Pats sweep Raiders in swimmingDecember 14, 2020
By COREY STOLZENBACH
LINCOLN CITY - Heritage Hills made it happen in the pool Monday night against Pocket Athletic Conference rival Southridge, coming away with a 124-20 victory on the boys side, and the girls triumphed, 108-68.
This was originally supposed to be a triangular with Forest Park, but the Rangers did not make the meet. Heritage Hills already had the winning end of the boys side because of numbers. The Patriots fielded automatic boys winners in the 200 medley relay, 200 freestyle, 200 individual medley, 100 butterfly, 500 freestyle, 100 breaststroke and 400 freestyle relay due to the Raiders not fielding any competitors in the aforementioned events, but they swept every boys event of the night.
"For our guys, even though there were some races where it was just us, we still went out and raced, and that's huge to me," Heritage Hills coach Gary Ayer said. "Especially some of my guys that are better swimmers and more experienced, it'd been pretty easy for them just to go, 'Well, I'm just going to go through the motions on this and get it done,' but some of my more experienced guys really turned in some good times tonight."
Some Heritage Hills boys swimmers clearly separated themselves from the competition when Josh Halvorson cruised in the 200 individual medley, and Kyan Bell did the same in the 50 freestyle. Both swimmers helped the Pats win the 200 medley relay, along with Garrett Nix and Kyle Eubank.
The Pats established a clear dominance on both sides of the pool, however, winning seven out of the first eight events before going into the diving portion of the meet. Avery Vinson won a couple of events on the girls side as part of the 200 medley relay and in the 200 individual medley, and Jada Banks pulled off the same feat as Vinson's medley teammate and winning the 50 freestyle.
The only events Southridge won all night involved Claire Hentrup on the girls side. She first took the 200 freestyle, in which she was neck-and-neck with Bridget Flannagan of Heritage Hills before the former made a greater distinction down the home stretch. Hentrup also got the win in the 100 freestyle, and she helped the Raiders win the 200 freestyle relay in a dead heat. Joining Hentrup in the win were Ana Hewitt, Jordan Biehl and Leah O'Brien.
"Claire's always been one of our top swimmers," Southridge coach Amy Kaetzel said. "She comes in and works really hard. She's got those nice, long arms and good, strong kicks. So, she's a good, strong swimmer."
Heritage Hills only continued its dominance after diving, as Banks and Halvorson added another win in the girls 100 butterfly and boys 100 freestyle, respectively. Gogel and Vinson added to their nights with respective wins in the 100 backstroke and 100 breaststroke, and Vinson got another win the 400 freestyle relay, along with Banks, Flannagan and Coleman, giving the girls wins in every category Hentrup did not swim in.
"They're missing a few kids, and it made a little difference for them, too, but we were missing some as well," Ayer said. "I think it was a good meet, it was a good test for both teams and I thought it was closer than that, to be honest with you."
Southridge goes back to work in practice Tuesday and Wednesday to go ready for Thursday's home swim meet against Pike Central. Kaetzel told the Herald on Monday that the Raiders will work on yardage, and she hopes her swimmers will stay healthy.
"I don't expect anybody back until Monday," she said. "So, I'm hoping what we've got is enough."
Heritage Hills, meanwhile, is done with competitions for the week, and is next scheduled to be back in action Dec. 21 at home against Corydon Central. Ayer said the Pats have a lot to improve on with their turns, and added it's the time of year where swimmers start building yardage.
Ayer is hoping his swimmers will keep their intensity and cheer for one another when they return to the pool.
"This is a fun team," he said. "We just got to keep it rolling."
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Heritage Hills had a long climb, but stood atop the Sectional 32 mountain again on Saturday.
Southridge won its first sectional championship since 2018 on Saturday.
Blake Sisley did it again Friday night, with a career-high 40 points.
Southridge will play for the Sectional 48 championship on Saturday.
Forest Park was eliminated by South Spencer Tuesday night.
Josie Yarbrough is continuing her tennis career at Marian University.
Southridge is moving on in Sectional 48.