Although it wasn’t as glitzy as 2020, the Carmel High School boys swimming team found another way to race to a state title.
In 2020, Jake Mitchell and Wyatt Davis, now at the University of Michigan, each won two individual events and were on two winning relays. They were part of five state records.
This year, it was considerable depth that made the difference. The Greyhounds extended their own record from six to seven consecutive IHSAA state championships Feb. 27 at the Indiana University Natatorium at IUPUI. Carmel had three champions, half as many as 2020, and no state records, yet it still had more points (360) than in 2020 (331). Credit the legacy of Mitchell and Davis, Greyhounds coach Chris Plumb said.
“Mitchell and Davis helped create a sustainable culture of teamwork, the willingness to lift your teammates and high standards,” Plumb said.
Junior Ryan Malicki was the Greyhounds’ lone individual champion, winning the 100-yard breaststroke in 53.71 seconds.
“Moving up from third (in 2020) to first felt amazing,” Malicki said. “Ever since last year’s meet, I really wanted to stand on top of that podium in an individual race. Before finals this year, I watched the race video from last year and it reminded me of how close I was to winning my sophomore year. This year, I knew I had a good chance to win it, but nothing was guaranteed, and I still needed to execute when it mattered most. The time was not as fast as I wanted it to be, but I cannot complain about being a state champion.”
Malicki said he was proud of his brother, Brandon, a freshman, who placed sixth in 100 breaststroke.
“He and my teammates push me every day at practice, and I would not be where I am today without all the great people I train with every day, both boys and girls,” he said.
Both Malicki and Plumb said increasing his strength was a major factor in the win. Malicki said he learned a great deal from Davis about how important dry land training is for success.
“Ryan has put in the work, and he improved a tremendous amount in the weight room,” Plumb said. “He has been able to translate his strength in the weight room to speed in the pool.”
Malicki was on the winning 200 medley relay team with freshman Carter Lancaster, junior Christopher Holmes and senior William Kok.
“The medley relay was a completely new group of guys, except for me, and they did amazing. We each did our job and it worked out in the way we wanted, which was with a state championship,” said Malicki, who also was a member of the second-place 200 freestyle relay.
Carter Lancaster was joined on the Greyhounds’ state champion 400 freestyle relay with seniors Griffin Hadley and Augustus Rothrock and sophomore Kayden Lancaster.
“We have a team that believes in each other and wants to see each other succeed,” Plumb said. “Their relay performances were the epitome of teamwork, hard work and determination.”
Plumb said sophomore Sean Sullivan (third in 100 backstroke) and senior Kellen Reese (sixth in 100 butterfly) each made impressive gains from last year.