By KEVIN HARRIS
INDIANAPOLIS – Jeffersonville’s Rachel Walker advanced to Saturday’s championship race of the 500-yard freestyle by finishing fifth in the event’s preliminaries Friday evening in the IHSAA State Finals at the Indiana University Natatorium on the IUPUI campus.
The Red Devil junior’s time was 4:56.78. The top eight swimmers in each of the preliminaries qualified for the championship race. Positions 9-16 in the prelims moved on to Saturday’s consolation races. Walker earned a spot in the 200 freestyle consolation race by posting the 13th-fastest time in Friday’s prelims in 1:51.94.
Walker and teammates Jacqueline Richard, Hallie Dixon and Adeline Dixon placed 18th in the 400 free relay prelims in a time of 3:37.25. Hallie Dixon finished 21st in the 500 free prelims in 5:09.65.
Jeff’s 200 medley relay squad of Walker, Richard, Megan McEwen and Caroline Elliott placed 22nd in 1:50.53. Hallie Dixon placed 26th in the 200 free prelims in 1:57, while Adeline Dixon was 32nd in the 100 breaststroke prelims in 1:11.35.
New Albany freshman Greer Manger ended up 30th in the 50 free prelims in 25.16 seconds.
Floyd Central sophomore Lauren Thompson competed in two prelims Friday. Thompson finished 19th in the 100 backstroke in 58.05 and 28th in the 100 butterfly in 59.43.
Corydon Central sophomore Gracie Saulman also swam in a pair of prelims. Saulman placed 18th in the 100 free prelims in 52.45 and 19th in the 200 individual medley prelims in 2:07.41.
Saturday in the diving preliminaries, Floyd Central junior Anya Davenport wound up 30th with a score of 150.50. The top 20 finishers in the diving prelims advanced to Saturday’s semifinals.