CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. – All this season, J. D. Taggart, the swimming coach at Fountain Central has been shuffling his lineup, putting different swimmers in different events all year in both meets and practices.
The strategy paid off when his Mustang girls’ team dominated the Crawfordsville Sectional, winning with 437 points over second-place Twin Lakes who had 299.5.
It was the first clear sectional swimming title for the Mustangs in school history according to Taggart, who said depth was the key to the success of the team.
“I kept putting fast swimmers in with our slower swimmers to motivate them to get better,” he said. “And then, when the slower swimmers got faster, they pushed the others – and that’s how we got our depth.”
Taggart, who was voted Coach of the Year by the other sectional coaches, said he thought he would take his entire team to the state meet.
With only sectional champions automatically advancing to state, it meant that individual double winner Clare McGrady will go in the 100 free and the 100 breast.
Joining her will be Hannah Gayler, Abby Moore and Audrey Campbell who swam the three legs of the medley relay with McGrady.
Added from the 200 free relay were Abby Campbell and Shelby Gulley as well as alternates from both relays who did not swim in the finals.
On the day, the Mustangs set seven school records – the three relays, 100 free, 100 breast, 100 flay and 50 free.
In any other year, the third place finish by Seeger would have been the story of the meet. It was the first time in at least a decade that the Patriots had finished that high in the sectional.
The lone swimmer advancing to state for Seeger is Becca Haussin who won the 50 free and the 100 fly, but several others swimmers came close.
“We had several personal records today,” said Seeger coach Shaleye Furr. “We are a young team and we’re just starting to build our depth for next year. We only had two seniors this year.”