AURORA – Considering the Batesville Lady Bulldogs return just four girls from last year’s varsity swim team, third-year coach Greg McMullen was thankful to pick up a few wins at Tuesday’s (Nov. 19) season-opening triangular meet at South Dearborn.
Sophomore Maria Lopez captured the 100 meter butterfly by over 11 seconds midway through the meet, then later made up time on the final lap of the 200 freestyle relay won by the Dogs. The host Lady Knights won the meet with 120 points, followed by BHS with 96 and Switzerland County 67.
“It’s kind of a crazy situation we’ve been thrown into,” said the coach, “with eight brand new swimmers coming out for the first time. So we’re working with a ‘young’ roster, even though most of the new kids are juniors and seniors.
“To manage all those different aspects, and seeing them come out here and race was just rewarding,” he continued.
Lopez’s winning time in the fly was 1:13.31. In the 200 relay, she closed the gap for a finishing time of 2:19.47, more than 2 seconds in front of the Knights; early legs were completed by Abigail Blomer, Callie Main and sophomore Claire Sunderman.
“This group of girls has already shown they’re a cohesive team, getting along and cheering for each other,” said McMullen. “We actually have enough people on deck to cheer during relays. It’s great to see them bonding with the season only three weeks old.”
The hosts won the bookend relays (200 medley and 400 free) and got victories from Holly Kraemer in the 200 individual medley and 500 free, as well as Graycie Collins’ win in the 100 breaststroke.
Despite finishing in third place overall, the Lady Pacers placed first in the 100 backstroke (Brooke Johnson), the 50 free (Alisha Detmer) and 100 and 200 free (both to Ally Furnish).
BHS junior Sonja Gaulin was runner-up in the 200 free (2:39.42). Lopez swam to 2nd in the 200 IM with a personal best of 2:44.6. Senior Gwen Martin placed 2nd in the 500 free (6:39.55) and Lilly Wonnell the same in the 100 breast (1:29.39). In the 50 sprint, Main and senior Liz Loichinger took silver and bronze, respectively (32.11 & 32.93).
The 200 medley team of Sunderman, Wonnell, Lopez and Martin opened the night with a runner-up (2:20.42) and the foursome of Gaulin, Loichinger, Martin and Paige Oldham closed the evening with 2nd place in the 400 free (4:48.83).
Although not all individual BHS swims were completed, McMullen was happy with the total result.
“It was a tremendous effort and great to see everyone in at least two events today,” he said.
Other Bulldog finishing entries were Sunderman (100 & 200 free), Wonnell (200 IM), Blomer (50 free), Kierra Brock (50 free), Oldham (100 free, 100 breast) Loichinger (100 free) and Lauren Voss (100 free).
Voss, Main, Wonnell and Ava Obermeyer finished the 400 relay and Brock, Martin, Voss and Obermeyer raced in the 200 free.
“Putting up 96 was a good showing for where this team is,” added McMullen. “I always have high expectations, but we’ll be successful if we’re able to fill spots (throughout the year).”
Batesville’s girls (1-1) visited New Castle Thursday (results not available at press time) for another 3-way meet; Eastern Hancock was also in attendance.