Scouting the boys state swimming and diving finals

An event-by-event breakdown of what to expect at this weekend’s girls state swimming and diving finals:

200 medley relay

Top seed (based on sectional times): Carmel (1:29.38)

Local qualifiers: Center Grove (sixth, 1:34.91), Franklin (26th, 1:37.63)

What to look for: The Trojans are well positioned to medal here and perhaps move up as high as third (Carmel and Zionsville are unlikely to be challenged), but there’s also considerable risk of downside — just 1.5 seconds separate the sixth and 20th seeds, so nothing is guaranteed. Center Grove will need to come to play tonight if it wants to lock down a top-eight slot. Franklin, the last at-large qualifier, is 1.47 seconds behind the 16th seed; with a strong preliminary swim, there’s a chance to crack the scoring.

200 freestyle

Top seed: Aaron Shackell, Carmel (1:36.84)

Local qualifier: Anthony Ries, Franklin (16th, 1:43.05)

What to look for: Ries was a state qualifier last year in this event but did not advance to Saturday; the senior has a good opportunity to do so this time, but there’s just as much wiggle room for him on either side of the fence, so he’ll need to have a good swim tonight. Shackell is the heavy favorite in this race with a sectional time more than a second better than anyone else in the field.

200 individual medley

Top seed: Will Modglin, Zionsville (1:47.50)

Local qualifier: Garrett Crist, Center Grove (seventh, 1:52.33)

What to look for: Modglin is the defending champ and his seed time is two seconds faster than the next best; he’s unlikely to be touched. Crist looks well positioned to earn the first top-eight individual finish of his career, and he could potentially end up as high as fifth if the weekend goes as hoped.

50 freestyle

Top seed: Matthew Klinge, West Lafayette Harrison (20.60)

Local qualifier: Ben Clarkston, Center Grove (24th, 21.59)

What to look for: Slim margins. There are no dominant forces in this event this year so the top spot is truly up for grabs, though Klinge’s seed time is three-tenths of a second ahead of the field. Clarkston — who missed out on the consolation final by one spot last year — is ranked low but also just a tenth of a second behind the 16th seed, so advancement is still very much in play.


Top seed (based on regional scores): Holden Higbie, Danville (589.35)

Local qualifiers: Drake Keller, Franklin (18th, 416.55)

What to look for: Keller was 20th last year and comes in with an opportunity to improve on that and potentially earn the Grizzly Cubs some points. Higbie, third last winter, had the highest regional score by a significant margin, but he could be pushed by the Fishers duo of William Jansen and Sebastian Otero, who were second and sixth, respectively, in 2021.

100 butterfly

Top seed: Shackell, Carmel (47.92)

Local qualifiers: Ries, Franklin (23rd, 51.67); Evan Dennis, Indian Creek (51.89)

What to look for: Shackell will try to match his younger sister Alex, who just won this event convincingly on the girls side. There’s some tough competition in this event, including Zionsville’s Charlie Krone, but Shackell is a solid favorite. Ries qualified but didn’t advance last year; both he and Dennis will probably need to improve upon their sectional times by at least a second to move into the top 16.

100 freestyle

Top seed: Sean Sullivan, Carmel (44.56)

Local qualifier: Clarkston, Center Grove (24th, 47.67)

What to look for: Sullivan comes in as a slight favorite, almost a full second ahead of No. 2 seed Lucas Byrd of Elkhart. Clarkston sits about seven-tenths of a second behind the 16th seed, so advancement is within reach but will take a strong swim.

500 freestyle

Top seed: Kyle Ponsler, Fishers (4:27.82)

Local qualifier: Conner Peckinpaugh, Greenwood (26th, 4:47.74)

What to look for: Peckinpaugh qualified in this event last winter, finishing 23rd; he’ll likely have to improve upon his sectional time by more than five seconds to put himself in position to crack the top 16 in his final high school meet. Ponsler and Culver Academies’ Mitchell Schott were second and third last year and are the favorites this time out.

200 freestyle relay

Top seed: Zionsville (1:24.61)

Local qualifier: Center Grove (fifth, 1:25.64)

What to look for: If Johnson County is going to pull off an upset somewhere and win a state championship this weekend, this event is where it would happen. The Trojans, who dusted the sectional field last weekend, sit just 1.03 seconds behind the top-seeded Eagles and .99 behind No. 2 Carmel. Nobody in the field is completely out of reach. On the flip side, the margins are just as slim behind Center Grove as well; this quartet will have to be on its A game both days to grab a high podium spot.

100 backstroke

Top seed: Modglin, Zionsville (47.83)

Local qualifier: Crist, Center Grove (fourth, 49.97)

What to look for: Crist looks safely positioned for a medal here; he’s almost a second and a half ahead of the eighth seed, so it’s going to be hard to bump him out of that A final. Third, and maybe even second place, remain well within his reach — but as with the IM, he faces a nearly impossible task up top in Modglin, who won in 2021 and should have little trouble doing so again. Can the junior make a run at Wyatt Davis’ state record?

100 breaststroke

Top seed: Ryan Malicki, Carmel (54.66)

Local qualifiers: None

What to look for: Another heavily favored defending champion, Malicki is the one to beat here, with Elkhart’s Byrd the only swimmer seeded within a second and a half of him.

400 freestyle relay

Top seed: Zionsville (3:05.97)

Local qualifier: Franklin (19th, 3:15.02)

What to look for: Zionsville, Carmel and Chesterton are all strong here, but the Eagles — who return everyone from last year’s runner-up quartet — might be a slight favorite. The Grizzly Cubs, who were third here in 2021 but graduated all four of those swimmers, will be trying to work their way up into a B final this time around.