BNL’s Baker and Manke
preparing for stress-free
races in state preliminaries
By Justin Sokeland
The pressure, much like their shaved hair, has disappeared. Bedford North Lawrence swimmers Alex Manke and Drew Baker are free from the bonds of expectations as they prepare to compete in the Indiana High School Athletic Association state finals on Friday night.
Manke and Baker both won sectional championships to qualify for the state meet at IUPUI. Now they’ve sunk from first to last, seeded at the bottom of the 32-man field for their respective events. That just means they can relax and race, unencumbered by the stress of desired results. What could go wrong?
Baker, a senior, is seeded 32nd in the 100-yard backstroke in 57.63. Manke, a sophomore, is seeded 31st in the 500 freestyle in 4:59.45. There is nowhere to go but up the chart.
The top eight in each event will advance from the Friday prelims to the championship races on Saturday afternoon. Positions 9-16 will qualify for the consolation races. Both have time to slash, and little time to accomplish that, even with the full effects of tapering and the boost in speed the Natatorium water usually provides.