The Zionsville girls’ swimming and diving team couldn’t be happier with its performance Saturday, Feb. 11, in the IHSAA State finals at the IUPUI Natatorium.
The Eagles brought home state championships in two events, runners-up in two events and finished second as a team.
Senior Zoe Mattingly (1:49.53) was a state champion in the 200-yard freestyle after finishing sixth in the preliminaries (1:50.68) on Friday, Feb. 10.
Mattingly was also part of the state champions in the 200 free relay with fellow senior Lizzie Lyon, junior Grace Einterz and sophomore Alex Cleveland (1:34.63). The team was in fifth place after Lyon on the third leg. Mattingly took off and swam a 22.40 to take first place.
Mattingly’s time was more than a second faster than any other team’s last leg.
“That was a strong finish,” Zionsville coach Scott Kubly said. “The way that team finished and the heart they had, it was fun to see.”
Friday, the team finished fourth (1:36.45).
“I’m definitely so happy with it,” Mattingly said. “To win a relay with the team means so much more to me than any individual state championship could mean. Each one of those girls brought it today, and I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Mattingly (50.27) also finished second in the 100 free, a race she won last year. Senior Olivia Kabacinski (49.94) of Chesterton won the event.
Also finishing in second was the 400 free relay team of Mattingly, Lyon, sophomore Hannah Mitchell and freshman Taite Kitchel (3:26.92). After Mitchell, the team was in sixth, Lyon bumped the team up to fifth and Kitchel put the team in third.
Mattingly took the last leg again and brought the team to second. On Friday, the team finished third (3:29.07).
“Some of the things we achieved today I hadn’t even dreamed of, so I can’t express how happy I am right now,” Lyon said.
Kubly was surprised when he won, for the first time, the 2012 Indiana High School Swimming and Diving Coach of the Year.
“I think that’s so exciting,” Lyon said. “I don’t think he saw it coming, so to see his face when he won was really exciting.”
“It’s pretty exciting,” Kubly said. “Like I told them, ‘My name is on it, but it goes to the whole entire coaching staff and to the kids.’ So it’s quite an honor and a testimony to what the kids have done all year long.”
The Eagles (168) finished second as a team. Carmel (329) took home its 26th consecutive team title.
“That was our goal coming into this,” Mattingly said. “We set ourselves up in prelims and that’s where you win the meet is in prelims. Coming in, we knew we had a shot. We actually got disqualified in our medley relay, and we knew that would really hurt us, but I’m so proud of all these girls. They didn’t let it get them down. I’ve never been more proud of the team.”
Despite having only nine swimmers in the top 16 and a DQ in the very first event, the team bounced back for its highest finish in school history.
“We started off with the medley relay and kind of had a hiccup there,” Kubly said. “Zoe came back and won the 200 free and that kind of set the tone for the rest of it.”
Kitchel finished seventh in the 200 individual medley (2:06.84) and seventh in the 100 butterfly (56.27). Lyon (5:00.01) finished second in the consolation round of the 500 free for 10th overall. She also took eighth in the 200 free (1:52.99).
Cleveland finished 10th in the 100 backstroke (58.09) and 13th in the 50 free (24.35). Einterz (52.71) took home a 13th in the 100 free.
The girls’ team went out with a bang and hope to return to IUPUI to watch to boys’ team compete in the finals.
The Eagles will host sectionals with 10 teams. The prelims will start at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, with the finals at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 18. The winner of each swimming event will move on to the state meet. A swimmer can also make it to state if they meet the state cut time in each respective event.
In diving, the top four will move on to regionals at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, at Fishers. The top eight will move on from regionals to state. The state swimming prelims will be at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, at IUPUI. The diving prelims and semis will be 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, with consolations and finals for all events at 1 p.m.