When the state high school swimming and diving championships begin Thursday, beware the Creek.
Tates Creek's boys played second fiddle to Paul Laurence Dunbar in the Region 5 championships. But the Commodores put enough qualifiers through to the state meet that they could make some noise in the University of Louisville's Ralph Wright Natatorium.
"We will do some damage at state, that's for sure," Creek Coach Dave Doolin said. "Our guys' team is really strong. We also have some girls that are pretty strong as well, so it will be a nice combination this year at State."
Creek's boys are entered in all three relays, and hope to start with a bang in the 200-yard medley relay.
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Tates Creek is seeded third in the medley, and all four Commodores are also qualified in individual events.
"I think we have a good chance to do our best and maybe win," said Landon Clark, who will swim the butterfly portion. "See how it goes and do our best."
Clark also will swim in the 400 freestyle relay, as well as the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke.
Ethan Kramer will lead off the medley with the backstroke. Then it will be Ethan Curl in the breaststroke, Clark in the butterfly and Stone Sellers in freestyle.
"That would be pretty cool if we could pull it off and win it," said Kramer, who is seeded fourth in the 100 backstroke and also will swim the 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relay. "I know we could probably do it."
The medley relay is made up of three sophomores and Curl, a senior who has signed with Indiana University.
He may be Creek's best shot for an individual title. He was second in last year's 500 freestyle.
He's back in that event, seeded fourth, as well as the 200 freestyle, where he's seeded third. He'll also be on the 400 freestyle relay.
"I'm just going to go out there and compete, try my best, hopefully get my state championship in the 500 freestyle," Curl said. "That's the plan."
Sellers will swim the 100 butterfly and on all three relays.
"I like swimming in the relays better than the individual event," he said. "They're a little more fun."
Creek's girls are led by Mallory Shake, who is seeded fifth in the 50 freestyle.
Lafayette's Kyrie Dobson is the top seed in the 50, as well as the 100. And she's a big reason why the Generals are seeded second in the 200 freestyle relay.
Other area girls with a top-five seeds include Dunbar sophomore Madison Winstead in the 100 butterfly and 100 breaststroke, and Western Hills' Sydney Sell in the 100 backstroke.
Boys' top-five seeds include Henry Clay's Andrew Freibert in the 50 and 100 freestyles; the Lafayette, Dunbar and Model 200 freestyle relays, and the Henry Clay and Tates Creek 400 freestyle relays.
Dunbar, which swept region team titles for boys, girls and combined, is led by girls' region champs Winstead, backstroker Sydney Toth and freestyler Lauren Denham.
"At some point in my career, I would like to get a trophy for the combined team, which is third," Coach Sydney Witzky said. "But top five would be really great for us this year."