ST. LEON – After years of traveling to Columbus North for the swimming and diving sectional, teams in
the Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference visited a more familiar site Saturday as East Central was host to
the 2023 boys tournament. The EC Natatorium was loud as swimmers and divers tried to advance past
the finals to the state tourney.
Home fans had a hero to cheer on as junior Ayden Ketchem outpaced Bloomington South’s Lukas Paegle
to the wall in the 50-yard freestyle final (21.6 to 22.01), sending Ketchem on to the IUPUI Natatorium
next weekend for the state finals.
EC’s 200 free relay team finished runner-up to Bloomington North by fractions, swimming 1:26.8 to BN’s
1:26.12. Ketchem battled the Cougars’ Benjamin Buehler to the wall on the anchor leg. Other Trojans on
the squad were Kyle Goodwin, Kaden Cummins and Henry Strotman.
The same schools were 1, 2 in the day’s final event – the 400 free relay. This time, the Cougs were able
to put some distance between themselves and second-place EC. James Stewart finished up for
Bloomington, touching in 3:10.59, while Ketchem, Dillon Rullman, Cummins and Strotman combined for
a 3:13.95 finish.
Strotman was third in the 100 free sprint, landing in 48.68. Goodwin, a freshman, took third in the 100
butterfly (52.72). Cummins placed fourth in the 200 free, touching in 1:49.07, and Strotman was fourth
in the 50 free (22.17). Goodwin was good for fourth in the 100 backstroke (55.96), followed closely by
Ketchem in fifth (56.25). Cummins took fifth in the 100 free (49.22).
Batesville’s best showing came in the 100 free as senior William Johnson placed fourth in a time of
49.08. In the 200 free relay, Bulldogs Matthew Tekulve, Ciaran Tyrer, Emi Lopez and Johnson swam
1:34.97 to place fifth. Johnson finished sixth in the 50 free (22.6).
In the opening event, EC’s team of Goodwin, Francis Strotman, Michael Doll and Connor Murray were
fifth in the 200 medley relay (1:41.12) with Batesville just behind them (Johnson, Tyrer, Lopez, Tekulve;
Greensburg’s Pirates took sixth in the 400 free relay as Christopher Mains, Alexander Walden, Tristen
Hostetler and Jacob Hawkins touched in 3:28.28. Hawkins, Mains, Hostetler and Matthew Reynolds
were sixth in the 200 free (1:35.01). Mains, Reynolds, Walden and Hawkins swam 7 th in the 200 medley
(1:44.37). Walden placed 7 th in the 100 fly (56.45).
Oldenburg Academy’s Santiago Schutte was the 8 th -place finisher in the 200 individual medley, the
sophomore touching in 2:06.81. Other EC placements were F. Strotman 7 th in 100 breaststroke (1:02.51)
and Rullman 7 th in 200 free (1:51.72).
Lawrenceburg’s top placement came in the 200 free relay, the team of Luke Thornton, Brendan Lowe,
Jack Vowell and Cameron Boyce finishing in 1:44.48. Same could be said for South Dearborn as Jason
Hail, Brady Chambers, Garrett Collins and Ariyawuth Worakulpisuth swam 10 th in the race (1:54.32).
EC had three in the diving finals, with freshman Nicholas Hutchinson ending in fifth (305.8 pts.), Kane
Rosfeld in seventh (248.4) and Matthew Small eighth (232.2).
Connersville swims at New Palestine
Spartan speedster Owen Baker just missed out on a trip to state when he placed runner-up in the 50
free and third in 100 free at the New Pal sectional finals Saturday. Baker was edged in the 50 sprint by
Mt. Vernon’s Brady Gray (21.18 to 22.22) and Gray won again in the 100 (47.1) as Baker’s 49.53 was
good for bronze.