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  • Val T.

Valley sophomore swimmer Smith makes state in 4 events

Whetstone advances in 500 free, joins Smith, C. Parker, K. Parker on 200 medley, 200 free relays


Sports Editor, RTC

Marcus Smith

Tippecanoe Valley’s Marcus Smith won the sectional title in the 200 individual medley and the 100 backstroke, and fellow sophomore teammate Isaac Whetstone won the sectional in the 500 freestyle at Warsaw High School Saturday.

In addition, Smith and Whetstone combined with both Carson Parker and Karl Parker to win the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relay titles.

The five Valley sectional champions will next compete at the IHSAA state finals at the Indiana University Natatorium on the IUPUI campus in Indianapolis this weekend. The state preliminaries start at 6 p.m. Friday.

As a team, Valley scored 241 points and finished third out of 12 scoring teams. Rochester scored 197 points and finished fifth, and Pioneer had 115 points and placed 10th.

Warsaw won the title in their home pool with 378 points.

The meet started with Valley repeating as sectional champions in the 200 medley relay in 1:37.71, a 1.40-second drop in time from their preliminary time. Smith swam the backstroke leg, followed by Carson Parker in the breaststroke, Whetstone in the butterfly and Karl Parker anchoring in the freestyle. They beat runner-up Warsaw by 0.57 seconds.

Two events later, Smith made it back-to-back sectional titles in the 200 individual medley. Though his finals time was 3.87 seconds slower than his prelim time from two days earlier, his 2:01.63 clocking was still good enough to beat Warsaw’s Griffin Brown by 1.84 seconds for the win.

After earlier displaying excellence in an event that depends on both speed – the 50 freestyle, there he finished seventh – Whetstone showed his excellence in an event that relies on endurance when he won the 500 freestyle in 4:53.26.

Runner-up Jake Seuferer of Rochester, a club teammate of Whetstone’s who swam a 5:01.47, was the only swimmer within 14 seconds of Whetstone.

Whetstone had a short time to recover before swimming the anchor leg of the 200 freestyle relay, which Valley won in 1:28.30. Smith, Carson Parker and Karl Parker swam the first three legs. Culver Academy dropped nearly five-and-a-half seconds from its prelim time and finished second in 1:29.86.

Smith then made state again in the 100 backstroke when he won in 52.39 seconds, a 0.81-second time drop from his prelim time. Nobody was within two seconds of him when he touched the wall.

Smith was making his sectional debut in the 100 backstroke. He swam the 100 butterfly and not the backstroke last year. He has made it to state either as an individual or as part of a relay in seven events in his first two years of prep swimming.

Smith will be seeded 31st in the 200 individual medley and 14th in the 100 backstroke at state. Whetstone will be seeded No. 29 in the 500 freestyle. The 200 medley relay is seeded 26th and the 200 freestyle relay 22nd.

Those finishing in the top 16 at prelims on Friday return on Saturday for the finals.

Other Valley finalists included Carson Parker, who was third in the 100 butterfly in 54.78 seconds and second in the 100 breaststroke in 59.64 seconds. There are seven swimmers who made the state finals in the breaststroke who had slower times than Carson Parker, but it was Warsaw’s Ian Wihebrink who swam a 57.27 to take the blue ribbon at Warsaw.

Also, Karl Parker was seventh in the 100 freestyle in 51.57 seconds.

The third Valley relay was the 400 freestyle relay, which took eighth in 4:09.15. The team consisted of Eric Burke, Bobby Burke, Weston Brown and Jacob Scacco.

In the consolation round, Karl Parker was ninth in 22.82 seconds and Eric Burke 16th in 24.25 seconds in the 50 freestyle.

Eric Burke was the top area diver, placing seventh with 276.95 points.


Seuferer, a junior, was partially or totally responsible for 93 of the Zebras’ 197 points.

He started by finishing third in the 200 freestyle, a 3.65-second reduction in time from his prelim time from Thursday. Wabash’s Seth Blossom won the race in 1:42.35.

He later finished second behind Whetstone in the 500 freestyle.

Seuferer also swam the anchor leg on both the 200 freestyle relay, which took fifth in 1:35.80, and the 400 freestyle relay, which dropped nearly four seconds off its prelim time and took third in 3:31.44.

Tanner Reese and Wes Steininger joined Seuferer on both relays. Lane Shank swam a leg on the 200 freestyle relay, and Spencer Backus swam a leg on the 400 freestyle relay.

The other Rochester swimmer to swim in an individual final was Steininger, who swam the 100 butterfly in 59.25 seconds and took seventh.

Zebras swimming in consolation races included Steininger, who was 13th in the 50 freestyle; Shank, who was 15th in the 50 freestyle; Reese, who was 10th in the 200 freestyle and ninth in the 100 butterfly; Jake Freeman, who was ninth in the 200 freestyle and 10th in the 500 freestyle; freshman Spencer Backus, who was 12th in the 100 freestyle and ninth in the 100 backstroke; senior R.J. Keranko, who was 13th in the 100 freestyle and 11th in the 100 breaststroke; and Reece Johnson, who was 13th in the 200 individual medley and 16th in the 100 backstroke.

The 200 medley relay team, which consisted of Backus, Keranko, Johnson and Shank, took 10th in 1:53.85.

Junior Peyton Brooks was Rochester’s only scoring diver, placing eighth with 259.45 points.

Seniors were partially or completely responsible for just 40 points.


Austin Brooke and Ian Kitchell, both sophomores, were the only Pioneer swimmers to reach an individual final.

Brooke was seventh in the 200 individual medley in 2:14.91, a 2.51-second drop from his prelim time. He was also seventh in the 100 breaststroke in 1:07.28.

Kitchell was sixth in the 100 backstroke in 58.92 seconds, snipping off over two seconds from his prelim time.

Brooke and Kitchell also formed half of the Panther 200 medley and 200 freestyle relay teams that reached the finals. Leighton Dodt and Owen Miller swam the other legs.

That foursome was eighth in the medley relay in 1:50.13 and seventh in the freestyle relay in 1:37.68.

Pioneer swimmers scoring in the consolation races included Kitchell, who took 11th in the 100 butterfly, and Anderson Woodhouse, who was 13th in both the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle.

The 400 freestyle relay team, which consisted of Fletcher Smith, Tayt Smith, Jared Black and Woodhouse, swam the consolation race by themselves and took ninth in 4:24.06, a 5.33-second improvement from their prelim time.

To advance to the state finals, a swimmer must win their event, meet a difficult state time standard or be one of the next fastest 32 entries in the state.

A diver must finish in the top four to advance to the regional at Mishawaka at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Divers from Warsaw and Logansport ate up those four spots on Saturday.

Warsaw boys swimming sectional results: Warsaw 378, Culver Academy 342, Tippecanoe Valley 241, Columbia City 224, Rochester 197, Wabash 196, Logansport 153, Plymouth 148, Lewis Cass 119, Pioneer 115, Manchester 48, Northfield 3

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 basis for relays

Sectional champions (state qualifiers) plus all Rochester, Valley, Pioneer and Culver swimmers

200 medley relay

1. Valley (Marcus Smith, Carson Parker, Isaac Whetstone, Karl Parker) – 1:37.71, 8. Pioneer (Ian Kitchell, Leighton Dodt, Austin Brooke, Owen Miller) – 1:50.13, 10. Rochester (Spencer Backus, R.J. Keranko, Reece Johnson, Lane Shank) – 1:53.85

200 freestyle

1. Blossom (WAB) – 1:42.35, 3. Jake Seuferer (RHS) – 1:50.17, 9. Jake Freeman (RHS) – 2:02.00, 10. Tanner Reese (RHS) – 2:02.27, 13. Anderson Woodhouse (PIO) – 2:06.28

200 individual medley

1. Marcus Smith (TV) – 2:01.63, 7. Austin Brooke (PIO) – 2:14.91, 13. Reece Johnson (RHS) – 2:29.22

50 freestyle

1. Wihebrink (WAR) – 21.55 seconds, 7. Isaac Whetstone (TV) – 22.97, 9. Karl Parker (TV) – 22.82, 13. Wes Steininger (RHS) – 24.11, 15. Lane Shank (RHS) – 24.24, 16. Eric Burke (TV) – 24.25

Diving (top four advance to regional)

1. Sawyer (WAR) – 463.05 points, 2. Parrott (WAR) – 373.80, 3. Rogers (LOG) – 339.55, 4. Greene (WAR) – 325.60, 7. Eric Burke (TV) – 276.95, 8. Peyton Brooks (RHS) – 259.45

100 butterfly

1. Fincher (LOG) – 52.65 seconds, 3. Carson Parker (TV) – 54.78, 7. Wes Steininger (RHS) – 59.25, 9. Tanner Reese (RHS) – 59.65, 11. Ian Kitchell (PIO) – 1:00.22

100 freestyle

1. Blossom (WAB) – 47.15 seconds, 7. Karl Parker (TV) – 51.57, 12. Spencer Backus (RHS) – 53.48, 13. R.J. Keranko (RHS) – 54.40

500 freestyle

1. Isaac Whetstone (TV) – 4:53.26, 2. Jake Seuferer (RHS) – 5:01.47, 10. Jake Freeman (RHS) – 5:33.55, 13. Anderson Woodhouse (PIO) – 5:45.76

200 freestyle relay

1. Valley (Marcus Smith, Carson Parker, Karl Parker, Isaac Whetstone) – 1:28.30, 5. Rochester (Tanner Reese, Lane Shank, Wes Steininger, Jake Seuferer) – 1:35.80, 7. Pioneer (Ian Kitchell, Leighton Dodt, Owen Miller, Austin Brooke) – 1:37.68

100 backstroke

1. Marcus Smith (TV) – 52.39 seconds, 6. Ian Kitchell (PIO) – 58.92, 9. Spencer Backus (RHS) – 1:03.33, 16. Reece Johnson (RHS) – 1:08.75

100 breaststroke

1. Wihebrink (WAR) – 57.27 seconds, 2. Carson Parker (TV) – 59.64, 7. Austin Brooke (PIO) – 1:07.28, 11. R.J. Keranko (RHS) – 1:10.67

400 freestyle relay

1. Culver Academy (Maibach, Collins, Ellert, Youvan) – 3:20.47, 3. Rochester (Tanner Rees, Spencer Backus, Wes Steininger, Jake Seuferer) – 3:31.44, 8. Valley (Eric Burke, Bobby Burke, Weston Brown, Jacob Scacco) – 4:09.15, 9. Pioneer (Fletcher Smith, Tayt Smith, Jared Black, Anderson Woodhouse) – 4:24.06

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