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TELL CITY - With one of its biggest and most experienced squads ever, Tell City's boys swim team could improve on last year's third-place finish in the PAC.
The Marksmen have 14 boys on their roster, their most in four years. They include seven lettermen.
All six of their freshmen swam for Tell City's junior high team last year, with two of them winning PAC titles last year.
"We should be in pretty good shape in the freestyles," said Tell City Coach Mike Page, adding that he can put three boys in the 200- and 500-yard freestyles and at least two in the 50 and 100.
Senior Zach Avallone returns in the 50 and 100 frees and could be joined by freshman Greg Clayton, who won the juinior high PAC 100 and 200 last year.
Isaac Schaefer, Trevor Nelson and Nick Dauby return in the 200 and 500 frees.
Schaefer and Nelson each placed in the top seven in both those events in the PAC meet last year, with Schaefer taking third in the 500 free.
Graduated Reece Hendershot won the 100 backstroke in the PAC and placed second in the 18-team sectional last year, but freshman Justin Peter "is not too far off where Reece was last year" in that race, said Page.
Peter won the junior high PAC 50 backstroke last year.
Peter could also swim the 200 individual medley, along with returnee Nick Bower.
Senior Bryson May returns in the 100 breaststroke and could be joined by sophomore Austin Clayton, a first-year swimmer, and Cory Burris.
Page said Wednesday he doesn't know who will swim the 100 butterfly, though he listed Bower and Clayton as possibilities for it.
Two freshmen, Taylor Maddle and Logan Bolin, are diving for the Marksmen.
Bolin is diving for the first time, but Maddle competed in that event in junior high and "is looking real good," said Page.
Page said he has "no idea" who will man the three relays.
But "we should be able to put together a pretty decent medley relay with Justin on the back, Bryson on the breast and Zach on the free, if we can come up with a buttterflyer."
May and Avallone swam on the Marksmen's third-place 200 free relay in the PAC last year.
Page said Southridge, Heritage Hills and Pike Central are probably the favorites in the PAC.
"Southridge has a freshman who is probably the best male swimmer in the conference this year.
"Heritage Hills won it last year and should be outstanding again.
"Pike Central was second last year and only lost three guys, and they have the best junior high group they've ever had coming in.
"Those three are probably the favorites and we're kind of on the outside looking in. But we could be there too. We'll know more after our first meet or two."
The IHSAA has realigned the sectionals this year, so Tell City will be one of only 12 teams in the Jasper sectional, instead of the 18 that were there last year.
The three biggest schools, New Albany, Jeffferonsville and Floyd Central, are among the teams leaving the Jasper sectional. Each finished in the top four in it last year.
But another large school, Bedford-North Lawrence, joins the sectional.
"I would still list Jasper as the favorite," said Page. "But I know absolutely nothing about Bedford-North Lawrence - they're the wild card.
"I'd like to finish in the top half (the Marksmen were eighth last year). It would be great if we could finish in the top five."