ELKHART — Angola’s boys swim team gave itself a tough act to follow.
The Hornets had done so well in Thursday’s preliminaries in the Elkhart Sectional that it was hard to top those performances in Saturday’s final.
Even so, the Hornets found a way. Placing sixth with 213 points, Angola had swimmers in every event, and again took an eraser to the school record book.
“We had a really good sectional weekend,” Angola coach Brian Miller said. “That’s the most points the boys have scored as a team. We’re really excited about that.
“This is obviously a really tough sectional with some real powerhouse teams. Our boys competed well.”
East Noble was eighth in the team standings with 135 points, followed by DeKalb with 36. The Knights also had the top diver among area teams, with Owen Fleck placing fourth to earn a spot in the diving regional Tuesday at Valparaiso.
Concord was the team champion with 384 points with the host Lions second at 314.
The Hornets capped off the day with a school record in the last event, the 400 freestyle relay. Marcus Miller, Jacob Pontorno, Zacchaeus Creager and Ethan Sanders took fifth place in 3:27.63.
The medley relay team of Sanders, Ethan Bussema, Alex Kincannon and Creager lowered its school record to 1:44.66, nearly two seconds faster than Thursday’s record-setting time. The quartet finished sixth.
Four other school records were set Thursday by Miller in the 200 and 500 freestyle events, Sanders in the backstroke and Bussema in the breaststroke. Bussema was only 11 one hundredths of a second slower Saturday while Sanders missed by only 18 hundredths of a second.
“We really taper for that Thursday night, and then try to hang on Saturday,” Coach Miller said. “We had a great Thursday, and it’s hard to come back and drop again. They fought and they battled, and it was a really exciting Thursday and Saturday.”
Fleck had a diving score for 329.2 for East Noble, edging Elkhart’s Mathias VanderZwaag by four-tenths of a point for the final regional berth. The top four advance from sectional.
Kyler Corbin took fourth place in the 100 free in 50.47, dropping almost a full second off his preliminary time. He shaved off about three-tenths of a second in 50 free, also finishing fourth in 23.11.
“The boys did really great,” East Noble coach Meredith Eakins said. “We have a small team, only nine guys. We had quite a few bests today. They really came to perform.
“They dropped time Thursday night and then they dropped even more time today. I’m really happy with how they performed. They had great attitudes all the way around. It was a really good day.”
Owen Chambers took 10th in the 200 free (1:56.69) and 12th in the 500 free (5:19.71) for the Knights. Nathan Richards was 11th in the backstroke (1:02.47) and Jack Bolinger was 10th in the breaststroke (1:08.62), dropping more than two seconds from Thursday.
Even beyond the new school records, Coach Miller had plenty of highlights.
“I couldn’t be more excited for those guys,” he said. “Aside from the school records, all the boys had great drops.
“We fight on Thursday to get into that top eight (championship finals) and into that top 16 (consolation finals). We had every event filled and we had the most people in the top eight that we’ve ever had. I’m so proud of each and every one of those boys.”
Also for Angola, Kincannon took eighth (59.55) and Griffin Hosek 15th (1:03.99) in the fly, Pontorno was eighth in the 100 free (52.95) and 16th in the breaststroke (1:12), Marcus Miller was eighth in the 500 free (5:12.43), Bussema took 11th in the 200 IM (2:16.06), Vaughn Cooper was 12th in the backstroke (1:02.88) and Jacob Gibson was 16th in the 50 free (24.79).
The Hornet 200 free relay team of Pontorno, Bussema, Marcus Miller and Creagger was fourth (1:34.9).
Coach Miller also gave special mention to Fremont individual competitor Gage Forrest for taking 15th in the backstroke (1:04.84).
“He’s almost like a part of our team,” Coach Miller said. “The boys know him from club swimming. He’s a great kid to have around.”
The strong effort capped a banner season for the Hornets, who were unbeaten in dual competition, won the Wawasee Invitational, and combined with the girls team for first in the Goshen Relays.
“The boys really bought in. It’s not easy,” Coach Miller said. “We have to be in the pool at 5:30 in the morning. That’s not what high school kids want to do, but they buy in, boys and girls.
“The boys had a great season. They’re a great group to be around and to coach. They deserve all the credit. They put in a lot of time and effort.”
East Noble was eighth in all three relays. Corbin, Bolinger, Richards and Chambers (1:53.79) dropped their time in the medley relay. Bolinger, Bryce Charles, Fleck and Hunter Cole improved by more than four seconds in the 200 free relay. Chambers, Cole, Richards and Corbin made more than a six-second drop in the 400 free relay.
Two of DeKalb’s relay teams placed ninth. Gavin Richardson, Danial Mahoney, Grant Houser and Jack Mahoney dropped time in the 200 free relay. Jack Mahoney, Korbin Gillian, Richardson and Danial Mahoney reduced their time from Thursday in 400 free relay.