Center Grove seventh, Franklin ninth at girls state swimming and diving


Center Grove swimming coach Brad Smith knew his team had to make up for a lot of points this season.

“With (two-time state champion) Mia Prusiecki not coming back in diving, we knew every point would be earned,” he said. “Our goal was top 10 and to get seventh, we’re just elated. We’re tired. I think our legs were giving out on the (400-yard freestyle) relay. But I couldn’t be more proud of them. They really stepped up today.”

Center Grove finished Saturday’s state meet at the IU Natatorium in seventh place with 120 points. Franklin was ninth with 79.

Trojans senior Lara Phipps was second in the 100-yard freestyle in 50.16 seconds and fifth in 50 freestyle. The second-place finish was the highest individual state finish for Phipps, who also was on two relay teams that reached the podium.

“It was a great year to end up as a senior,” said Phipps, who will swim at Purdue next season. “I got to see everyone here from other teams and it reminds me why I like to swim so much. It’s a great way to end my chapter and I’m excited to start my new one.”

The Trojans’ team of Lexi Stuart, Addyson Matern, Tenley Wilkins and Phipps was second in the 200 freestyle relay in 1:34.12.

“The 200 relay was a big highlight for us along with Lara’s second place,” Smith said. “We’re ready to celebrate.”

Phipps was then joined by Stuart, Matern and Clara Brandon on the seventh-place 400 relay team.

Trojan senior Karlie Dodd was sixth in the 100 breaststroke with a personal best of 1:03.50 after being seeded eighth.

“I finally got there (to the podium),” Dodd said. “I’ve been really nervous, but the key was to have fun and do what I normally do. … It’s been a blast. It’s been amazing with this team.”

Smith said Dodd’s finish was a nice surprise.

“We didn’t really count on that coming into the meet,” he said. “It’s so well deserved.”

Franklin junior Lili Ratzlaff placed second in the 200 freestyle in 1:47.97.

“It was super exhilarating. Obviously my goal was to get first,” Ratzlaff said. “My brother got second his senior year, so I wanted to get first. I’m actually a little bummed by it, but I had a great time. So overall I’m not upset.”

Ratzlaff also took fourth place in the 100 freestyle.

“I did better than I thought I would be because I was projected to be fifth and I got fourth,” she said. “I was super excited to race Lara again. This is the last time I’m probably going to race her, at least in high school. She is going to Purdue and I probably won’t stay with any school in Indiana or any school that will compete (against Purdue). We were in the lanes right next to each other, so it was very sentimental.”

Franklin senior Camy Quiggins finished fourth in the 1-meter diving competition with a score of 435.00 and Indian Creek senior Ella Taylor was fifth with 428.90.

“I feel like I had the meet of my life,” Quiggins said. “I went into today wanting to have fun at my last high school meet ever. I hoped to place high but I did not expect it.. It feels like I’m dreaming right now. I dealt with injuries all year and hadn’t had a great meet. Today was the perfect ending to my high school career.”

Quiggins, who finished eighth in the state as a junior, will dive at Ohio University.

Taylor had to compete through pain, with her left shoulder popping out twice at the regional, again during Friday practice and twice again on Saturday.

“The injury made it really hard today,” said Ella’s mother Kate Taylor, who also is the Braves’ diving coach. “I couldn’t be more proud of her hanging in there. She’s a warrior. She was in so much pain. I actually encouraged her not to dive today because of the pain. But she said ‘Mom, I’m not missing my senior year.’ It takes a lot of courage when you know it can pop out at any moment. We’re going to have it looked at before she dives for Indiana State.

“It definitely affected my diving but I did my best,” Ella said. “I would have liked to score a little better, but it’s okay. I definitely missed a couple of my dives.”

Several Center Grove and Franklin swimmers competed in consolation finals.

Center Grove’s team of Wilkins, Dodd, Stuart and Kayla Fischer finished 10th in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:47.28. Franklin’s team of Chloe Vitatoe, Emma Small, Jovie Mowrey and Ratzlaff was 13th in 1:48.32.

The Grizzly Cubs were ninth in the 400 freestyle relay with a team of Ratzlaff, Reagan Graves, Vitatoe and Addi Doss. Graves was 11th in the 200 freestyle.

Matern was 14th in the 100 butterfly and Dodd was 16th in the 200 individual medley for the Trojans.