The Carmel High School girls swimming team winning its 37th consecutive IHSAA state title was certainly no surprise.
However, the way Greyhounds won it was one for the record books.
The Greyhounds were victorious in 10 of 12 events and racked up a state record 498 points Feb. 11 in the IHSAA girls swimming and diving state finals at the IU Natatorium at IUPUI in Indianapolis. That broke the Greyhounds’ own record of 479 points in 2021, and the 10 wins broke CHS’s record of nine wins in 2015 and 2016.
CHS also set two national records and five state finals records.
“This team has senior experience and leadership and youthful exuberance with the young girls coming up and pushing everybody,” Greyhounds coach Chris Plumb said. “We were able to make it work, and that speaks a lot to our young girls being able to do that. They were great all year and we got better throughout the year. From the beginning of the season until now, they just kept improving every day, and that’s all we can ask.”
The 200-yard individual medley relay team of senior Berit Berglund, freshman Molly Sweeney, sophomore Alex Shackell and senior Meghan Christman won in a national record time of 1 minute, 36.98 seconds. The 200-freestyle relay of Sweeney, Christman, Shackell and junior Grace Dougherty won in a national record time of 1:30.23.
Carmel had three double winners in individual events.
Shackell set two state records by winning the 50 freestyle in 21.93 seconds and 100 butterfly in 50.89 seconds.
“I think it was Carmel’s best-ever prelims and finals,” Shackell said. “We all had really good swims. The momentum keeps building with the freshmen, too, so it shows we have a lot of good years ahead of us.”
Sophomore Lynsey Bowen captured the 500 freestyle in a state record time of 4:42.81 and won the 200 freestyle in 1:45.49.
Sweeney was victorious in the 200 individual medley in 1:56.82 and the 100 breaststroke in 59.78.
The 400 freestyle relay of all four seniors, Christman, Berglund, Erin Cummins and Vivian Wilson, won in 3:21.84.
Berglund became a four-time winner of the 100 backstroke, winning in 51.80.
“Berit’s ability to come back again and again speaks to her character,” Plumb said.
Since winning as a freshman, Berglund said she wanted to equal former CHS swimmer Claire Adams’ record of four state backstroke titles.
“I’m always up for the 100 backstroke and I just love it,” she said.
Berglund said being part of Carmel swimming has been a special experience.
“It’s just something I’ll never take for granted,” said Berglund, who will swim for the University of Texas next season. “It’s made me realize that not everything is about you. The girls around here have taught me so much and helped me grow in all aspects of life.”