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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, February 18, 2017 3:09 pm

Homestead boys roll to sectional swimming title

Chris Goff | The Journal Gazette

Three head coaches in four years: four voices, actually, counting their club team.

Seniors on Homestead's boys swimming and diving team have adjusted well to different styles of leadership, and it showed Saturday when the Spartans edged Carroll, 521 points to 503, for the team title at the South Side Sectional.

"That's hard," Homestead coach Justin Max said. "We've talked a lot about not using that as an excuse, and they haven't. (Seniors) really bought in and set the freshmen straight whenever they needed to, so it's a great group of senior boys that really deserve to go out on top and really deserve to have one more good meet next weekend."

Noah Dalton, one of the Spartans' seniors off to the state finals, which begin Friday at Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis, could not stop smiling as he posed for pictures in the pool with teammates holding that sectional trophy high in the air.

"I'm really happy, because my high school career kind of started off bad," Dalton said. "We lost sectionals. Definitely a lot of voices. Junior year, we really got our stuff together, came back as a family, and this year we were the strongest family we could be. I'm real happy with Justin Max, where he's taking everything."

The Spartans earned wins in the 200-yard freestyle (Julian Norman, 1:41.48), 50 free (Riley Anderson, 21.14), 1-meter diving (Jarrett Miller, score of 417.65), 100 free (Dalton, 46.70), 500 free (Norman, 4:39.51) and 400 free relay (Norman, Scott Hodson, Bryce Warner and Dalton, 3:11.02).

In the 100 free, Homestead had the top three finishers, with Hodson second and Anderson third.

"Huge, huge, huge 1-2-3 finish in the 100 freestyle," Max said. "I've been telling them everybody has their job, and to make this happen, everybody does their job."

Carroll had wins in the 200 medley relay (Noah Yarian, Parker Bull, Jackson Kent and Tristan DeWitt, 1:33.30), 200 IM (Kent, 1:51.48), 100 butterfly (Kent, 50.00), 200 free relay (DeWitt, Carson Bull, Parker Bull and Kent, 1:24.93) and 100 breaststroke (Parker Bull, 57.39).

The only event out of 12 not won by Homestead or Carroll was the 100 backstroke, claimed by Snider senior Jacob Steele at 49.18.

Snider placed third in the 11-team field with a team score of 294, followed by Concordia (247), Bishop Luers (164), Northrop (134), Bishop Dwenger (127), North Side (67), Canterbury (54), Wayne (40) and South Side (27).

Bishop Luers' Nate Prendergast finished second in diving (339.30), Carroll's Ethan Hunnicutt third (324.35) and Snider's Connor Mihavics fourth (307.90). They join Miller in advancing to Tuesday's diving regional at Fishers.

Besides winners, other state-qualifying performances: Homestead's 200 medley relay (Trey Cooley, Warner, Chase Chastain and Anderson), Snider's 200 medley relay (Steele, Zachary Hyde, Jacob Miller and Nicholas Torres), Dalton in the 200 free, Steele, Warner, DeWitt and Carroll's Timothy Cater in the 200 IM, Jacob Miller and Hodson in the 50 free, Chastain and Cater in the 100 butterfly, Hodson in the 100 free, Carroll's Jack McCurdy in the 500 free, Homestead's 200 free relay (Norman, Hodson, Anderson and Dalton), Yarian and Cooley in the 100 backstroke and DeWitt in the 100 breaststroke.

"This is, at least the past couple years, the fastest sectional around the state," Max said. "Fort Wayne should be really excited about the swim scene right now."

Notes: Sectional Coach of the Year was Concordia's Dave Thomas. ... Homestead's Noah Marble did not dive because of a shoulder injury, Max said.

cgoff@jg.net