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Central Catholic's Thomas leads state qualifiers

February 24, 2013
Lafayette Central Catholic High School

Several area swimmers plunged into the Zionsville High School pool Saturday, all seeking a spot in the state swimming finals.

Once the last hand touched the wall and the waters calmed, four earned the chance to compete Friday in the IUPUI Natatorium at Indianapolis.

Central Catholic’s Jake Thomas set the tone early at the Zionsville Sectional with his meet record time of 1:55.11 in the 200-yard individual medley. His swim was 5.74 faster than his preliminary time.

“I took the time last night to shave my whole body and put a nice suit on,” Thomas said. “I wasn’t really focused on Thursday (preliminary race), and today I was mentally focused and ready to get a good win.”

The junior will be making his first state appearance.

“I have been working really hard for this for the past two years,” Thomas said. “This will be a good learning experience at state.”

Celebrating with Thomas after the 200 IM was Harrison senior Andy Ross. His time of 1:56.95 was second best but beat the state meet qualifying time of 1:57.10.

“You train all season for this last 50 (yards), and I told myself to bring it home,” Ross said. “I touched the wall, looked at the clock and it was exciting.”

His final 50-yard time of 27.87, was the fastest last lap time of the event.

Ross and Thomas both earned a second swim at the state finals. Ross took first in the 100-yard breaststroke at 59.93 and Thomas swam a 52.61 to win the 100-yard backstroke.

McCutcheon senior Micah Saunders dominated the 500-yard freestyle to earn his first state berth. Saunders swam a 4:46.97, 5 seconds faster than the second place swimmer and his personal best.

“I swim 100 percent every practice,” said Saunders when asked why he was able to qualify for state. “The more you train the better you will do.”

West Lafayette junior Brandon Colonis won the 100-yard butterfly in 51.30 to earn his third state finals berth in as many years.

“I would like to place better at state this season than in the past,” Colonis said. “But, it is a good accomplishment to make it. Once you get there you want to do better each time you go.”

Lafayette Jeff’s Dustin Miller led three area divers to the regionals Tuesday at Hamilton Southeastern. Miller broke his sectional record and personal best with 549.90 points. West Lafayette’s Logan Sotelo was second with 422.25 points. Cody Walter finished third.

“This is the best meet of my high school career,” Miller said. “I put in a couple of new dives and after the hard work, they (the dives) paid off.”

Miller hopes to follow the path he took in his previous three seasons; sectional, regional, then state.

“I am going to go in with a lot more composure and not let my nerves get to me,” he said. “I have grown a lot as a person, not just as an athlete.”

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