The Trailblazers swam at the Lawrence North Sectional meet, competing in the preliminaries on Thursday to qualify for Saturday’s finals session.
The Blazers swam out of their minds, posting multiple best times and breaking plenty of records.
During Thursday’s session, the 200 medley relay kicked off with a school record 50 back split from Keegan Priest (25.02), followed by season-best splits from Cole Reinholt (29.54) and Cordell Wilson (26.14) and taken home by Hayden Suarez-Davis (24.63).
The first individual heat of the meet was taken over by two UHS swimmers. Both Eli Beheler and Christian Moore went out with best 100 times. Beheler dropped 5 seconds there to go 1:15.59 while Moore dropped 3 to go 1:18.46. Beheler ended up dropping 10 seconds in his 200 to go 2:38.82, and Moore dropped 9 seconds to go 2:50.63. Roy Raz then proceeded to break the school record for the 200 with a time of 1:48.08, qualifying for finals with 2nd place.
In the 200 IM, Andrew Laramore dropped an impressive 13 seconds to go 2:34.86. He also dropped 2 places, from 24th to 22nd. Reinholt went a season-best time of 2:20.01, which brought him down to 14th and qualify for finals.
For the first time in UHS history, all of UHS’s 50 freestylers went faster than 26 seconds.
Suarez-Davis went a season-best 25.01, Coghlin Kumler dropped a second to go 25.10, and Austin Clark dropped half a second to go 25.87.
Also for the first time in UHS history, the Blazers had three swimmers qualify for finals in a single the event: the 100 fly. Priest was the top seed after breaking his own school record with a time of 52.78. Wilson and Asher Whitcomb qualified for the consolation final when Wilson went his second-best time ever of 59.15 and Whitcomb dropped three seconds to go 1:00.17.
The sprinters had another solid set in the 100 free. Ethan Bandick kicked it off in the first heat with a three-second drop down to 1:04.46. Kumler then dropped 6 seconds down to 56.15. Clark was in the next heat and somehow managed to drop 2.5 seconds down to 56.16.
In the longest event of the meet, Raz broke the school record with a best time of 4:52.43 (8 seconds faster than his UHS best and one faster than his all-time best). Laramore was in the same heat, and after dropping half a minute just a few weeks ago, he dropped another 23 seconds! He now goes 6:10.26, and he dropped two places in the rankings on the way.
Wilson looked confident in the 500 as he dropped 28 seconds to break the 6:00 barrier with a time of 5:55.59. He placed six places better than he was seeded.
The 200 free relay fought a tough fight! After strong swims from Clark, Reinholt, and Suarez-Davis, Raz anchored the relay with a best relay split of 23.44. The team qualified for finals with their 9th place finish
In the first heat of the 100 back, Gordon Bradley dropped 10 seconds down to 1:12.57. This time also dropped Gordon five places in the rankings. Two heats later, Whitcomb dropped a crazy six seconds down to 1:03.47. This moved him from 18th to 12th. Just a few lanes over, Priest dropped .6 seconds to break his own school record, which is now set at 53.59.
In the 100 breast, Reinholt went his second best time ever of 1:04.05, placing him safely in the A-final. Ari Atlas swam the final individual event for University and dropped 9 seconds down to 1:13.81. It moved him from 23rd to 19th.
The evening wrapped up with the 400 free relay. Raz kicked it off by breaking the school record in the 100 free with a split of 50.55. He was followed by Suarez-Davis with a strong 55.63, and then Kumler who dropped two seconds from his previous best relay split down to 55.66. The relay was anchored with Priest breaking the school record for 100 relay split with a split of 50.10. Their overall time of 3:31.94 broke the school record.
After the preliminaries session, University was qualified to swim all three relays at finals and nine individual swims. The individual swims were from Keegan Priest (100 fly and 100 back), Roy Raz (200 free and 500 free), Cole Reinholt (200 IM and 100 breast), Asher Whitcomb (100 fly and 100 back), and Cordell Wilson (100 fly).
Even with such strong swims on Thursday, every record that was broken on Thursday evening was broken again on Saturday, plus more.
During Saturday’s session, Priest kicked off the medley relay by setting the school record in the 50 back (24.73). He was followed by Reinholt, who broke the school record in the 50 breast (29.13). Wilson had his best 50 fly of the season (26.33), and Suarez-Davis anchored with a best time in the 50 free relay (24.02). Their overall time of 1:44.23 held on to their 4th place spot.
Raz swam a tough 200 free and dropped a whole second from Thursday (1:47.06). This time broke the school record and earned him 3rd place.
Reinholt swam two seconds faster than Thursday in the 200 IM, going his second-best time ever (2:18.35) and earning 13th place.
In the consolation final of the 100 fly, Wilson dropped a little from his seed time to go his second-best time ever (59.23) and come in 13th while Whitcomb added a little (1:01.38– still his second-best time!) and came in 16th.
Then, in a fight to the finish, KEEGAN PRIEST WON THE 100 FLY with a time of 52.31. Priest is the first swimmer in UHS history to win a sectional event. His time was almost half a second faster than Thursday, which means he broke the school record. His first 50 also broke the school record for 50 fly. His victory means that he will be advancing to states next Friday.
Raz then swam a confident and beautiful 500. He dropped a whopping four seconds from his Thursday swim, which means he broke the school record and earned 2nd place.
In the 200 free relay, Suarez-Davis took it out with his season-best flat start time (24.94). He was followed by a best split from Kumler (24.94– down a second!) and a strong swim from Clark (25.86). The relay was anchored by Raz, who had just swum the 500 free, yet he managed to break the school record for a 50 free relay split with his time of 22.82! Their overall time of 1:38.19 earned them 9th place and broke the school record.
In the consolation final of the 100 back, Whitcomb shaved off a tiny bit off of his best time to go 1:03.43 and come in 12th place. Priest dropped another half a second in the championship final. His final time of 53.06 broke the school record and earned him 2nd place. Additionally, this time was fast enough to get him another invite to swim at states.
Reinholt had his final swim for University with a strong 100 breast (1:04.76) and by coming in 7th.
The meet ended with the 400 free relay. Raz’s leadoff time of 49.95 set the school record in the 100 free. Suarez-Davis and Kumler followed with strong performances (54.68 and 55.84). Priest anchored with a time of 49.42, which set the school record for 100 free relay split. Their overall time of 3:29.89 smashed the school record and earned them 6th place.
As a whole, the Trailblazers earned 170 points and came in 6th place. This means we beat Lawrence Central, Heritage Christian, Cathedral, Beech Grove, and Chatard!
For the first time in UHS history, the season is not ending with sectionals. Keegan Priest will swim in the preliminaries of the State Tournament at the IUPUI Natatorium this Friday to try to qualify for finals, which will be held the following day.