One of Shelbyville High School’s greatest athletes cemented her legacy Monday night at New Palestine High School winning two swimming sectional titles to earn her third state finals appearance.
Karissa Hamilton dominated the field to win the 50-yard freestyle in a school record time of 24.27 seconds. She broke her own record set in 2020 of 24.51.
Hamilton entered the sectional as the No. 4 seed in the 100 freestyle but swam the fastest time in Saturday’s preliminary qualifying race and backed that up with another school record to capture a second sectional title.
The winning time of 53.56 was 2.05 seconds faster than Hamilton’s school record time of 55.61.
Hamilton teamed with Madison Monroe, Marlee Rice and Miriam Garringer to finish runner-up in the 200 freestyle relay at 1:45.14. The Golden Bear quartet will wait to see if the time is fast enough to be added to the state finals field.
Rice, competing in her final sectional, finished third in the 100 freestyle in 55.66 (photo, with Hamilton on the podium) and fifth in the 100 backstroke (1:01.34) and proved to be a dynamic duo with Hamilton the last four seasons.
“Marlee and Karissa have set a very high standard of excellence for Golden Bears to follow for years to come,” said Shelbyville coach Coen Weiler. “Combined, they have five sectional wins, six state berths, six HHC wins, and both are on the Golden Bear Top Ten for all but one event.”
Garringer got the Golden Bears started Monday with a fourth-place finish in the 200 freestyle (2:05.67). She was seeded seventh entering the sectional. She also finished ninth in the 500 freestyle (5:53.10).
Jordan Tobler finished 13th in the 200 freestyle (2:18.94) and 12th in the 100 butterfly (1:20.87).
Tobler teamed with Rice, Garringer and Hamilton to finish fourth in the 400 freestyle relay (3:55.93).
Kylie Stader placed 16th in the 100 butterfly (1:27.45).
Monroe closed out her season with a 16th-place finish in the 100 breaststroke (1:32.96).
Shelbyville finished seventh in the 11-team field with just seven swimmers competing at New Palestine. Greenfield-Central was the sectional champion.
The Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) State Finals begin Friday with preliminary swims in all events at the Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis.
The top 16 finishers in each event advance to Saturday’s championship and consolation races.
Based off all sectional results posted at the IHSAA’s website, Hamilton had the 19th fastest time in the 50 free and 28th fastest in the 100 free.
Another school record time in the 50 free Friday could advance Hamilton into the top 16 to get a coveted race Saturday to close out her career.
Hamilton will then put the competitive swimsuit away and focus on her senior season of softball with the Golden Bears. She is already committed to play college softball at the University of Kentucky.