine senior swimmers like Rochester’s Dylan Steininger and Valley’s Brandon Hoffman, the theme in area boys swimming this year was how many good freshman and sophomore swimmers there were in the area.
That list includes Rochester’s Jake Seuferer, Tanner Reese and Wes Steininger; Valley’s Smith, Isaac Whetstone and Carson Parker; and Pioneer’s Ian Kitchell, Austin Brooke and Andersoon Woodhouse.
These young swimmers take up a large part of our All-RTC boys swimming team.
This list is ours and ours alone. Any complaints or feedback should be directed toward us, but we would like to thank area coaches for their insight in helping us understanding the sport better.
We place extra emphasis on conference and sectional meets and any meet that takes place on a Saturday.
Marcus Smith (Tippecanoe Valley) – Smith had a standout 200 individual medley at the Three Rivers Conference meet, breaking the conference record by nearly five seconds. Then he got three seconds faster than that for sectionals about a month later.
Jake Seuferer (Rochester) – Seuferer, a sophomore, gets better and better in the distance freestyle events. He’s lowered his 200 freestyle time to 1:50.8 and his 500 freestyle time to 5:05.
Carson Parker (Tippecanoe Valley) – Parker just tears through the water in the breaststroke. He won the TRC title in 1:07.22 and then got that time down to 1:01.28 after his taper for sectionals. Breaststrokers who break a minute from these parts are unicorns, but Parker is headed that way.
Kadin Kelly (Rochester) – Pushed seemingly by his teammate and friend Bradly Bickle, Kelly won the TRC title and qualified for diving regionals for the fourth straight year. He also broke the 11-dive school record.
Brandon Hoffman (Tippecanoe Valley)
Isaac Whetstone (Tippecanoe Valley)
Dylan Steininger (Rochester)
Ryan Logan (Pioneer)
Bradly Bickle (Rochester)