The Royals closed out a fantastic 2019-20 season Friday and Saturday at the IU Natatorium in downtown Indianapolis, placing sixth in the team standings with 136 points.
HSE was represented by Rebecca Ang, Sarah Ballard, Kennedy Fisher, Abby Harter, Olivia Harter, Dabin Jung, Grace Newton, Ellie Pedersen, Molly Pedersen, Bri Saple, and Kayleigh Witt. The team has placed in the top 10 of the final team standings for 20 of the past 23 years.
Senior Abby Harter earned a spot on the medal podium for the fourth straight year in the 100 back, finishing third in 54.74. She equals her highest finish at the IHSAA State Finals, as she took third in her sophomore season as well. She also swam a great 200 IM on Friday evening, placing 17th in 2:06.95. She will swim for the Purdue Boilermakers next year.
Senior Sarah Ballard placed sixth in the diving competition, finishing strong by moving up five spots on her last three dives. She finished with 463.65 points to earn her second career state meet medal. She will begin her collegiate diving career as an Iowa Hawkeye in the fall.
Senior Kayleigh Witt had an outstanding state meet, playing a crucial role on both freestyle relays and earning her first individual finals swim at the meet in the 200 freestyle. She qualified 14th on Friday evening and moved up two spots on Saturday afternoon to place 12th in 1:52.46. Witt will graduate as the fifth-fastest in school history in the event. She will compete for the Ball State Cardinals next year.
Junior Molly Pedersen had a busy weekend, finishing sixth in the 200 free in 1:50.88 and seventh in the 100 free in 51.63. She also swam on both freestyle relays for the Royals. Her individual highlight for the meet was in rewriting the school record in the 200 freestyle as her prelims swim of 1:50.07 took down Carly Mercer’s program mark of 1:50.67 from 2009.
After qualifying in 12th position on Friday evening, sophomore Kennedy Fisher took second in the consolation final of the 100 breast to move up two spots and earn 10th place points. Her time of 1:04.35 is an improvement of over a second from last year. She also placed 20th in the 50 free with her prelims swim of 24.28.
The 200 medley relay evolved many times this championship season, with its final iteration winning the consolation final in 1:45.49. Rebecca Ang (26.95), Kennedy Fisher (28.94), Abby Harter (25.52), and Grace Newton (24.08) made up the team on Saturday.
The 200 freestyle relay placed sixth on Saturday behind the efforts of Molly Pedersen (24.11), Kennedy Fisher (23.54), Bri Saple (23.85), and Kayleigh Witt (23.79).
And the 400 freestyle relay closed out the meet with an exciting race, the Royals finishing in sixth with a team of Molly Pedersen (51.37), Kayleigh Witt (52.39), Abby Harter (52.02), and Grace Newton (53.13).
Junior Olivia Harter earned a trip to the state meet for the third straight season, taking 23rd place in the 100 backstroke with a time of 58.32. Freshman Grace Newton earned valuable experience in qualifying for the state meet in the 50 free, and was an important part of the Royals’ relay efforts this season. Her prelims swim of 24.89 earned her 29th place, which she will look to build on for next season.
Congratulations to all who competed for the Royals this season and thanks for a great year!