Wildcats make early splash, top rival Mount Vernon

From Herald Staff Reports

Jenae Gill and the Jasper girls swim team feel they’ve got a special collection of talent this season. After Saturday’s visit to the Mount Vernon Invitational, the Wildcats corralled some results to back the belief.

For the third time in the last four seasons, Jasper (282 points) secured second place at the 10-team meet, topped only by Jeffersonville (344) while besting the ninth-ranked host Wildcats (228), who finished third. Heritage Hills (78) grabbed sixth place, ahead of four Evansville schools, including 17th-ranked Reitz (eighth place, 47 points).

Competing in her first high school meet, Jasper freshman Emma Hopf finished first in the 50-yard freestyle (25.9) and second in the 100 breaststroke, while teammate Cady Mehringer notched second place in the 100 butterfly and third in the 200 individual medley.

Meanwhile, defending 100 backstroke sectional champion Addison Nolan squeezed out a win in the event by six-hundredths of a second (1:03.72) over Jeffersonville’s Karlee Demsey and the Wildcats’ 400 freestyle relay team of Payton Painter, Mehringer, Nolan, and Hopf glided to the top spot in 3:58.41, finishing nearly six seconds ahead of second-place Terre Haute North.

Emma Burns collared fifth-place swims in the 50 and 100 free and Haley Pierson (286.85) collected third place in diving for the Patriots, while Emma Burns teamed with Jennifer Heltzel, Sarah Burns and Aubrey Marrs to grab sixth place in the 400 free relay.

Heritage Hills’ Meranda Jester paddled to seventh place in the 100 backstroke and teammate Mariah Burdin secured seventh in diving.

Both squads are off until Dec. 2, when the Patriots travel to take on Pike Central and the Wildcats venture to Lynnville for a triangular meet with Tecumseh and Evansville Bosse.

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