TERRE HAUTE —
They’ve evolved from the happy-to-be-here stage, even though they are happy to be here.
But diver Alex Davis and five swimmers from Terre Haute South were planning all season to represent the Braves at the boys state high school swimming championships that start this evening. They’ll enjoy themselves without celebrating — at least until the meet is over — and aren’t likely to be overwhelmed by the moment.
So don’t be surprised if they swim their best times of the year and exceed their seedings, in other words.
“We let them sleep in this week [as part of the tapering process to make the swimmers fresh for the competition], and we’re going to unleash the hounds [tonight] and see what they can do,” coach Jeff Thompson of the Braves said earlier this week.
Preliminary swims begin at 6 p.m., with the top 16 swimmers or relay teams advancing to Saturday afternoon’s competition (the top eight swimming in the finals, the next eight in consolation finals). Diving competition starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, when five rounds of dives will cut the field from 32 to 20 and three more rounds will trim four more divers; the final 16 join the 1 p.m. championship meet.
“I think every single one of [the Braves] has a legitimate shot at swimming again on Saturday,” Thompson predicted. “What happens [tonight] comes down to what’s between their ears.”
Swimming in the first event, the 200-yard medley relay, will be Chandler Bray, Josh Ford, Collin McCord and Dalton Mitchell. Christian Wilhelm will be in the 200 freestyle, Bray in the 200 individual medley, Wilhelm in the 500 freestyle, Mitchell in the 100 backstroke, Bray in the 100 breaststroke and Mitchell, Wilhelm, McCord and Bray in the 400 freestyle.
Bray is seeded seventh in IM and 14th in breaststroke, Wilhelm 12th in the 200 and 19th in the 500, Mitchell 27th in backstroke and the relay teams 17th and 11th. Davis had just the 20th-best regional diving score, but like the swimmers is considered a good bet to do better starting Saturday morning.
“I just want to drop time in the backstroke; I had kind of a disappointing swim at the sectional, so I hope I can improve it,” said Mitchell, a sophomore but already a finals veteran in all his events. “I’ve learned not to let the pressure affect you, just to focus on yourself.”
“I’m pretty confident,” said Wilhelm, a junior. “I’m excited to swim. This is my second trip [to the state finals] and I want to drop at least four seconds in the 500 and two in the 200. I feel I can do it.”
“This is my second time, and I’m the only senior going [as a swimmer] so I’m going to try to swim as fast as I can,” said McCord. “This will be one of my last races … I’ll be excited to swim fast.”
“I was an alternate to state last year,” said Ford, a junior. He learned then that “state’s really fun. We’re all there, we get to watch fast swimming and we get to stay in the hotel together.”
Bray is the only Brave who will be at the state finals for the first time as a team member, but he’s hardly a rookie. His older brother Addison is South’s best swimmer ever — although Chandler’s times indicate “so far” wouldn’t be an inappropriate addition to that designation — and his sister has also been a state finalist.
“Time drops are the big thing; I’d like to make top eight in both my individual [events],” Chandler Bray said this week. “I watched Addison and Mercedez both compete at the state, so I know what to look for. I know what I should do and shouldn’t do … and I know Jeff [Thompson] will prepare us; we just have to do what he says.”
Davis is the other member of the team competing this weekend, and although he’s a senior who was at the finals a year ago, he might be the most inexperienced of all the Braves. He didn’t become a diver until his sophomore year, but he’s come a long way since.
“The competition will be pretty stiff,” said Davis, who has signed with Indiana University and who accelerated his progress by going to camps and training with college divers in addition to his work with coach Shane Weber at South. “I’ll have to hit every one of my dives. It means dealing with high-pressure situations.”
Those facts are actually why both Weber and Thompson about Davis’s chances this weekend.
“He has super-hard dives; if he puts them in, he’ll get huge points,” Weber said, “and he’s awesome under pressure.”
“I have some high-difficulty dives,” Davis admitted. “I have two that are 3.0 [”the highest degree of difficulty is 3.1,” Weber noted], and a lot of kids don’t do those in high school.”
TERRE HAUTE —
They’ve evolved from the happy-to-be-here stage, even though they are happy to be here.
- High School
Olds pitches South to share of MIC baseball title
Friday night, winning the second game 5-0 and earning a share of the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference high school baseball title.
Damon Olds was dominant on the mound for the Braves, striking out 14 and walking just one while pitching a three-hit shutout.
South wins first half of doubleheader against Lawrence North
Host Terre Haute South kept its Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference high school baseball title hopes alive — and clinched no worse than second place in the process — by downing Lawrence North 4-1 in the first game of a doubleheader Friday night.
The second game, which started after Senior Night festivities between games, ended past the Tribune-Star deadline.
PREP ROUNDUP: Calleja pitches West Vigo past South Vermillion
Brandon Calleja had 13 strikeouts to lead West Vigo to a 5-1 victory against South Vermillion in high school baseball Friday.
Brandon Behringer went 2 for 4 with two RBI for the Vikings, who secured second place in the Western Indiana Conference.
Kaden Lawson had double for South Vermillion (15-7), which finished 4-2 in the WIC.
Seibert returns from injury to win three events as Braves win sectional crown
His baseball equivalent might be Rick Sutcliffe of the 1984 Chicago Cubs.
When Tyler Seibert returned to the Terre Haute South track and field lineup Thursday for sectional action at Terre Haute North, it was like the midseason trade the Cubs made for Sutcliffe that earned them a playoff spot.
South switches up lineup to defeat North in tennis sectional
Terre Haute South coach Bill Blankenbaker said two weeks ago that he would change the Braves’ lineup after the 3-2 dual-meet loss to Terre Haute North.
The Patriots knew it was coming, but they couldn’t do anything to stop it.
PREP ROUNDUP: North slips past Northview in eight-inning baseball game
Colton Pittman drew a bases-loaded walk to score Zach Milam with the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning as host Terre Haute North edged Northview 8-7 in high school baseball Thursday at Jennings Field.
PREP ROUNDUP: North and South to face off for tennis sectional title
The winner of the Terre Haute sectional for girls high school tennis will come down to Terre Haute North and Terre Haute South.
Terre Haute North gets 10 event victories to claim 12th straight sectional crown
Terre Haute North won 10 events Tuesday night while winning the Indiana High School Athletic Association girls track and field section at South Putnam High School for the 12th straight year.
North, South to meet in first round of baseball sectional
The Indiana High School Athletic Association announced pairings for the baseball state tournament Tuesday and the draw offered up a Vigo County battle in the opening game.
PREP ROUNDUP: West Vigo softball clinches share of WIC title
West Vigo clinched at least a share of the Western Indiana Conference softball title with a 6-4 victory over Edgewood on Tuesday.
Jacy McClain and Bailee Waters had RBI singles in the fourth inning to break the game open for the Vikings.
Track sectional titles on the line
Expect one heck of a high school dual track meet Thursday night when Wabash Valley boys visit Terre Haute North for sectional action.
Prep report: Patriots, Braves favored to advance from tennis sectional 1st round
Persons attending this week’s girls tennis sectional championship match at Terre Haute North might want to pack a lunch.
Local ADs happy to see spring come to a close
Brian Mancuso is the most experienced of the high school athletic directors in Vigo County — and that’s a very relative term — but even he wasn’t quite ready for the headaches that have accompanied spring sports the last few weeks thanks to rain, rain and more rain.
South baseball remains in first-place tie with Center Grove
Heading into Saturday’s Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference baseball doubleheader against Center Grove, coach Kyle Kraemer of Terre Haute South wasn’t completely optimistic.
Kehrt Award goes to Emily Bell, Lee Davis
Emily Bell of Terre Haute South and Lee Davis of Terre Haute North are the 2013 recipients of the Willard M. Kehrt Mental Attitude Award.
Bell and Davis were nominated by their schools and chosen in a vote by the Kehrt Award panel. Both will be recognized at awards assemblies later in the month at the schools.
Bell played varsity basketball four years at South and is competing in track this season, running the 800 and two relays. “I wanted something to do my senior year,” Bell said.
She plans to attend DePauw University and play basketball. DePauw is the reigning NCAA Division III champ in women's basketball.
Bell tore an AÇL playing in a basketball tournament the summer after her sophomore season. She missed most of her junior season but came back to play her senior year and was second leading scorer and leading rebounder her final season.
Bell also was leading rebounder her sophomore year.
South softball's power display earns Braves share of MIC
The fun that the Terre Haute South high school softball team had Saturday — including those five home runs — was all the result of the hard work the Braves had put in before the game, coach Dwayne Stout said after the game.
Pirtle takes medalist, leads Sullivan to WIC title
Sullivan took team and individual honors in the Western Indiana Conference boys high school golf championships played Saturday at Idle Creek.
Prep roundup: Patriots drop doubleheader to Carmel baseball
Host Terre Haute North saw its Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference baseball championship hopes suffer what was probably a fatal blow on Saturday as the Patriots lost a doubleheader to Carmel by scores of 8-7 and 11-8.
Timely hits: After slow start, Terre Haute North rallies to beat Mooresville
No-hit through three innings, Terre Haute North’s bats came alive — especially Sam Wolf’s — just in time to rally for a 4-2 home victory over Mooresville in high school baseball Friday evening at Jennings Field.
Linton’s Weber to coach at BNL
Bedford North Lawrence High School has announced that Steve Weber will be the Stars’ head coach for the 2013 season.
Freshman group adds to Big Four teams' baseball tradition
The Terre Haute North-Terre Haute South high school baseball series wasn’t an inning old last week before T.J. Collett of the Patriots lashed a run-scoring single.
That hit helped the Patriots take a 2-0 lead, but in the top of the second inning a three-run double by Justin Jenkins sparked the visiting Braves to a four-run inning.
North tied the score in the bottom of the second inning, Collett driving in another run. And just before rain caused the game to be suspended, South called Logan Ames in from its bullpen for some solid pitching.
Not bad for a trio of freshmen. And the weekend hadn’t even started yet.
Pairings drawn for high school softball sectionals
The IHSAA announced Thursday its pairings for the 2013 sectional softball tournament slated for May 20-25.
Regionals will take place May 28.
North boys make it three consecutive Vigo County golf titles
Terre Haute North made it three in a row in Vigo County boys high school golf championship action Wednesday at Hulman Links.
The Patriots shot 161 to edge Terre Haute South with 165. West Vigo carded 222.
PREP ROUNDUP: Wolf homers as North baseball wins 16th game
Terre Haute North erupted for seven runs in the third inning on its way to routing visiting White River Valley 14-1 in 41⁄2 innings of high school baseball Wednesday afternoon at Don Jennings Field.
Northview's Carter strikes out 19 in 10-inning win against South Vermillion
Northview’s Taylor Carter and South Vermillion’s Daphne Dunegan locked into a 10-inning all-star softball pitching duel Tuesday night at Northview High School.
Unfortunately, one of them had to lose.
PREP BASEBALL ROUNDUP: South Vermillion 4-0 in WIC after 4-3 win at Northview
Jordan Branz won his ninth game of the season, scattering six hits over eight innings to lead South Vermillion to a 4-3 victory at Northview in a Western Indiana Conference battle.
Thompson going into Indiana High School Football Hall of Fame
Former Terre Haute North High School standout Anthony Thompson is the newest member of the Indiana High School Football Hall of Fame.
PREP ROUNDUP: South tennis wins against Oldenburg Academy
Playing on Ben Davis’ courts, Terre Haute South pulled out a 4-1 victory over Oldenburg Academy in girls high school tennis Tuesday.
Multiple records fall in Big Four track meet
Terre Haute North dominated the girls competition, as expected, and Terre Haute South’s boys edged the host Patriots in what turned out to be a rain-soaked Big Four Classic high school track and field meet Saturday at North.
Despite the less-than-ideal weather, North’s girls set four meet records in compiling 132.5 points, outdistancing the runner-up Braves, who had 63.5.
Four teams still in running for Big Four baseball crown
The 2013 Big Four baseball tournament was going to last longer than Saturday anyway, thanks to a schedule change this season.
Thanks to steady rain at Terre Haute North, it will last even longer than planned.
Terre Haute South beat West Vigo 2-0 in Saturday morning’s first game, and the second contest between Northview and the host Patriots was halted in the top of the third inning as the field became unplayable.
- More High School Headlines
- Olds pitches South to share of MIC baseball title