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Bowen, Christianson, Shackell, and Sweeney dominate 50th Girls State Meet

Lewis Bagley, Special to
Posted: February 10, 2024
Photo Credit: Double Edge Media @demllc

INDIANAPOLIS - It’s a credit to the excellence of the Carmel program that winning the girls state swimming and diving championship isn’t big news.

For the 38th straight season (!) coach Chris Plumb’s squad easily captured the title at the IU Natatorium, running up 433 points to easily double-up runner-up Penn’s 212. Fishers finished third with 202 points, snapping a streak of four-straight seasons the Tigers claimed the runner-up spot.

Carmel team with trophy
The Carmel Greyhounds won their 38th consecutive state championship on Saturday. It continues to be the all-time longest string of state championships in the country in any sport or gender (Photo courtesy Double Edge Media @demllc)


While the final point total is the fewest in four years and, perhaps, the individual times weren’t quite what was expected, it’s simply hard to argue with the program’s excellence.

Keep in mind, the Greyhounds were swimming without one of their top performers in Kayla Han (who is representing the USA in an international meet) and they were not represented in the 200 freestyle relay after being disqualified for a rules violation at the sectional meet.

Simply put, the Carmel program has set such a standard that living up to it every single year is a lot to ask.

“I never want to judge a team based on the point total,” said head coach Chris Plumb, who had guided Carmel to the last 18 titles. “Every year is different and it’s a disservice to the girls to judge based on that.

“Everyone we brought here scored points,” Plumb continued. “You need top-end talent, but you need depth, too. We got it done as a team and took care of business.”

The medals haul for Carmel was very impressive.

Two swimmers, junior Alex Shackell and sophomore Molly Sweeney, each took home four first-place medals and junior Lynsey Bowen garnered three.

Shackell swam a leg of the winning 200 medley relay (1:39.13) to open the meet and closed the meet with a leg of the winning 400 freestyle relay (3:24.93). In between she picked up individual wins in the 100 butterfly for the third straight year and broke her own state record in :50.25. She also won the 100 backstroke (:51.63).

Sweeney, meanwhile, joined the 200 medley and 400 free relays, as well as taking the 200 IM (1:07.05, which is well off the state record she set in 2023) and 100 breaststroke (:59.47).

In her two years, Sweeney has now claimed eight first-place medals – halfway to the state record of 16 set by Carmel’s Claire Adams from 2013-16.

Alex Shackell of Carmel
Carmel's Kayla Barr led off the Greyhounds' championship-winning 200 medley relay team (Photo courtesy Double Edge Media @demllc).


Finally, Bowen won the 200 free (1:45.74) and 500 free (in 4:40.74, which breaks her own state record by over two seconds). She joins Shackell as a three-time event winner. Bowen also joined Shackell, Sweeney and freshman Faith Gorey in the 400 free relay.

Perhaps the best race of the meet came in the 50 freestyle where Penn senior Lily Christianson edged Wawasee’s Julie Mishler in a state record :21.72. Shackell set the meet record a year ago at :21.93. Mishler, the junior national champion, finished in :21.85.

Christianson, a North Carolina State recruit, won the event as a freshman and sophomore before Shackell dethroned her a year ago.

Christianson also won the 100 free (:48.45) and anchored the winning 200 free relay, joining Kaia Podlin, Alayna Riggins and Molly Barnes to win in 1:31.94. The victory is the first-ever relay win for the Penn program.

The final first place of the meet went to Fort Wayne Snider’s Amelia Rinehart, who took the diving with a 513.40 score.

Zionsville (170 points) and Carroll (Fort Wayne) (166) rounded out the top five teams.

Lily Christianson of Penn
Lily Christianson of Penn set a new state record in winning her third 50 Free title in four years, repeated as champion in the 100 Free, and anchored the Kingsmen's 200 Free Relay team, the school's first state championship relay (Photo courtesy Double Edge Media @demllc).


Fishers' Avery Stein named Mental Attitude Award recipient

Avery Stein of Fishers High School was named the recipient of the Mental Attitude Award by the IHSAA Executive Committee after today's state meet. 

She qualified for the State Finals in the 200 individual medley, 100 breaststroke, and was a part of the Tigers’ 200 free and the 400 free relay teams and helped the Tigers to a third place team finish overall.

Academically, she ranks in the top 10 percent of her senior class of 907 students. Avery is a member of the National Honors Society, the Student Athletic Leadership Team, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She has also been named a 3-time varsity letter winner, a 4-time NISCA All-American, and a 2-time USA Swimming All-American. 

Avery is the daughter of Stephen and Jacqueline Stein of Fishers. She will be attending the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri where she was admitted to the Honors College. She will be studying Pre-Professional Dental through the Health Services field as well competing for the Tigers’ women’s swim team. 

Each year the IHSAA Executive Committee selects a senior who was nominated by her principal and coach and was determined to have best demonstrated mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability. Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, the IHSAA’s proud corporate partners, presented $1,000 to the Fishers High School general scholarship fund in the name of Avery Stein.

Avery Stein of Fishers won the Mental Attitude Award
Avery Stein of Fishers High School earned the Mental Attitude Award (Photo courtesy @demllc).


The 50th Annual IHSAA Girls Swimming & Diving State Finals
Indiana University Natatorium, IUPUI, Indianapolis
February 9-10, 2024

Final Results 

Top 10 Teams














Carroll (Fort Wayne)



Hamilton Southeastern



Center Grove






Franklin Community





State Champions
200 Medley Relay: Carmel (Kayla Barr 11, Molly Sweeney 10, Alexandra Shackell 11, Grace Dougherty 12) 1:39.13
200 Freestyle: Lynsey Bowen (11) Carmel 1:45.74 Repeat state champion
200 Individual Medley: Molly Sweeney (10) Carmel 1:56.38 Repeat state champion
50 Freestyle: Lilian Christianson (12) Penn 21.72 State Record, Third title in four years
One Meter Diving: Amelia Rinehart (11) Fort Wayne Snider 513.40 
100 Butterfly: Alexandra Shackell (11) Carmel 50.25 State Record, Third straight crown 
100 Freestyle: Lilian Christianson (12) Penn 48.45 Repeat state champion 
500 Freestyle: Lynsey Bowen (11) Carmel 4:40.74 State Record, Third straight crown
200 Freestyle Relay: Penn (Kaia Podlin 12, Alayna Riggins 10, Molly Barnes 9, Lilian Christianson 12) 1:31.94 
100 Backstroke: Alexandra Shackell (11) Carmel 51.63 
100 Breaststroke: Molly Sweeney (10) Carmel 59.47 Repeat state champion
400 Freestyle Relay: Carmel (Alexandra Shackell 11, Lynsey Bowen 11, Faith Gorey 9, Molly Sweeney 10) 3:18.66 

State Records During Saturday's Championship Finals (3)
50 Freestyle: Lilian Christianson (12) Penn 21.72 
100 Butterfly: Alexandra Shackell (11) Carmel 50.25
500 Freestyle: Lynsey Bowen (11) Carmel 4:40.74 

State Records During Friday's Preliminaries (1)
100 Butterfly: Alex Shackell (11) Carmel 50.57