Jasper splits coed meet with Jeffersonville

Photo by Jimmy Lafakis/The Herald
Jasper’s Abe Eckman swims in the 500 freestyle event during Tuesday evening’s meet against Jeffersonville in Jasper.

By JIMMY LAFAKIS
jlafakis@dcherald.com

JASPER — Shrieks of excitement filled the air as the Jasper swim teams competed against Jeffersonville on Tuesday evening. The Wildcats worked through the intense environment and took one win against the Red Devils.

The Jasper boys earned a convincing 140-42 victory, while Jeffersonville captured a 107-78 win on the girls side.

“We had some good times on the girls side,” Jasper swim coach Kristin Gutgsell said. “The guys swam really well, as well. We had some of the best times for the season, which is what we’re looking at. Especially when we’re working as hard as we are in the water right now, to be able to do that is always a positive.”

Unwilling to relinquish their early lead, the boys seized the momentum and never looked back. The Wildcats claimed a team win in the 200 medley relay before Mason Thornburgh earned a victory in the 200 freestyle.

Noah Wagner tacked on another win in the 200 individual medley. Connor Nolan took a first-place finish in the 100 butterfly, and Grant Hawkins followed up with a win in the 100 freestyle.

A Jasper win in the 200 freestyle relay preceded Thornburg’s victory in the 100 backstroke. The Wildcats finished their evening on a high note with a win in the 400 freestyle relay. When called upon, Hawkins, Thornburgh, Amos Buschkoetter and Jack Henke rose to the challenge.

“We’ve got to come in, try to get going from the beginning and see how we can get everybody up,” Gutgsell said. “We keep going and just take one event at a time.”

Jasper’s Megan Matheis started her day with a win in the 200 freestyle. The quartet of Claire Witte, Andi VanMeter, Leah Haas and Matheis combined for a victory in the 400 freestyle relay.

“I saw some good things,” Gutgsell said. “We’re improving. We’re getting better. That’s because we’re working hard. They’re starting to get into shape. For some of them, it’s early in the season. We’ve just got to keep pushing through.”

The Wildcats claimed victories in both 1-meter diving events. Taylor Bachman’s score of 153.40 granted her the win in the girls event.

“Taylor is so far ahead of where she was at this point last year,” Jasper diving coach Kristy Vaughn said. “We’re celebrating that. I think her ceiling of where she could be is really high. Each meet, we tend to make gains on that.”

Bennett Schmitt emerged victorious in the boys 1-meter diving event. His final total of 199.40 secured the win in a crowded field.

“I was really thankful that they allowed us to dive everybody tonight,” Vaughn said. “I think we’re going to have a hard time figuring out spots. It’s a competitive group and a talented group. They’re all pretty athletic.”

Throughout the evening, both Jasper and Jeffersonville found reasons to celebrate. The Wildcats aimed to keep their enthusiasm alive.

“You’ve got to keep the momentum,” Gutgsell said. “If you start to lose that intensity, then we don’t swim as fast. It’s very important. It’s important to learn, especially as the meet goes on and they’re getting tired.”

Jasper will face Northeast Dubois at 6 p.m. on Thursday at home.

“I think we’re looking good,” Vaughn said. “We’re thankful we’re swimming right now.”




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