Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

February 7, 2013

Pirate girls tally four personal bests

Nick Gonnella
Greensburg Daily News

Columbus — The Greensburg girls swimming team competed in the championship meet of the Columbus North Swimming Sectional Saturday.

The Lady Aqua Pirates bowed out in the sectional finals, placing eighth overall with a score of 111. Columbus North ran away with the sectional title with a score of 509.5.

“We had some great swims,” said Greensburg head coach Josh Hawkins. Greensburg tallied four personal-bests.

Hawkins explained the quick jump from sectionals to semi-state in a physically demanding and unclassed sport, instead of a regional tournament.

“It’s hard to swim fast and be at your best for an extended period of time,” said Hawkins. “It is difficult for any swimmer to compete at the highest level for more than seven to 10 days at a time.”

Swimmers who competed in ‘A’ finals, according to Hawkins, swam for a chance to compete in the semi-state tournament. Those who participated in ‘B’ finals swam at a level equivalent to competing for the regional tournament.

Hawkins was particularly pleased with the 200-yard freestyle ‘A’ relay final. The quartet of freshman Brianna Stagge, junior Morgan Stagge, freshman Abby Bausback and sophomore Molly Oesterling, placed fourth in a time of 1:50.43.

“They swam really well,” said Hawkins, who said the relay was “a fingertip away” from third place. “I don’t know of a Greensburg relay team of girls that has placed that high in the sectionals.”

The 200-yard medley relay of junior Megan McDole, junior Morgan Springmeyer, junior Valeria Martinez and sophomore Ashley Koontz, improved its preliminary time by three seconds with a finals mark of 2:27.60 to place 11th.

Two Pirates competed in the 100-yard backstroke. Bausback placed 12th in a time of 1:10.93, and Morgan Stagge placed 14th in 1:11.95. That time was a personal-best for Stagge by three seconds.

Bri Stagge’s swim in the 100-yard freestyle caused Hawkins to retrieve the record book. After qualifying for the ‘B’ final, Stagge finished 10th overall with a personal-best of 59.94 seconds.

“That’s outstanding in the open 100,” said Hawkins, who noted that Ann Weigel was the only other freshman to break the one-minute mark in the past decade (2004-2005 season). “I have not coached a freshman that has broken the one-minute mark, other than Ann Weigel.”

Bri Stagge qualified for the 200 free and finished two seconds faster than Thursday’s time with a mark of 2:10.39 for eighth place.

Sophomore co-captain Molly Oesterling turned in a good overall sectional performance. She finished seventh in the 100 freestyle in 59.43.

“That’s a really good swim,” said Hawkins.

Junior Kaleigh McGinn turned in a personal best performance in the 1-meter diving event. She tallied an 11th-place score of 254.6 Saturday, topping her previous PR of 220. Totaling 11 dives, McGinn executed eight dives in the morning three dives after qualifying for the finals.

Junior co-captain Megan McDole qualified for the ‘B’ finals of the 200-yard individual medley. She dropped one second with a time of 2:38.78 for 15th.

Oesterling qualified for the ‘A’ final of the 50 free and placed sixth in 26.66.

“She swam really well,” said Hawkins. “it was a really fast race.”

Abby Bausback qualified for the ‘B’ final and finished 12th in the 100-yard butterfly (1:12.62).

Hawkins pointed out that Greensburg had a chance to finish fourth in the standings if not for the disqualification of the 400-yard free relay Thursday. With a fourth-place seeding in a time of 4:07.15 going in, a similar performance in the finals would have earned the Pirates 30 team points and a fourth-place 141 - beating fifth place by two points. The team’s goal was to be in fourth after the 100-yard breaststroke (the meet’s last individual event).

The Lady Pirates return all swimmers next winter with sights set on competing for a conference championship and advancing into the semi-state tournament.

Sectional team rankings:

1. Columbus North 509.5

2. Bloomington South 427.5

3. Bloomington North 368

4. Edgewood 139

5. South Dearborn 137

6. East Central 124

7. Batesville 113

8. Greensburg 111

9. Columbus East 109

10. Lawrenceburg 107

11. Oldenburg Academy 56

12. Milan 30

Contact Nick Gonnella at (812) 633-3111, x7003.