Franklin Ladies Cap off Season as State 2019 IHSAA Runner-Up
by Zach DeWitt
The journey up the “mountain” of Indiana Swimming is steepest the closer a program gets to the top. Tradition and history alone has taught us that swimming powers don’t often offer much variety: Carmel has won the State Championship for 33 years, the longest streak in the nation’s history of high school sports. The Franklin Community Lady Cubs have clawed over the years from a team that didn’t score a single point in the state meet in 2016, to one that just captured their first “big state trophy” in school history.
Franklin fought through each race with the supposed “Blue Blood” programs, who have owned the top spots over the last decade: Chesterton, Hamilton Southeastern, Fishers, and Homestead. Franklin ladies forged on to write a new chapter in the program’s history, one which will include IHSAA State Runner-Up.
Franklin placed 2nd in the team standings and scored 167.5 points on Saturday to earn their place as one of the premier programs in the state. It’s been quite the ascension over the past few years, where their efforts to join the state’s elite fell a bit short.
• 2019: 2nd Place, 167.5 pts at IHSAA State Championships
• 2018: 4th place finish at IHSAA State Championships, 163 pts.
• 2017: 12th place finish at IHSAA State Championships, 83 pts.
• 2016: 14th place finish at IHSAA State Championships, 58 pts.
• 2015: (DNP) Did not place at IHSAA State Championships, 0pts.
Franklin scored in every swimming event, with 8 different athletes doing their part in scoring points for the 2nd placing girls team. Led by double-finalist Carla Gildersleeve, who placed 2nd and 5th in the 100 Butterfly and 200 IM respectively, the Cubs also had two more athletes join the Franklin “Wall of Fame.”
The largest sum of points, however, came from all three relays placing top-8. A team of Scarlet Friend, Kabria Chapman, Ali Terrell, and Gracey Payne finished as state runner-up to Carmel in the 200 Medley Relay to kick off the meet. Carla Gildersleeve, Scarlet Friend, Sarah Hoffman, and Gracey Payne placed 3rd overall with a new school record in the 200 Freestyle Relay. In the last race of the day, it was Carla Gildersleeve, Lucy Ho, Sarah Hoffman, and Alea Hensley, racing to an 10th place finish to wrap up the state finals and the season.
On the season, Franklin broke 4 of the schools 11 swimming records, while also making the 2nd appearance in the top 5 in school history. Franklin’s senior class was instrumental in changing the course of a program who hadn’t won a sectional title in 27 years, to a program that looks poised to compete with the state’s elite for years to come.
State Placers and best times from IHSAA State include:
• 200 Medley Relay – 1:43.14* – 2nd Place – Scarlet Friend, Kabria Chapman, Ali Terrell, and Gracey Payne
• 200 Freestyle –Sarah Hoffman – 16th place, 1:52.88
• 200 IM – Carla Gildersleeve – 5th place, 2:00.73 in prelims*
• 50 Free – Gracey Payne –3rd place, 23.41, Scarlet Friend 10th place, 23.81
• 100 Butterfly – Carla Gildersleeve – 2nd, 53.86
• 100 Freestyle – Gracey Payne – 7th, 51.56
• 500 Freestyle – Sarah Hoffman – 13th, 5:04.42
• 200 Freestyle Relay – 1:34.67*, 3rd – Gildersleeve, Friend, Hoffman, Gracey Payne
• 100 Backstroke – Jessie Fraley – 15th, 57.72, 56.35 in prelims*
• 100 Breaststroke – Kabria Chapman – 5th 1:04.00
• 400 Freestyle Relay – 3:31.19 – Gildersleeve, Hensley, Ho, Hoffman
*denotes school record
Senior Girls go out in style:
Franklin girls hold on for 2nd place finish: http://www.