Boys and Girls Swim Preview

Posted on November 22, 2011 in Boy's Swimming, Girl's Swimming, Home, Winter Sports

By Matt Wilson
MIER — Winning dual meets has become a tradition for the Oak Hill girls’ and boys’ swimming and diving team.

The Golden Eagles girls have gone a combined 297-41-1 over the last 25 years, including a 41-2 mark over the last three seasons. The boys had their string of 100 straight dual meets snapped with a loss to Northwestern last year. It was Oak Hill’s first dual-meet loss since 2003.

Oak Hill’s girls have won six straight and 19 of the last 20 Central Indiana Conference championships since the 1986-87 season. There were five years during that stretch where the conference tournament wasn’t held.

Returning seven of its top 10 point getters from last year’s team that went a perfect 15-0 in dual meets, expectations are again high for this year’s Eagle girls’ team.

“We are excited about the season because we have a good group of returning swimmers,” said head coach Mark Yordy. “We also have a lot of unknown because we lost key people to graduation, especially in the distance events. But we feel like we have kids that can step in and fill those spots and do a good job.”

The Eagles have started the season 1-1. They opened with a win at Pendleton Heights, and then lost at Hamilton Heights.

Leading the group of returners is sophomore sprinter Melissa Ford, who was Oak Hill’s No. 1 point getter last year. Also returning  is senior middle-distance swimming Samantha Mauk, senior distance swimmer Allie Conway, senior IM and backstroker Morgan Tinkel, junior Christine Harper, sophomore Mallory Bundrick and junior breaststroke swimmer Hannah Brown.

Last year, Mauk had the fastest time in the 200 freestyle with a 2:04.80 and the fourth fastest time in the 200 IM with a 2:27.92. Ford was fourth in the 50 freestyle and won the consolation heat of the 100 freestyle at last year’s sectional.

Also back is senior Kendra Holcom, who set two school records in diving last year. Holcom set the record with a six-dive score of 255.40 and an 11-dive score of 392.50.

“The key for us is to just stay healthy, because that has been an issue with us the past couple of years,” Yordy said. “We have lost some kids because of injuries that weren’t even related to swimming.”

Because of an injury, Tinkel missed the end of last year’s swimming season and all of the track and field season. She returned for the fall cross country season.

“We are just going to have to wait and see how Morgan will do this year,” Yordy said. “She was a kid that was doing well last year, and you just hated to see her get injured like she did.”

The Eagles also return Kendall Drook for her senior year. Drook was the Eagles’ top point getter her sophomore year, but missed all of last year’s swimming season after tearing her ACL during the soccer season.

“She is going to be a key for us,” Yordy said of Drook.

The boys’ side is in the same situation as the girls.

The Golden Eagles have won 12 straight and 14 of the last 15 CIC championships. The Golden Eagles have won 21 overall conference crowns.

Oak Hill returns seven of its 10 top point getters from last season. Leading that group is senior Collin Brown, who was second on the team with 333.50 points last year. Kegan Anderson returns for his junior season after being third on the team with 318 points last year. Senior Thomas Slaughter was fourth on the team with 242 points last year.

Senior Drew Hobbs was fifth on the team with 227.50 points last year. Senior Ben Puffer was seventh on the team with 154.50 points. Senior Blair Said was ninth on the team with 128.5 points, while junior Austin Daughterty was 10th on the team with 95.5 points.

“We have a very senior-laden team,” Yordy said. “We are really excited about this season. They have been working hard and their attitudes have been great.”

Brown set school records in the 500 (5:05.55) and 200 (1:51.96) freestyles last year. He also teamed with Hobbs and graduates Michael Daugherty and Jake Althouse to set the school record in the 200 freestyle in a time of 1:31.20.

Adding to the Eagles’ depth will be Wawasee transfer Jacoby Jones. Jones placed fifth in the sectional in diving last year.

“The thing about this team is that we are going to be very deep,” Yordy said. “We have four or five people in each event, so we have some amazing competition for spots. At this time, I have no plans on who is going to be our No. 1 in a lot of the events.”

Yordy said he also has a strong six-member freshman class that will contribute to the team this season.

Along with the sectional, the other big invitational Yordy is looking forward to is the Splash-N-Clash over Christmas vacation at Hamilton Southeastern. Many of the top swimming programs in the state will be at the meet.

The Eagle girls swim at home against Bluffton tonight. The boys have their first meet Nov. 29 at home against Huntington North.


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