NOBLESVILLE, Ind. -- The Carmel High School girls swimming team had a mix of experienced and freshmen swimmers step to the forefront at the Noblesville Regional on Saturday.
It led to the Greyhounds winning their 29th consecutive sectional championship, adding to their state record. Carmel will look to extend its streak of state titles to 27 -- the 26 consecutive titles is a record for girls sports -- at the IUPUI Natatorium on Saturday.
Carmel won all but three events and finished with 546 points, while Noblesville was second with 410 and Westfield third with 380.
"I thought we swam really well and I was happy, in particular, with how the freshmen handled themselves in a tough environment," Carmel coach Chris Plumb said.
The Greyhounds qualified 24 of 27 swims for the state final, winning all three relay events.
"Our goal is always to go 27-for-27," Plumb said. "But that's a good sign for us and a couple of girls may have a shot (as an at-large selection if openings are available)."
Advancing a high number of swimmers is important for Carmel's hopes of not only a state championship, but a mythical national title. A national championship is awarded each year using the times from each state meet to compile a finishing order in each event. Carmel won a national title in 2011.
Carmel's Claire Adams won two events -- the 200-yard freestyle (1:50.82) and the 100 backstroke (54.95). Two freshmen claimed individual titles for the Greyhounds: Kendall Smith (50 free, 24 seconds) and Veronica Burchill (100 free, 53.32).
"This is definitely one of the stronger freshmen classes we've had in a while with the depth and the speed we have," Plumb said.
Noblesville won two individual titles, with junior Meme Sharp winning her second consecutive diving title. Millers senior Heather Hayes won her third consecutive sectional title in the 100 breaststroke, after finishing third as a freshman.
"In all four years she's been able to pull out the big swims when it really counts," said Noblesville coach Rich Wolfred. "She's a finals swimmer."
Westfield's Erin Moe easily won the 500 freestyle in 4:56, an event that had four swimmers make the state cut.
Carmel's Lacey Locke won the 200 individual medley in 2:03.87, while teammate Ariana Bullard took the 100 fly in 55.51 seconds. Aside from the 500 free, three other events -- the 100 back, 100 breast and 200 individual medley saw four swimmers meet the state time cut.