Arabians girls swimmers defeat Delta, Shelbyville

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PENDLETON — Arabian girl swimmers continued their success with a week of strong performances including wins over Delta and Shelbyville.

“I am very excited with where we are in our training. Many of our returning swimmers are beating their in-season times from last year,” coach Mindy Hertzler said.

At home with Delta Jan. 10, the Arabians controlled the Eagles 125-55 while winning all but two events.

Lily Brooks, Kaitlyn Wheetley, Emma Robison and Karly Riffey opened the night with a win in the 200-yard medley relay.

Brooks went on to win two individual events, the 100 backstroke and the 100 freestyle. Maddie Oliver and Hannah Nielsen followed Brooks, finishing second and third in the freestyle. Robison won the 200 individual medley, while teammates Jaima Link and Wheetley came in second and third.

In the 200 freestyle, Grace McKinney won the event, while Maggie Miller and Claire Wittkamper were second and third, respectively. McKinney went on the win the 500 freestyle with a season-best time for her.

Riffey won the 50 freestyle in a close race with a top Eagle swimmer. Link and Catherine Dudley finished first and second in the 100 butterfly, while Emma Weflen finished third.

In the 100 breaststroke, Wheetley and Dudley were first and second, with Wheetley’s time close to a personal best.

Robson, Wheetley, McKinney and Riffey finished the night with a win in the 400-yard freestyle relay.

The Arabians turned in a dominating performance at Shelbyville, Jan. 8. Winning all but one event, the Arabians took the meet 136-49.

The night began with the team of Brooks, Wheetley, Robison and Riffey winning the 200 medley relay. The B relay team of Oliver, Dudley, Link and Weflen finished a close second.

McKinney, Miller and Wittkamper went one, two and three in the 200 freestyle, followed by Robison, Link and Wheetley in a one, two, three finish in the 200 individual medley.

Riffey took first in the 50 freestyle, nearly two seconds ahead of the second-place finisher. In addition, she won the 100 freestyle.

In diving, Reannin Donati took second in the event.

Scoring another one, two, three finish in the 100 butterfly were Robison, Dudley and Link. McKinney, Wittkamper and Ella Dixon swept the 500 freestyle.

In one of the night’s most dominating races, the 200 freestyle relay team of Miller, Wheetley, McKinney and Link won the race eight seconds ahead of the field.

Brooks won the 100 backstroke ahead of teammates Miller and Oliver.

In the final sweep of the night, Wheetley, Dudley and Isabel Blosser took control in the 100 breaststroke.

Riffey, McKinney, Brooks and Robison ended the meet with a 400 freestyle relay win.

With just a few meets left until the sectional, Hertzler said she’s excited for her young team.

“There are a lot of freshmen replacing spots left vacant by outgoing seniors,” she said. “We have managed to keep our mindset on racing every race throughout the season, and so I am confident that we will go into sectionals and continue to do what we have been doing all season.”

Pendleton swims in one of the most competitive sectionals in the state. Swimmers will either have to win their event or meet the state cutoff time. The goal is to have swimmers in the top 16 in preliminary competition and as many as possible in the top 8 for team scoring.

“I believe there are swimmers on this team who are capable of rising up and swimming their way into the state tournament,” Hertzler said.

The team plays host to Mt. Vernon at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 17.