HIGHLAND – Highland’s Ethan Churilla, 12, of the Highland Hurricanes Swim Club, came home from Indiana Swimming’s Age Group State Championships on March 15-17 a champion, taking the state’s top spot in both the 50 and 100 free events.

Churilla ranked in the top eight for all four of his other events of the weekend, something the swimming community has come to expect from the powerful 5-foot, 10-inch sixth grader.

Evan Dildine, 9, took 4th place in the 100 breast, 50 breast and 50 back events, as well as maintaining his hold on the top 25 in the state in his free and back events.

The record board at the Highland Natatorium is now out of date, with several pool records having been shattered all in recent weeks, primarily by Churilla and a group of 10-and-under girls who are making some noise in Highland.

Head Coach Nick Castillo and Coach Tim Gyure were elated with the performance by their 10-and-under girls, who made a name for themselves at their first state appearance. Mya Bailey, Emily Marvel, Emma Smith and Rachel Stange beamed from the winners’ circle after they took 5th place in the 200 free relay. They had been seeded at 27th place before the race.

Lexie Rose joined Marvel, Smith and Stange in the 200 medley relay, which placed 16th in the 10-and-under age group. The team had gone into that race ranked 35th.

As the single Highland girl representing the club’s 13-14 age group, freestyle sprinter Morgan Rose had a respectable showing among her state-bound peers, finishing the 50 freestyle in 27:23.

About the Highland Hurricanes: Recognized as a Level II USA Swim Club, The Highland Hurricanes is an age-group competitive swim club for ages 5-18 in Highland and surrounding communities.

Nathan Laird

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