Beall sets RHS 200 freestyle record, but no area swimmers advance to state
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Rochester junior Makenna Beall broke her own school record in the 200 freestyle and finished second, but no RTC area swimmers advanced to the IHSAA state finals from the Warsaw sectional Saturday.
Meanwhile, Pioneer freshman Chloe Chan also set a school record in the 100 breaststroke and finished second in her race while teammate Grace Ulrich won her third consecutive sectional title in diving.
Warsaw scored 430 points and won their fourth sectional title in the last five years. Rochester took fifth in the 12-team field with 162 points, Tippecanoe Valley was seventh with 119.5, and Pioneer was ninth with 89.
Beall also swam legs of 25.88 in the 200 freestyle relay and 55.91 in the 400 freestyle relay, helping RHS to fourth in the 200 free relay and third in the 400 freestyle relay.
However, Beall’s bid for a third consecutive state finals trip in the 500 freestyle was denied after officials cited her for a false start. Beall touched the wall first, but the two officials conferred after the race and determined that Beall left early.
They declared Culver Academy’s Emily Heim the winner in 5:34.25.
Beall broke the 200 freestyle record for the third time in her career. She broke the record for the first time when she swam a 2:03.08 at the 2020 Warsaw sectional. She broke that mark with a 2:02.51 at the Three Rivers Conference meet at Maconaquah on Jan. 23.
This time, she swam a 2:01.59. In all three of her record-setting swims, she finished second in the race. She finished behind Manchester’s Halle Briner at each of the last two sectional meets and behind Manchester’s Josie Briner at this year’s TRC meet.
“We just told her she had to go under a minute in her first 100 and hang on from there basically,” RHS coach Stephanie Brown said.
Junior Elena Bode swam the 100 freestyle in 59.12 seconds and placed fifth and also took 10th in the 200 individual medley in 2:33.55. Senior Ellie Shank was eighth in that 200 freestyle final in 2:18.97 and ninth in the 500 freestyle in 6:05.18. Sophomore Bella Riffle was eighth in the 100 butterfly in 1:09.27 and 16th in the 100 backstroke in 1:25.94.
Other RHS swimmers who swam in multiple individual events Saturday included sophomore Kendyll Bradley, who was 14th in the 50 freestyle and 12th in the 100 freestyle; sophomore Zoe Seward, who was 16th in the 200 freestyle and 11th in the 500 freestyle; sophomore Madilyn Calloway, who was 16th in the 50 freestyle and 12th in the 100 backstroke; senior Elizabeth Swango, who was 16th in the 200 individual medley and who chopped off four seconds from her prelim time in the 100 butterfly and finished 15th.
Sophomore Melody Hisey cut nearly nine seconds off her previous lifetime best during sectionals week in the 100 freestyle and finished 11th in 1:00.96.
Beall’s teammates in both relays included Riffle, Bradley and Bode. Their time of 3:59.20 will force the RHS coaches to pay up on a wager: If they swam the 400 freestyle in under four minutes, the coaches would have to swim the event in a relay at the RMS pool.
“They came up with the idea like a month or so ago for us to do a coaches relay someday at practice, and I had told them, I was like, ‘Well, maybe we’ll see. You guys will have to do something to earn that.’ We’re not just going to do it,” RHS coach Stephanie Brown said.
“After Thursday night, we put together the splits and decided who was going to swim Saturday and (assistant coach Kevin) Renie said something about, ‘Man, I wonder if that group can go under four minutes. It’d be close.’ … So I told the girls we finally decided if you go under four minutes on Saturday, we’ll do a coaches relay. Because the four girls’ fastest times added up to about a 4:01. So we had told them, ‘If you guys do this, then we’ll do the coaches relay.’ So we haven’t done it yet, but we told them that we would. … That was a fun way to end the meet,” Brown added.
Brown admired Beall’s desire to swim in the relays mere minutes after her disappointing false start.
“She’s a tough girl,” Brown said. “The 200 relay was only one event later, and she only had from the time they gave the awards for the 500 and the consolation heat for the 200 relay. It’s less than a 10-minute turnaround. So she was pretty upset about the 500, and for her to be able to come back and swim with the relays … She had amazing splits on the relays.
“I gave her an out. I said if you want me to replace you on the 200 and get yourself together and then you can swim the 400, that’s fine. I’ll get somebody else to swim. And I let her choose, and she said, ‘Nope, I’m going to swim it with my team.’ So she walked out with them and did her thing and had two great relay swims. She had four great swims for the day. Her 500 time was her second best time ever. It was just one split-second thing that happens and just stinks.”
Swango was competing on Saturday at the sectional for the first time while Shank swam in a sectional for the fourth straight year. Shank finished eighth, sixth, seventh and eighth in the 200 freestyle in her sectional career and seventh, fourth, seventh and ninth in the 500 freestyle.
Riffle’s combination of events – 100 butterfly, 100 backstroke and two freestyle relays – may not be typical for a high school swimmer but was “just where she landed,” according to Brown. She also earned her spot on both relays with how she performed in the prelims. Riffle’s Saturday splits were 27.7 in the 200 free relay and 1:00.3 in the 400 free relay.
Brown called her performance “awesome.”
“We were so impressed with her on Thursday,” Brown said. “We just couldn’t even believe how well she did in all of her events and top eight in the butterfly. And for her, we had just talked about making it back in the top 16 in both of her events. … She just had a phenomenal weekend, so we were super proud of her.”
In addition to Riffle, the team’s other sophomores who swam at sectionals include Bradley, Seward, Molly Vance-Gruss, Araceli Ochoa, Lola Brady, Macie Nelson and Melody Hisey.
Hisey swam a 1:04.97 in the 100 freestyle at the prelims and lowered that time to 1:00.96 at the finals.
“You’ll have to look at her time drops on Thursday,” Brown said. “She wasn’t on our radar to make it back Saturday, and she did in the 100 free, and her time going in was a 1:09, and then she went a 1:04 on Thursday and then (Saturday) turned around and went a minute-flat. I mean, it was just like where did that come from?
“So we had some pretty standout swims from our sophomores and our juniors yesterday. … That group of girls is a pretty good group of girls that we’ll have next year.”
Makena Smith was the lone Valley swimmer to compete in an individual final. Already the Three Rivers Conference champion in the 100 breaststroke, she placed in the event in 1:18.29. Smith also took 11th in the 100 butterfly.
Other Valley swimmers who scored in multiple events at the finals included junior Shayleigh Honeycutt, who was 12th in the 200 individual medley and seventh in diving; freshman Kendall Craig, who took 12th in the 200 freestyle and 15th in the 100 freestyle; and senior Ava Craig, who was 16th in the 500 freestyle and 15th in the 100 backstroke.
Olivia Wilson tied for 13th in the 100 backstroke.
The Lady Vikings also took seventh in all three relays.
Smith, Honeycutt, Kendall Craig and Maddie Woodward formed the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relay teams. The 400 freestyle relay team consisted of Ava Craig, Katelyn Lowman, Alejandra Jimenez and Wilson.
Chloe Chan qualified third at the preliminaries when she swam a 1:14.50 in the 100 breaststroke. She took off more than two seconds and swam a 1:12.11 and took second while breaking the Pioneer record.
Halle Briner won the race and took the state spot in 1:05.25.
Other Pioneer scoring swimmers included Emily Chan, who was 14th in the 200 individual medley in 2:41.97 and 13th in the 100 freestyle in 1:02.58; and Mackenzie Robinson, who was 16th in the 100 butterfly in 1:20.86.
Pioneer was also eighth in both the 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relays.
Chloe Chan, Robinson, Lane Hood and Emily Chan made up the 200 freestyle relay team. The 400 freestyle relay team consisted of Esther McKaig, Emma Elliott, Ayla Depoy, Keigen Reno.
Only sectional champions, those who meet a difficult qualifying standard and the next fastest times in the state in order to have 32 entrants in each event qualify for the state finals.
Nobody from the Warsaw sectional advanced on either of the last two criteria.
WARSAW GIRLS SWIMMING SECTIONAL RESULTS: Warsaw 430, Culver Academy 420, Plymouth 265.5, Columbia City 248, ROCHESTER 162, Manchester 150, VALLEY 119.5, Lewis Cass 113, PIONEER 89, Wabash 65, Oregon-Davis 42, Northfield 13
Scoring on 20-17-16-15-14-13-12-11-9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis for individual events and 40-34-32-30-28-26-24-22-18-14-12-10 basis for relays
Winners plus all Rochester, Valley and Pioneer results
200 medley relay
1. Warsaw (Doyle, Marcuccilli, Morgan, Boston) – 1:55.76, 7. Valley (Maddie Woodward, Makena Smith, Shayleigh Honeycutt, Kendall Craig) – 2:12.22
(NOTE: Both Rochester and Pioneer were disqualified.)
1. H. Briner (MAN) – 1:57.77, 2. Makena Beall (RHS) – 2:01.59 (school record), 8. Ellie Shank (RHS) – 2:18.97, 12. Kendall Craig (TV) – 2:18.54, 16. Zoe Seward (RHS) – 2:25.34
200 individual medley
1. J. Briner (MAN) – 2:16.68, 10. Elena Bode (RHS) – 2:33.55, 12. Shayleigh Honeycutt (TV) – 2:35.97, 14. Emily Chan (PIO) – 2:41.97, 16. Elizabeth Swango (RHS) – 2:47.94
1. Baumgartner (CGA) – 24.33 seconds, 14. Kendyll Bradley (RHS) – 28.97, 16. Madilyn Calloway (RHS) – 29.87
Diving (top four advance to regionals)
1. Grace Ulrich (PIO) – 443.25 points, 2. Feick (CGA) – 372.70, 3. Marohn (PLY) – 354.50, 4. Scott (LC) – 301.10, 7. Shayleigh Honeycutt (TV) – 260.25
1. J. Briner (MAN) – 59.36 seconds, 8. Bella Riffle (RHS) – 1:09.27, 11. Makena Smith (TV) – 1:11.19, 15. Elizabeth Swango (RHS) – 1:18.38, 16. Mackenzie Robinson (PIO) – 1:20.86
1. Baumgartner (CGA) – 53.82 seconds, 5. Elena Bode (RHS) – 59.12, 11. Melody Hisey (RHS) – 1:00.96, 12. Kendyll Bradley (RHS) – 1:02.36, 13. Emily Chan (PIO) – 1:02.58, 15. Kendall Craig (TV) – 1:04.68
1. Heim (CGA) – 5:34.25, 9. Ellie Shank (RHS) – 6:05.18, 11. Zoe Seward (RHS) – 6:35.76, 16. Ava Craig (TV) – 7:22.45, DQ. Makenna Beall (RHS)
200 freestyle relay
1. Warsaw (Marcuccilli, Howett, Johnson, Boston) – 1:43.14, 2. Culver Academy (Heim, Youvan, Gifford, Baumgartner) – 1:43.20, 4. Rochester (Bella Riffle, Kendyll Bradley, Elena Bode, Makenna Beall) – 1:50.02, 7. Valley (Makena Smith, Kendall Craig, Maddie Woodward, Shayleigh Honeycutt) – 1:56.93, 8. Pioneer (Chloe Chan, Mackenzie Robinson, Lane Hood, Emily Chan) – 1:57.96
1. Doyle (WAR) – 1:02.88, 12. Madilyn Calloway (RHS) – 1:20.71, t-13. Olivia Wilson (TV) – 1:21.05, 15. Ava Craig (TV) – 1:21.84, 16. Bella Riffle (RHS) – 1:25.94
1. H. Briner (MAN) – 1:05.25, 2. Chloe Chan (PIO) – 1:12.11 (school record), 8. Makena Smith (TV) – 1:18.29
400 freestyle relay
1. Culver Academy (Heim, Tequila, Youvan, Baumgartner) – 3:45.41, 3. Rochester (Elena Bode, Kendyll Bradley, Bella Riffle, Makenna Beall) – 3:59.20, 7. Valley (Ava Craig, Katelyn Lowman, Alejandra Jimenez, Olivia Wilson) – 4:59.09, 8. Pioneer (Esther McKaig, Emma Elliott, Ayla Depoy, Keigen Reno) – 5:08.44
Rochester Swimmers Ellie Shank (L) Makenna Beall (C) Elizabeth Swango (R)