First-year Eagle flies at NHC meet

   FORT WAYNE — Maybe as simple as his last name, Smith, a first-year Columbia City Eagle swimmer came in, dove into the pool and made a name for himself.
   Despite not having competed until his junior year, Cole Smith had the talent Saturday to be among the best in the Northeast Hoosier Conference.
   The annual meet that brings all seven teams together at Homestead High School. Not known to many in the swimming realm yet,  Smith came in under the radar but left with a spot on the first-team  all-conference.
   Smith finished the highest of any Columbia City swimmer Saturday in a meet dominated by Homestead and Carroll in nearly every event.
   The freestyle events are Smith’s speciality. The better of his two finishes came in swimming’s shortest race, the 50-meter freestyle. Smith beat out all but one competitor finishing second.
   “Our kids have represented our school well,” Columbia City head coach Phil Stanczak said. “This is Cole Smith’s first year with us swimming and achieved all-conference. I’m am very proud of the results and most of all how well our kids get along together. It really is amazing.”
   The top eight places in each race earned a ribbon. Smith added a fifth-place finish in the 100 freestyle to his accomplishments on the day.
   Smith teamed up with Columbia City’s two honorable mention all-conference members in Tucker Daniel and Kevin Hershberger. Along with Garrett Vandersaul, the four broke a school record in the 200-meter freestyle that was set in 2003.
   Hershberger’s top finish came in the 100 breaststroke where he finished seventh. Daniel grabbed a pair of ninth-place finishes in the 500 and 200 freestyle events.
   Both Columbia City teams finished fifth overall as a team on the day.
   The Lady Eagles were led by two eighth-place finishes.
   Libby Bower collected one in the 100-meter backstroke while also added a 10th-place spot in the 100 butterfly.
   The other eighth-place finish came from a former state finalist in Jenna Bosselman. She raced to the Lady Eagles best finish in the 200 individual medley. Bosselman also
   Other top finishers for Columbia City were: Mandi Wright ninth in 500 free, Kevin Hershberger ninth in 200 IM, Anneke Vanstraten 13th in the 50 free, Adriana Brown 11th in diving, John Davis 10th in diving,   Holly Kyler 11th in 100 free, Devin Moore 8th in 100 breaststroke.