ANDERSON, Ind. — Along with his team’s season-opening win over Jay County Thursday night, Anderson boys’ swim coach Jeff Eddy got another birthday surprise.
He got thrown in the pool.
After learning of their final scores, the Indians piled on Eddy in celebration of his 50th birthday and sang “Happy Birthday” in the pool, laughing and splashing along.
“That was a lot of fun,” said Eddy, who even did a lap for good measure. “They kind of surprised me.”
Not as surprising was the team’s dominating performance, with a 116-67 final tally over the visiting Patriots. With Kyle Johnson and Jacob Fugate dominating the field, the Indians’ boys swept every event in the meet.
Fugate won both the 200-yard freestyle and the 100 butterfly with times nearly 10 seconds than his next closest competitor. Kyle Johnson won the 200 individual medley and the 100 backstroke. Freshman Hamilton Smith got in on the act as well, taking firsts in the 500 freestyle and 100 breaststroke; and Jason Cramer took both the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle events.
“I’m really happy with the way our swimmers performed tonight,” Eddy said. “Especially with our number two and three spots. Those guys really stepped up. Our frontline guys put up some lifetime best numbers. The whole team had a lot of fun tonight.”
Also coming out victorious was Brandon Segner, who scored 160 points from the judges to win the diving part of the competition.
“Brandon has been working hard and improving every day,” Eddy said. “The whole team, really, has been improving steadily. It’s really good to see. We came up with a good win tonight. Jay has a really nice team. It’s important for us to learn how to win these close races.”
The Indians’ girls’ team was not so fortunate, coming up on the short end of a 136-46 final in the team scoring.
That didn’t concern coach Dave Renz, who said his group is simply hoping to improve itself and not worry about wins and losses. Coming up victorious against Jay County, a powerhouse program which sent five swimmers to the state finals last year, was probably not on the agenda.
“We have a very small team, just 11 girls in all and only five with experience,” Renz said. “We’re seeing improvement and that’s all you can ask for.”
Tori Brown was able to score a win for the Indians’ girls, coasting to a 38-second win in the 500 freestyle. It was, however, the only win of the meet for the fledgling group.
“We’re just trying to improve for ourselves,” Renz said. That’s one of the better teams in the state we went up against tonight.”