Penn sophomore Bethany Galat and Wawasee senior Brittany Robinson won individual state high school swimming championships, and the Kingsmen used a strong team effort to finish in third place overall. Their only better finish at state was when they were runnersup in 1981.
Galat added a fourth-place finish in the 500 freestyle, teammate Sarah Coyne finished fourth in the 50 freestyle and fifth in the 100 free and sophomore Annie Spalding finished eighth in the 100 breaststroke as Penn finished with 137 points. The Kingsmen clinched third place in the team standings in the final race, the 400 freestyle relay when the team of Galat, Emily Meckstroth, Kailin Potter and Coyne set a school record 3:29.28 to finish fourth to edge Center Grove by a point for third-place in the overall team standings. The team barely missed finishing third in the race as Chesterton eked them by .06 seconds at the wall.
Carmel won its 26th straight title with 329 points and Zionsville was second with 168.
Galat claimed the seventh individual championship overall for Penn and the first since Lisa Rhodes won the 200 freestyle title in 1991. Galat led from beginning to end, stretching out the lead during the breaststroke to easily win by more than a second as defending champion Carmel’s Lacey Locke finished fourth, nearly five seconds behind. The Kingsmen also added a third-place finish in the 200 free relay as Galat, Spalding, Jenn Priebe and Coyne set a school record with a time of 1:35.03.
Robinson, who will swim at Louisville, won the 100 butterfly with a time of 53.41, breaking the four-year-old state record of 53.91. Robinson jumped to an early lead and won easily by more than a second. She also finished second in the 100 backstroke, losing to Carmel’s Alexis Bullard by .27 seconds. Her sister, Breanna, finished second in the 200 freestyle, jumping to an early lead but was caught by Zionsville’s Zoe Mattingly. Breanna Robinson, a freshman, also finished third in the 100 free with a time of 50.74. Karla Allen finished 15th in the 100 fly as Wawasee finished 13th overall, with 80 points.
One of the best races of the day was the 500 freestyle. Galat jumped to an early lead, but Carmel’s Margaret Ramsey finished strong to win with a time of 4:51.43. Galat finished at 4:55.55. Northridge’s Brittney Walters finished sixth with a time of 4:58.31 and Concord’s Audra Burtch was eighth at 5:04.39. Walters also finished seventh in the 200 free to lead the Raiders to an 21st-place finish with 25 points.
Carly Jackson of LaPorte finished 10th in the 100 butterfly and 14th in the 500 free as the Slicers finished with 10 points. NorthWood diver Melissa Berger finished 16th with 356.45 points.