The boys swim team heads to Lawrence North high school this year for sectionals on Feb 16th & 18th. The Hornets will be competing with North Central, Franklin Central Lawrence North, Lawrence Central, Cathedral, Chatard, Shelbyville, Broad Ripple, Heritage Christian, Scecina Memorial and University. That’s very stiff competition considering North Central, Franklin Central, and Lawerence Central placed 1-2-3 in the Marion County meet.
The Hornets do not shy away from competition and have been very successful this season posting a 12-2 record. During this season they won the Indiana Crossroads Conference championship for the 7th year in a row! They also accomplished a team goal of winning the Warren Central Invite defeating larger schools Cathedral (won the meet once) and Warren Central (won the meet every other time), Chatard, Lawerence Central, Speedway, Muncie Burris, Scecina Memorial, and Eastern Hancock.
The boys swim team record the last 7 years. ICC Champions all of those years.
Across this time period, some other meets the team has won that have been crucial to the teams success:
- Indian Creek Relays – the last couple of years of that meet the Hornets were victorious. The last time they competed and won that meet was in 2015.
- Southport & Brebeuf – the first meet of the season is Southport, and the last meet, prior to sectionals, is Brebeuf. Those two meets are always important to the teams success.
- Franklin Central Invitational – the last two seasons Beech Grove has finished 2nd with very tough competition.
Some former Beech Grove swimmers during the past seven years who have gone onto swim in college:
- Chris States – Vincennes
- Tyler Pyle – IUPUI (Division 1)
- Brent Strahla – interested in swimming at Wabash
Senior Brent Strahla.
Boys swim records set under Coach Vuskalns:
- There are a total of 48 Beech Grove class records.
- Coach Vuskalns has coached 13 class record holders.
- 2016 – Vilis Vuskalns in the 200 Individual Medley
Head Coach Vuskalns swimming victory lap after winning the ICC.
A little history on Beech Grove Swimming:
- Before Coach Vuskalns coached at Beech Grove, Andy McVey was a swimmer for the Hornets swimming program. He still holds four individual records and two relay records. His state champion 50 free time stood as a state record for 14 years. That 50 free time still stand as a top 10 time in the all-time state list.
Coach Vuskalns shared with me what it takes to reach the state finals from sectionals. Unlike other sports, swimming only has sectionals and state tournaments. Below is the information you need to understand how individuals and teams advance on from sectionals to the state meet at the Natatorium downtown at IUPUI.
Team & Individual Scoring:
In a championship meet, there are trials and finals. At the trials, a swimmer or relay must legally finish in the top 16 to advance to the the scoring round on Saturday.
Consolation Finals – qualifiers 9-16 – regardless of how fast or slow slow the competitors, legal finishers may score no higher than 9th place, and no lower than 16th.
Finals – top 8 swimmers from Thursday trials – The sectional Champion is the winner of the heat, regardless of time. The lowest any legal finisher will place, is 8th. If there is a disqualification, 8th place points will not be scored for any team.
There are 20 sectionals in the state. There are 32 places, 4 heats of 8, that compete at the state trials. There are three ways to advance to state as part of a relay or as an individual:
1. Be the event champion.
2. Make a state cut time in the finals. Some sectionals advance as many as 2-4 swimmers with state cut times.
3. After 20 sectional champions AND state cut times, if the field of 32 is not full, the next fastest swimmer(s) will get “called back” to compete at state.
Coach Vuskalns shares his thoughts on Beech Grove advancing as a team or individual:
As a team at sectionals, the goal needs to be 4th place finish as a team. Earlier in the season, we finished behind North Central, Franklin Central, Lawrence North at the Marion County meet, and lost to Shelbyville in a three way meet.
Our best chances, on paper, of advancing someone to state is Brent Strahla in the 50 yard freestyle. Brent’s best time is about 1/2 second from a state cut time.
Getting a call back for our 200 free and 400 free relay teams is also a possibility.
No matter what the results are from tonight and Satuday’s sectional meet, there is no denying the amount of success the Beech Grove Hornets have had during their seven year run as conference champs! It’s evident that the team, has had a lot of fun along the way as well. Good luck to the boys swim team in sectionals!