ARTICLE BY JEREMY HOOD
INDIANAPOLIS – The North Central Panthers may not have won the boys state swimming championship as a team, but they certainly did not go home disappointed. The Panthers were looking to capture their first team state title since 2006. Unfortunately, the Panthers would come up just short to the Charleston Trojans 203.5 to 238.5 giving them the state runner up trophy.
The Panthers were led by the 200 freestyle relay team led by senior twin brothers Ted and Joe Steinkamp. This 200 yard relay team would capture the Panthers only individual state title giving, the Steinkamp brothers something to smile about as they ended their careers as Panthers.
“We’ve talked about this event everyday of our senior year” Ted said. We talked about finally putting the rings on our fingers and we got them.”
“Columbus North gave us a run there at the end” Joe said, “but we knew it was our time and I was just so excited to finally step up to the top of the podium.”
“Joe and Ted are great leaders out of the pool and in the pool” Head CoachMatt Papachronis said. “They are great friends and great teammates and they will most certainly be missed.”
Joe and Ted plan on attending college after they graduate. But are undecided on where they want to go.
Other notable performers throughout the day, were Senior Co-Captain Max Irwin of the Bloomington North Cougars, and Cody Coldren of the Hamilton Southeastern Royals.
Max Irwin defined what having a strong strength of endurance can do for you in the end. Irwin participated in three straight events, and did not disappoint. Despite falling just shy of being a two time state champion in his first event, the 200 fly, Irwin went right back and won the next event, the 500 yard freestyle.
“I’ve been doing a lot of work with endurance and distance training, so to be able to win this event was such a huge thing and I am just so excited” Irwin said.
The lone champion for the Cougars was also the recipient of the 2013 State Mental Attitude award presented by Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance. This award is presented annually to a senior that is nominated by his principal and coach as someone who demonstrates excellence in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership, and athletic ability.
“I credit the Boy Scouts one hundred percent” Irwin said. “I was also an eagle scout and got to work with a lot of great people so I credit them for developing me into a good leader.”
Max plans to head to the University of Texas in Austin next fall where he plans to study math and physics.
In a miraculous comeback, junior diver Cody Coldren of Hamilton Southeastern, climbed all the way back from being out of the top ten, to placing second with one miraculous triple summersault front dive.
“I’m honestly on cloud nine right now” Cody said. “I knew I had to do well but I did not want to look at the scoreboard and tell myself what numbers I had to get.” I just had to step up to the board, give it my all and give these people a show.”
Cody will return next year for his senior year, where at this point, it is very likely he could have a shot at the state title.
“I’m already ready for next year” he said. “It’s going to be a heck of a competition as it always is, but I am ready to come back and give it my best.”