Eagle swimmers qualify for sectional finals

WARSAW — Thursday was the sectional preliminary round for boys swimming, and Columbia City’s squad will be hitting the pool at least one more time at sectional finals Saturday.Swimmers had to place in the top 16 overall to qualify for Saturday and had to be in the top eight to make the championship heat. The 9-16 placers swim in the consolation heat.All three relay events will be represented by Columbia City in the championship portion of the race. The 200-yard medley relay team of Shane Bufkin, Jonathon Fix, Robert Owen and Austin Kelly came in seventh; the 200 freestyle relay team of Jared Mertz, Dayne Trump, Nathan Koch and Foster Eber came in fourth and the 400 freestyle relay squad of Mertz, Trump, Koch and Eber was sixth.Individually, Columbia City’s top finish was by Mertz in the 50 freestyle, as he came in third at 23.65, just behind winner Jayden Parrett of Warsaw at 22.75. Trump grabbed a pair of seventh-place finishes as well in the 200-yard individual medley and the 100 butterfly and Eber was sixth in the 100 freestyle.Saturday’s swim finals begin at 1 p.m. Sectional champions at each of the 20 sectionals around Indiana will qualify for the state championship next week, along with the best remaining times to round the field in each event out to 32.For a more in-depth look at this story, see the Feb. 15 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook.