Right from the start, Homestead's Bailey Pressey made sure the girls swimming team would have a better result at the state preliminaries.
Last year at the state meet, Homestead's head coach Chad Englehart felt his girls team got a little nervous and had some disappointing results.
Not this year with the senior Pressey leading the way.
In the very first event, the 200 medley relay, Pressey started off with the backstroke and put in the fourth fastest split of 32 teams. It would be exactly the position the team would finish to qualify for the finals and have a chance at the state championship in the event.
The finals take place this afternoon at 1 p.m. at the Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis. Diving preliminaries begin at 9 a.m. with finals slated for this afternoon.
“I give a lot of credit to Bailey,” Englehart said about his team's performance. “She's been a very strong leader and was the first one (swimming) for us and set the tone.”
The medley relay was just the start for Pressey's banner day. She swam in three other events and found herself in two more 'A' flights and one 'B' flight.
Pressey finished sixth in the 100 backstroke, just .32 seconds off first, fourth in the 100 butterfly and was part of a 400 freestyle relay team that placed 11th.
“She did a great job training this year and really set herself up nicely for a nice state meet,” Englehart said. “She's really excited by that and she'll come in tomorrow and lead the relay for the girls and (we'll) let her get them off to a good start.”
Pressey wasn't the only Homestead swimmer to put herself in position to win an individual state championship.
Caroline Weigand qualified for the 'A' finals in the 100 breaststroke with the third fastest time and Reagan Cook finished with the sixth best time in the 200 individual medley to make the 'A' flight as well.
Out of the 11 times Homestead had an individual or relay event, only had three did not make it into either the 'A' or 'B' flight of the finals.
“We are very excited,” Englehart said. “We had a number of lifetime best performances and a number of girls got back to the finals. … We are very happy with our first night. We didn't come in too excited and were ready to go.”
All area results (top eight make 'A' finals, next eight make 'B'):
200 Medley Relay: Homestead's Bailey Pressey, Caroline Weigand, Reagan Cook, Katie Krivacs 4th place; Jay County's Anne Vormohr, Sophie Bader, Caitlin Mark, Katy Smeltzer 20th
200 Freestyle: Wawasee's Breanna Robinson 3rd; Snider's Georgia Baldus 14th; Carroll's Zoe Toscos 17th; Bader 19th
200 IM: Cook 6th; Weigand 16th
50 Freestyle: Snider's Michaela Mintch 10th; Carroll's Courtney Kresl 15th; Bishop Dwenger's Erica Evans 17th
100 Butterfly: Pressey 4th; Homestead's Katie Krivacs 16th; Baldus 20th
100 Freestyle: Robinson 3rd; Mintch 16th; Kresl 18th; Vormohr 19th
500 Freestyle: Snider's Hannah Miller 4th; Bader 28th; Warsaw's Cynthia Juarez 30th
200 Freestyle Relay: Carroll's Kresl, Lauren Blanchard, Mykenzie Kostka, Toscos 10th; Snider's Baldus, Madaleine Hyde, Miller, Mintch 13th; Homestead's Becca Bowman, Hallie Nowak, Emily Thrasher, Krivacs 19th; Wawasee's Rachel Rozow, Kendra Miller, Kayla Hershberger, Robinson 21st
100 Backstroke: Pressey 6th; Vormohr 7th; Carroll's Sarah Pushis 13th; Cook 23rd; Wawasee's Elizabeth (Betsy) Rozow 31st
100 Breaststroke: Weigand 3rd; Carroll's Ciana Heston 7th; South Adams's Cady Farlow 11th; Homestead's Ally Hembree 26th; Warsaw's Ashley Van Worm 11th
400 Freestyle Relay: Krivacs, Cook, Nowak, Pressey 11th; Kresle, Pushis, Kostka, Toscos 14th; Baldus, Hyde, Miller, Mintch 16th; Hersheberger, Elizabeth Rozow, Miller, Robinson 23rd; Jay County's Katy Smeltzer, Ashley Mark, Bader, Vormohr 25th