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  • Val T.

Despite loss to Rochester, Valley boys swimmers Smith, Parker, Whetstone shine

Craig, Lowe win 4 blue ribbons each as Lady Vikes take girls meet, but Chipps wins breaststroke


BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC


Carson Parker Peyton Brooks Wes Steininger


It’s a numbers thing.

The Tippecanoe Valley boys swimming team might have lost a road dual meet 85-76 to Rochester at the Rochester Middle School pool Monday, but top swimmers Marcus Smith, Carson Parker and Isaac Whetstone appear to have improved on the times that got them to the state finals in 2022 and 2023.

Meanwhile, Valley did win the girls meet 104-63 over the host Lady Zs as Kendall Craig and McKenna Lowe won four blue ribbons each.

Valley won 10 of the 12 events with Rochester’s Kylie Haselby diving unopposed and freshman Lily Chipps winning the 100 breaststroke.

In the boys meet, Smith, Parker and Whetstone approached times in early January that would be good times for many at the end of a season after a taper and not necessarily after a mileage-filled winter break.

For example:

  • Smith won the 200 individual medley in 2:02.66, 27 seconds faster than the field and just one second off his sectional-winning time last year.

“His work ethic in practice when he goes, it’s crazy,” Valley coach Scott Whetstone said. “He can make some pretty good things happen. And translates into the meet. His IM tonight was his best swim this year so far. We pushed him to do that tonight.”

  • Whetstone won the 50 freestyle in 22.07 seconds, which is already 0.9 seconds faster than his 2023 sectional time and barely a second off the time that won last year’s sectional.

  • Smith won the 100 butterfly in 54.26 seconds. Only two swimmers swam faster than that at last year’s sectional. Smith did not swim the 100 butterfly at the 2023 sectional.

  • Parker sped through the 100 freestyle in 49.76 seconds, beating the field by over five full seconds. Only three swimmers at last year’s sectional swam faster than this, and all three graduated. Parker did not swim this event at last year’s sectional.

  • Whetstone, the defending sectional champion in the 500 freestyle, swam a 5:02.91 in winning the event Monday against the Zebras. He beat the field by over two minutes.

“We’re still working on what he’s going to swim for sure,” Valley coach Scott Whetstone said of Isaac. “He’s my son, so we kind of work on going back and forth as a dad and as a coach. So that’s a fun one, a different dynamic there. But he wanted to go under five tonight. That was the goal, to see what we can do. He’s been working in practice, but it’s also hard from a parent’s standpoint. Sometimes it’s tough being a coach and a parent. We’ve worked it out and tried to get him going.”

  • Parker also tore through the 100 breaststroke in 1:03.07, beating Rochester’s Jake Seuferer by 4.8 seconds. Parker swam a 59.64 at last year’s sectional and finished second behind a Warsaw swimmer who graduated.

“He’s worked hard,” coach Whetstone said of Parker. “He’s one who’s put in the work. He’s the team leader for us. He’s the one that we lean to when we need the leadership in practice and in the meets. So he’s actually swimming tired: We practiced this morning, so he’s swimming tired. But he puts the effort in. Hes’ worked on walls. He’s worked on stroke a lot and tried to really get it together, so it’s good.”

Valley also won the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays. Smith, Parker, Whetstone form three-fourths of both relays with Aaden Bowers joining them on the medley relay and Tucker Whetstone joining them on the 200 freestyle relay. They beat Rochester by 11 seconds in the medley relay and 21 seconds in the freestyle relay.

However, Valley did not have a 400 freestyle relay team, which means they were in an eight-point hole to start the meet. So once Seuferer and teammate Lane Shank legally completed the 100 breaststroke, the Zebras had won, despite Valley’s top swimmers’ excellent times.

In addition to the unopposed 400 freestyle relay, Rochester winners included Seuferer, who beat Tucker Whetstone by 2.05 seconds in the 200 freestyle; Peyton Brooks, who received consistent 5s and 6s on his way to a 197.95 points and the win in diving; and Wes Steininger, who won the 100 backstroke in 1:06.97.

“We definitely outnumbered Valley,” Rochester coach Stephanie Brown said. “They won quite a few of the events, but outnumbering them helped. The seconds and the thirds and the fifths and the sixths sometimes help a lot. So that definitely helped a lot.”

Brooks’ diving score was a personal best for a six-dive midweek dual.

“He’s very excited about that score,” Brown said. “He definitely wants to break 200 for sure. … He does a really good job.”


Bailey Anderson Lily Chipps Kendall Craig

In the girls meet, Lowe won both the 200 and 500 freestyles and swam a leg on the victorious 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relays. Craig won both the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly while joining Lowe on the 400 freestyle relay and also swimming a leg on the winning 200 medley relay. 

In addition, Cassie Rich won the 100 freestyle and swam a leg on both the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays. Bailey Anderson won the 50 freestyle and swam a leg on the 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relays.

Martina Gonzalez, a foreign exchange student, won the 100 backstroke and swam the backstroke leg on the 200 medley relay.

Claire Haney swam on both the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays, and Kiera Smythe also swam a leg on the 200 freestyle relay.

Craig typically is a distance freestyler, but it was Lowe who swam those events Monday.

“We made her swim some ‘off’ events tonight just to try to get ready,” coach Whetstone said. “We’ve got the Oak Hill Invite coming up Saturday, so she was swimming some ‘offs’ tonight to try and get ready for that. But yeah, she’s our distance swimmer. She’s another one who’s a leader in practice. She helps us get things together and get things going. She’s hard worker when we push her.”

Chipps set a personal best with her breaststroke time of 1:37.02. She beat the field by over four seconds.

“She was very excited about that win,” Brown said. “I think that’s the first time she’s gotten first place. And that was a definitely a PR for her also, so she’s really improving in the breaststroke and doing a good job.”

Brown also noted personal bests from Seanna Gudas in both the breaststroke and the 200 individual medley and a significant time drop from sophomore Aubrey Miller in the 200 freestyle.

GIRLS RESULTS: TIPPECANOE VALLEY 104, ROCHESTER 63

Scoring on 6-4-3-2-1 basis for individual events and 8-4-2 basis for relays

All Rochester and Valley scorers

200 medley relay

1. Valley (Martina Gonzalez, Cassie Rich, Kendall Craig, Claire Haney) – 2:23.95, 2. Rochester (Kylie Haselby, Lily Chipps, Jenna Seuferer, Skyla Mitchell) – 2:35.40, 3. Valley ( Malia Kreft, Makynne Rentschler, Maris Overbey, Kiera Smythe) – 2:37.67, 4. Rochester (Audrey Widman, Kaedra Shook, Payton Moore, Aubrey Miller) – 3:07.32

200 freestyle

1. McKenna Lowe (TV) – 2:40.37, 2. Skyla Mitchell (RHS) – 2:42.02, 3. Katelyn Stump (TV) – 2:57.97, 4. Jenna Seuferer (RHS) – 3:01.22, 5. Aubrey Miller (RHS) – 3:07.34, DQ. Malia Kreft (TV)

200 individual medley

1. Kendall Craig (TV) – 2:42.26, 2. Cassie Rich (TV) – 2:52.71, 3. Ava Thomas (RHS) – 3:23.62, 4. Seanna Gudas (RHS) – 3:28.10

50 freestyle

1. Bailey Anderson (TV) – 30.25 seconds, 2. Claire Haney (TV) – 31.58, 3. Kiera Smythe (TV) – 33.64, 4. Kaedra Shook (RHS) – 35.09, 5. Audrey Widman (RHS) – 35.39, 6. Payton Moore (RHS) – 42.28

Diving

1. Kylie Haselby (RHS) – 106.10 points

100 butterfly

1. Kendall Craig (TV) – 1:22.27, 2. Jenna Seuferer (RHS) – 1:39.56

100 freestyle

1. Cassie Rich (TV) – 1:10.74, 2. Bailey Anderson (TV) – 1:11.05, 3. Kylie Haselby (RHS) – 1:13.00, 4. Aubrey Miller (RHS) – 1:19.46, 5. Lily Chipps (RHS) – 1:31.52

500 freestyle

1. McKenna Lowe (TV) – 7:28.16, 2. Katelyn Stump (TV) – 7:46.94, 3. Kaedra Shook (RHS) – 8:14.56, 4. Payton Moore (RHS) – 8:43.84

200 freestyle relay

1. Valley (Kiera Smythe, Bailey Anderson, Claire Haney, McKenna Lowe) – 2:09.63, 2. Rochester (Seanna Gudas, Aubrey Miller, Ava Thomas, Kaedra Shook) – 2:17.08, 3. Valley (Maris Overbey, Martina Gonzalez, Makynna Rentschler, Katelyn Stump) – 2:18.84, 4. Rochester (Lily Chipps, Audrey Widman, Payton Moore, Jenna Seuferer) – 2:34.51

100 backstroke

1. Martina Gonzalez (TV) – 1:22.35, 2. Skyla Mitchell (RHS) – 1:29.53, 3. Malia Kreft (TV) – 1:30.85, 4. Ava Thomas (RHS) – 1:36.19

100 breaststroke

1. Lily Chipps (RHS) – 1:37.02, 2. Makynna Rentschler (TV) – 1:41.21, 3. Maris Overbey (TV) – 1:45.45, 4. Seanna Gudas (RHS) – 1:55.15, 5. Audrey Widman (TV) – 1:55.59

400 freestyle relay

1. Valley (McKenna Lowe, Cassie Rich, Bailey Anderson, Kendall Craig) – 4:45.23, 2. Rochester (Kylie Haselby, Seanna Gudas, Skyla Mitchell, Ava Thomas) – 5:09.45, 3. Valley (Malia Kreft, Claire Haney, Kiera Smythe, Martina Gonzalez) – 5:14.60

BOYS RESULTS: ROCHESTER 85, TIPPECANOE VALLEY 76

Scoring on 6-4-3-2-1 basis for individual events and 8-4-2 basis for relays

All Rochester and Valley scorers

200 medley relay

1. Valley (Marcus Smith, Carson Parker, Isaac Whetstone, Aaden Bowers) – 1:43.21, 2. Rochester (Jake Seuferer, Wes Steininger, Spencer Backus, Lane Shank) – 1:54.22, 3. Rochester (Grant Bailey, Seth Flenar, Brevin Nicholson, Noah Riffle) – 2:30.61

200 freestyle

1. Jake Seuferer (RHS) – 1:56.50, 2. Tucker Whetstone (TV) – 1:58.55, 3. Brevin Nicholson (RHS) – 2:30.19, DQ. Elliot Miller (RHS)

200 individual medley

1. Marcus Smith (TV) – 2:02.66, 2. Spencer Backus (RHS) – 2:29.19, 3. Reece Johnson (RHS) – 2:32.17

50 freestyle

1. Isaac Whetstone (TV) – 22.07 seconds, 2. Lane Shank (RHS) – 25.92, 3. Noah Riffle (RHS) – 29.27, 4. Seth Flenar (RHS) – 32.87, 5. Gavin Leininger (TV) – 34.62

Diving

1. Peyton Brooks (RHS) – 197.95 points, 2. Gavin Leininger (TV) – 108.50

100 butterfly

1. Marcus Smith (TV) – 54.26 seconds, 2. Tucker Whetstone (TV) – 57.46, 3. Wes Steininger (RHS) – 1:02.94, 4. Brevin Nicholson (RHS) – 1:27.56

100 freestyle

1. Carson Parker (TV) – 49.76 seconds, 2. Spencer Backus (RHS) – 55.40, 3. Aaden Bowers (TV) – 59.30, 4. Reece Johnson (RHS) – 1:00.44, 5. Diego Gonsalez (TV) – 1:06.42

500 freestyle

1. Isaac Whetstone (TV) – 5:02.91, 2. Noah Riffle (RHS) – 7:09.85, 3. Seth Flenar (RHS) – 7:36.60

200 freestyle relay

1. Valley (Marcus Smith, Carson Parker, Tucker Whetstone, Isaac Whetstone) – 1:34.10, 2. Rochester (Lane Shank, Reece Johnson, Brevin Nicholson, Noah Riffle) – 1:55.35, 3. Rochester (Peyton Brooks, Grant Bailey, Seth Flenar, Elliot Miller) – 2:07.59, 4. Valley (Aaden Bowers, Diego Gonsalez, Gavin Leininger, Michael Leininger) – 2:10.19

100 backstroke

1. Wes Steininger (RHS) – 1:06.97, 2. Aaden Bowers (TV) – 1:09.01, 3. Diego Gonsalez (TV) – 1:22.43, 4. Grant Bailey (RHS) – 1:29.60, 5. Elliot Miller (RHS) – 1:58.50

100 breaststroke

1. Carson Parker (TV) – 1:03.07, 2. Jake Seuferer (RHS) – 1:07.87, 3. Lane Shank (RHS) – 1:23.38

400 freestyle relay

1. Rochester (Spencer Backus, Reece Johnson, Wes Steininger, Jake Seuferer) – 4:00.73


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