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The Journal Gazette

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Homestead's Julian Norman looks at his time after finishing first in the 200-yard freestyle at the South Side Boys Swim Sectional at the Helen P. Brown Natatorium on Saturday. 

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Homestead's Bryce Warner led the Spartans to a second-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay at the South Side Boys Swim Sectional at the Helen P. Brown Natatorium on Saturday. 

Saturday, February 17, 2018 8:00 pm

Homestead holds on for boys swim sectional title

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

For much of Saturday’s South Side boys swimming sectional, it looked like Homestead would cruise to its third straight title.

The Spartans eventually got their championship, but not before Carroll made a late charge to narrow the final margin to 512-505.

“It was close, but we had a great time,” Homestead junior Julian Norman said. “A lot of people stepped up from their prelim spots that we didn’t necessarily think were going to. That was really exciting to see the middle half (of our team) that we don’t necessarily always know what’s going to happen with step up.”

The title was a team effort for Homestead, but Norman stood out from the pack. The junior qualified for the state meet in Indianapolis next weekend in four events, winning the 200-yard freestyle and setting a sectional record in 4:36.16 in the 500 freestyle that was more than 16 seconds better than his preliminary time.

“We talk about coming into this meet and everyone doing your job, and Julian (Norman) certainly did his, which was touch the wall first,” second-year Homestead coach Justin Max said. “A sectional record is a little added bonus, and I think he should be really confident going into next weekend that we’re going to be able to have the kind of performance that we want.”

Norman followed up his record in the 500 freestyle by leading the Spartans to victory in the 200 freestyle relay in the next event. The back-to-back victories in the eighth and ninth events of the day proved crucial in helping Homestead build a lead it would hold despite Carroll’s late comeback.

The Chargers won the final three events of the meet and six of the 12 events (Homestead won five). Sophomore Tristan DeWitt set a sectional record with a 1:50.79 in the 200 individual medley and later swam one leg of the 400 freestyle relay in which Carroll beat Homestead – led by Norman – by .35.

Carroll also set a sectional record in the first event with a 1:32.43 in the 200 medley relay, in which DeWitt swam the final, and fastest, leg in 20.7 seconds. The sophomore nearly won the 100 breaststroke too, but teammate Jack McCurdy beat him by .09 to grab the title and DeWitt settled for second.

Homestead senior Scott Hodson set the fourth sectional mark with a 45.99 in the 100 freestyle. In both the 200 and 500 freestyles, Norman was pushed by sophomore teammate Zachary Zishka, who finished second and qualified for state in both events.

“On a team front, it’s great to be able to pack that 1-2 punch (with Norman and Zishka),” Max said. “Zach’s the kid, he’s one of a few, who have been overshadowed because we have those stud older guys. So it’s nice for him, even though he didn’t touch the wall first, I think everybody recognized how good those swims were today.”

Snider’s Connor Mihavics won diving with 429 points.