Awaited return – State finals appearance has been long time coming

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INDIANAPOLIS — Arabian swimmers had their work cut out for them at the state swim finals.

Pendleton Heights sent swimmers to four events in the meet, which took place Friday, Feb. 24, and Saturday, Feb. 25, at the IU Natatorium at Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis. Just one emerged from Friday’s preliminaries to participate in Saturday events.

“We put everything we had into sectional, and I knew it would be tough to hold onto that,” coach Jeff Maydak said. “But we qualified for state for the first time in 13 years, and I’m happy for them.”

Senior Landis Hollingsworth swam the B final in Saturday’s competition to finish 10th in the state in the 100-yard butterfly.

Hollingsworth finished with a time of 51.35 in the event, just a few ticks slower than his Friday preliminary time of 51.06.

He swam four events in the span of two hours in the prelims.

“That’s pretty rigorous,” Maydak said.

Maydak said he believed Hollingsworth’s finish was the best for a Pendleton Heights swimmer in 30 years.

In the last 20 years, a few Arabian divers have finished in the top 10.

Hollingsworth was seeded fifth in the B final but finished second. Maydak said the entire heat turned out to be a little slower than expected.

In the 200 freestyle preliminaries, Hollingsworth finished 20th with a time of 1:44.52. He swam just two lanes over from Carmel’s Drew Kibler, who set a national high school record with a time of 1:33.30.

The medley relay team of Luke Wihebrink, Cameron Kordes, Hollingsworth and Evan Fredericks finished 28th in the preliminaries with a time of 1:41.23. Only the top 16 teams advanced to the finals.

In addition, the 400-yard freestyle relay with the same members also finished 28th in the preliminaries with a time of 3:18.07.

“We were seeded 27th and tied for 26th seed in the finals so we knew it would be a difficult task to advance,” Maydak said.

Hollingsworth’s trip to the state swim meet was not his first, but he said he’d had hoped for more this time.

“I just didn’t get the results I wanted,” he said. “The week before I was sick, and also I was nervous.”

He said hopes to swim in college depending on whether or not his efforts garner him a scholarship.