by Beau Wicker
Logansport has two North Central Conference champions that will lead the Berries into the Warsaw boys swimming sectional.
The swimming preliminaries will be held tonight, with the consolations and finals to be held on Saturday.
Logan junior Dustin Clements was the NCC champion in the 100-yard backstroke this season with a time of 57.82 seconds.
“I was extremely happy on my performance,” Clements said. “My goal was to go out and get a :57, and that’s what I got.”
Clements, a first-time NCC champ, said he will likely need to drop some time this weekend in order to qualify for the state finals.
“Warsaw has a guy that’s pretty good, so it’ll be good competition. I’m looking to go a :56 or :55 hopefully,” he said.
Clements also plays baseball for the Berries and saw quite a bit of action last season as a sophomore. He played in the Colt World Series last summer for Hoosier North.
“I don’t like [swimming] as much as baseball, but it keeps me in shape for baseball,” he said. “I’ve been swimming since I can remember. Jon-Myckle [Price], he’s helped me a lot, too. Then Heidi [Hendricks-Knight] became the swim coach and she’s helped me, too.”
As for baseball, Clements said, “We’ve got a lot of good guys. I believe we have the team to go out and get sectionals hopefully.”
Hendricks-Knight said Clements is seeded third in the sectional in the 100 back.
“He’s done awesome this year. He’s been working hard,” she said. “He’s done a lot better this year.”
Logansport has a standout diving team this year and for the first time in school history had three divers on the podium at the NCC meet. Senior Tyler Graves was the NCC champion.
“I just feel really lucky to have competed well because with my dives they could go either way,” Graves said. “Sometimes I nail them and sometimes I’m way off. I was really surprised to come out on top because normally nine times out of 10 my teammate Dustin Shafer will beat me. But I was really lucky.
“As a whole, in my opinion, we have the best diving team around. I wish we could compete together collectively because our scores just vary by a few points all the time. I could be first or I could be third very easily.”
The diving prelims and finals are on Saturday. The top four finishers in the finals advance to next Tuesday’s South Bend Riley Regional.
“At sectional, I think that me, [Austin] Poe and Dustin [Shafer] all have a chance to move on as long as we prepare and are ready for anything,” Graves said.
The top eight finishers at the regional then advance to the state finals.
“The regional last year was a great experience, but I didn’t stand a chance,” Graves said. “The people that I talk to, the least experience there was six years, and this is my third year of diving. I just can’t compete with the time and money they put into the sport.”