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  • Val T.

Valley’s Smith, I. Whetstone, Parker qualify for state in 2 events each, also lead 2 relays to Warsaw titles

Rochester’s Seuferer wins 500 free, advances to state for first time


Sports Editor, RTC

Marcus Smith Isaac Whetstone Carson Parker Tucker Whetstone

Boys swimming

The Tippecanoe Valley boys swimming team won seven events and finished third with 242 points in a school history-making performance at the Warsaw sectional finals Saturday.

Jake Seuferer

Meanwhile, led by sectional champion Jake Seuferer in the 500 freestyle, Rochester scored 177 points and tied for fifth.

Pioneer scored 113 points and took 10th in the 12-team field.

Warsaw won the sectional with 441 points, 94 more than runner-up Culver Academy.

Valley won both relays in which they competed – 200 medley and 400 freestyle – and did so in school record times.

In addition, Marcus Smith won both the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke, Isaac Whetstone won both the 200 freestyle and 100 freestyle, and Carson Parker won the 100 breaststroke.

Parker also finished second in the 50 freestyle and also advanced to state in that event on the next-fastest-times criteria.

Smith, a junior, won the individual medley sectional title for the third straight year and the backstroke title for the second straight year. He also won the 100 butterfly sectional in 2022.

Smith’s backstroke time was especially fast Saturday, breaking both his own Valley school record of 52.39 but also the Warsaw sectional record.

Whetstone’s times of 1:43.44 in the 200 and 47.01 in the 100 both broke school records, and his 100 freestyle time also broke the Warsaw sectional record. That 100 record time lasted mere minutes as Whetstone broke his own record with a 46.87 in the first leg of the 400 freestyle relay.

Parker broke the school breaststroke record with his prelim time on Thursday of 48.83 seconds. His time of 59.13 beat runner-up Caelin Swinehart of Warsaw by 3.44 seconds.

In the 50 freestyle, Parker was second in 21.69 seconds behind Logansport’s Jacob Fincher, who swam a 21.55. Parker did not meet the state cut time of 21.36 but made state on the next-fastest-times criteria to fill out the field of 32 in each event.

Smith, Whetstone and Parker also form three-fourths of the 200 medley relay team, which won in 1:36.99, beating runner-up Wabash by five full seconds. Freshman Tucker Whetstone rounded out the team.

The Whetstone brothers also joined Smith and Parker in winning the 400 freestyle relay in 3:14.19. Culver Academy was second, 3.66 seconds behind.

The time also broke the Warsaw pool record.

“Super proud of the boys,” Valley athletic director Sam Sturtevant said in a statement. “It was not easy to swim late evening practices at Warsaw due to our pool construction. Their determination and effort put forth all season paid off in a big way today.”

Also, Valley first-year coach Scott Whetstone was named sectional coach of the year, an award selected by his coaching peers.

As for Seuferer, he set personal bests in both his victorious swim in the 500 freestyle, in which he broke five minutes for the first time (4:59.49), and the 200 freestyle, in which he finished fourth in 1:50.09 behind Isaac Whetstone.

Seuferer had finished fourth, third and second in the 500 freestyle in the 2021, 2022 and 2023 sectionals, respectively.

The other Rochester swimmer to swim in a final was Wes Steininger, who was eighth in the 50 freestyle and seventh in a personal-best 58.19 seconds in the 100 butterfly.

Rochester was also 11th in the 200 medley relay, third in the 200 freestyle relay and fourth in the 400 freestyle relay.

Tanner Reese and Spencer Backus joined Steininger and Seuferer on both the 200 freestyle relay and 400 freestyle relay. The 200 medley relay consisted of Brevin Nicholson, Lane Shank, Reece Johnson and Noah Riffle.

Pioneer sectional finalists included Ian Kitchell, who was third in the 100 freestyle in 50.13 seconds and fifth in the 100 backstroke in 58.50 seconds, and Austin Brooke, who was sixth in the 200 individual medley in 2:14.72 and seventh in the 100 breaststroke in 1:06.62.

The Panthers were also 10th in the 200 medley relay, ninth in the 200 freestyle relay and sixth in the 400 freestyle relay.

Kitchell and Brooke combined with Tayt Smith and Fletcher Smith in the 200 medley relay and with Jared Black and Jack Nance on the 400 freestyle relay. Fletcher Smith joined Black, Landen Johnson and Nance on the 200 freestyle relay.

Other Valley swimmers who placed in the finals included Tucker Whetstone, who was sixth in the 100 butterfly; and Aaden Bowers, who was eighth in the 100 backstroke.

Warsaw sophomore Ian Parrott won diving with 473.35 points, and teammates Dallas Lancaster and Skyler Kretsch finished second and fourth, respectively, and will also join him at the diving regional at Valparaiso tonight. Logansport’s Micah Rogers was third and also advanced to the regional.

The only area diver to compete was Valley sophomore Gavin Leininger, who was seventh with 246.40 points.

Warsaw boys swimming sectional results: Warsaw 441, Culver Academy 347, Tippecanoe Valley 242, Logansport 183, Rochester 177, Columbia City 177, Wabash 172, Lewis Cass 140, Plymouth 128, Pioneer 113, Manchester 91, Northfield 5

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 basis for relays

Winners plus all Rochester, Valley and Pioneer results

200 medley relay

1. Valley (Marcus Smith, Carson Parker, Isaac Whetstone, Tucker Whetstone) – 1:36.99, 10. Pioneer (Ian Kitchell, Austin Brooke, Tayt Smith, Fletcher Smith) – 1:58.24 (consolation), 11. Rochester (Brevin Nicholson, Lane Shank, Reece Johnsoin, Noah Riffle) – 2:03.99 (consolation)

200 freestyle

1. Isaac Whetstone (TV) – 1:43.44 (school record), 4. Jake Seuferer (RHS) – 1:50.09, 10. Tanner Reese (RHS) – 1:58.39 (consolation), 16. Noah Riffle (RHS) – 2:20.71 (consolation)

200 individual medley

1. Marcus Smith (TV) – 2:01.06, 6. Austin Brooke (PIO) – 2:14.72, 9. Spencer Backus (RHS) – 2:17.43 (consolation), 12. Reece Johnson (RHS) – 2:23.19 (consolation)

50 freestyle

1. Fincher (LOG) – 21.55 seconds, 2. Carson Parker (TV) – 21.69, 8. Wes Steininger (RHS) – 23.70, 9. Tucker Whetstone (TV) – 23.70

NOTE: Parker also advances to state.

Diving (top four advance to diving regional)

1. Parrott (WAR) – 473.35 points, 2. Lancaster (WAR) – 395.25, 3. Rogers (LOG) – 348.55, 4. Kretsch (WAR) – 326.85, 7. Gavin Leininger (TV) – 246.40

100 butterfly

1. Fincher (LOG) – 50.66 seconds, 6. Tucker Whetstone (TV) – 57.32, 7. Wes Steininger (RHS) – 58.19, 10. Tanner Reese (RHS) – 59.21 (consolation)

100 freestyle

1. Isaac Whetstone (TV) – 47.01 seconds (school record), 2. McCann (WAB) – 47.50, 3. Ian Kitchell (PIO) – 50.13, 11. Spencer Backus (RHS) – 52.67 (consolation), 14. Lane Shank (RHS) – 54.18 (consolation)

NOTE: McCann also advances to state.

500 freestyle

1. Jake Seuferer (RHS) – 4:59.49, 16. Brevin Nicholson (RHS) – 6:15.37 (consolation)

200 freestyle relay

1. Culver Academy (Collins, Dorrel, MacDonald, Youvan) – 1:27.93, 2. Warsaw (Zaugg, Manwaring, Swinehart, Brown) – 1:29.78, 3. Rochester (Tanner Reese, Wes Steininger, Spencer Backus, Jake Seuferer) – 1:33.60, 9. Pioneer (Fletcher Smith, Jared Black, Landen Johnson, Jack Nance) – 1:50.98 (consolation)

NOTE: Warsaw also advances to state.

100 backstroke

1. Marcus Smith (TV) – 51.25 seconds (school record), 5. Ian Kitchell (PIO) – 58.50, 8. Aaden Bowers (TV) – 1:03.58, 12. Reece Johnson (RHS) – 1:04.54 (consolation)

100 breaststroke

1. Carson Parker (TV) – 59.13 seconds, 7. Austin Brooke (PIO) – 1:06.62, 16. Lane Shank (RHS) – 1:17.15 (consolation)

400 freestyle relay

1. Valley (Isaac Whetstone, Tucker Whetstone, Marcus Smith, Carson Parker) – 3:14.19 (school record), 4. Rochester (Tanner Reese, Wes Steininger, Spencer Backus, Jake Seuferer) – 3:30.32, 6. Pioneer (Jared Black, Jack Nance, Ian Kitchell, Austin Brooke) – 3:46.57

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