When Tucker Brock was a freshman, he couldn’t even break the 1-minute mark in the 100-yard butterfly.
Being able to remember that gave the Indian Creek senior some much-needed perspective after what was undoubtedly a disappointing Saturday at the IU Natatorium. Brock finished eighth in the 100-yard butterfly after placing third in Friday night’s preliminaries with a personal-best time of 49.56 seconds.
“I guess I just hit my peak (Friday),” Brock said after Saturday’s race. “But I’m still really happy with how I did this year, and I’m looking forward to college swimming.”
Brock will take his talents to Bloomington, where older brothers Levi and Wyeth currently swim for Indiana University. Levi is a senior, but Tucker will have two seasons together with Wyeth on the Hoosiers’ roster.
Even though his final high school meet didn’t turn out exactly as he’d hope, Tucker Brock still matched Levi for the best state finish in Indian Creek history and accounted for all 11 of the Braves’ team points.
Eager as he might be to start his college career, he’s still able to savor everything he accomplished in high school.
“It’s been really amazing,” Brock said. “Freshman year, I wasn’t even under a minute in the 100 fly, and now I go 49. So It’s been a pretty good ride.”
Going out with a bang
Seeded fourth going into his last high school race, the 100 breaststroke championship final, Franklin senior Michael Couet felt as though he had a little bit more to give — and he gave every bit of it.
Couet made a late surge and nearly joined teammate Jacob Destrampe as an individual state champion, hitting the wall in 54.90 seconds to finish just .16 seconds behind champion Stefano Batista of Carmel.
“I knew it was between us two, and I said, ‘I’ve still got more left in the tank,’ so I put everything I had in,” Couet said. “I was really thinking about keeping my body line, because sometimes when I get in those high-pressure situations, my streamline kind of gets out of whack. So I was just thinking, ‘Keep your line, keep your line,’ and I was definitely pleased with the result.”
A 14th-place finisher in the same event in 2017, Couet chopped an incredible 3.4 seconds off of the best time from his junior year.
He’s now attracting attention from major Division I college programs that hadn’t even known who he was a year ago, but none of that has been by accident.
“I think I put the hardest year of work I’ve ever had in the pool,” Couet said. “I don’t think I can narrow down a single situation where I could have done more.”
Movin’ on up
Ninth among all divers at last year’s state meet as a sophomore, Franklin junior Gauge Creech came into Saturday looking to move up at least one spot and get onto the awards podium.
Creech sat as high as fourth in the standings at one point during the final round, but he said he knew that wouldn’t hold because his late-round dives had a lower degree of difficulty. Still, he scored more than 50 points on his final dive to finish eighth with 447.90 points.
That earned Creech his first state medal, which he said will help fuel him heading into his senior year.
“I’m ready to throw all of the dives that I’ve been scared to throw,” Creech said, “because I know that if I want to try to make it up on that podium a lot higher, I’m going to need to put a lot more (degree of difficulty) in my list — and that’s my goal for the rest of the summer and next year.”
Franklin sophomore Max Kramer didn’t score points in any individual events at this year’s state meet, but few swimmers came away from Saturday with a more impressive collection of hardware.
Kramer anchored all three Grizzly Cub relays over the weekend, coming away with second-place medals in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays and a fifth-place medal in the 200 medley relay.
All told, he had a hand in 96 of Franklin’s 203 team points, helping pave the way for the Grizzly Cubs to finish second overall behind powerhouse Carmel.
“This is the greatest moment I’ve ever had in my life,” Kramer said, “and to know I did with not only teammates, but brothers, it’s indescribable. It’s beyond what I can even describe with words.”
At DeWitt’s end
Saturday afternoon was surreal enough for Franklin coach Zach DeWitt that the cherry on top — his being voted as the state’s coach of the year — barely registered as more than a blip on his radar.
DeWitt did his best to downplay the award, deflecting much of the credit to assistant coaches Alex Jerden and Breanna Martin as well as his swimmers.
“I’m nothing more than a glorified cheerleader at this meet,” DeWitt said. “I do appreciate the honor, and to me it really means that we were the team of the meet, the team of the year.”
Friends and family congratulating DeWitt from the stands asked if he’d received a trophy. He pointed at the one his swimmers were holding up after their second-place team finish and said, “That’s my trophy.”