Jeeps win boys swim event Monday at Southridge

Colby Stafford


HUNTINGBURG — Monday night wrapped up the regular season for the Northeast Dubois, Southridge and Forest Park boys swim teams, and what better way is there to mark the occasion than with a game of sharks and minnows? It’s a recent tradition that the Jeeps and Raiders have shared for the last few years that helps end the season on a fun note ahead sectional.

“It’s just a way for us to have fun,” said Northeast Dubois' Colby Stafford. “Not as two teams, but as one team that just faced each other and had a good night.”

The Jeeps finished first overall with 138 points and got top individual finishes from Stafford (50 and 100 freestyle), Lorenzo Vaiardi (100 breaststroke, 200 IM), Ben Woods (100 butterfly), and Preston Brinkman (500 freestyle). They also took first place in the 200 medley (Brinkman, Woods, Vaiardi and Stafford) and 400 freestyle (Stafford, Vaiardi, Trenton Harrison, Cole Tretter) relays.

“They swam okay,” said Jeeps coach Kendra Friedman as she compared Monday’s performance to the team’s prior outing Jan. 28, where many swimmers hit personal best times. “We didn’t swim as fast as we did last Tuesday, but it is what it is.”

Monday's event also featured an appearance from the Gibson Southern boys team, who finished second overall with 90 points. The Rangers took third place with 63 points, and featured first place finishes in the 200 freestyle relay (Tyler Berger, Eli Berg, Leo Alvis, Ben Kluesner) and 100 backstroke (Kluesner) events.

“It’s nice to get a meet in to break up the monotony of practice,” said Rangers coach Rachel Berg. “It was a fun meet tonight, just for the boys to compete a little bit before sectionals.”

Freshman Reilley Lechner and junior Andrea Serena were not only the lone Raiders but also divers competing on Monday night and finished with 13 points for their efforts. With just the two of them representing the Southridge boys team, Lechner and Serena were mostly focused on sharpening up a few dips so they can prepare to walk the plank and dive for postseason glory.

Andrea Serena

“It was mostly a warmup for sectional,” said Lechner. “I was going through some of my easier dives trying to slow it down before the big meet.”

“We just got the two of them, so they’ve had a lot of fun (this season),” said Raiders coach Amy Kaetzel, who noted that the lack of male divers in the Pocket Athletic Conference has made it challenging to find competition for Lechner and Serena. “They push each other to try harder dives and higher degrees of difficulty. We’d like to move on to regional.”

While Monday was a fun way to wrap things up, all the focus now shifts to the sectional meet on Feb. 22. Everyone has their objectives, and they hope to use the next few weeks of practice to make those sectional goals a reality.

“We made a goal to be top-four at sectional,” said Stafford. “We’re hoping to send a girl and a guy to state.”

“Our main goal is to see all four of our boys back for the sectional finals,” said Berg. “We have the possibility of a couple of our boys placing at least in the top three in our individual events as well.”


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