BOYS SWIMMING: Fincher closes out Logan career with 13th-place finish at State Finals

Feb. 28—Logansport senior Jake Fincher seemingly broke a school record every time he entered the pool this season and was hoping to do the same at the IHSAA Boys Swimming State Finals this past weekend.

But Fincher and his fans were reminded that it's not easy to do as he didn't get his PR's at state but he still had the Berries' best finish there in over three decades.

Fincher placed 13th in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 50.83 seconds in Saturday's consolation finals and placed 25th in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 21.75 seconds at Friday's preliminaries at the state meet at the Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis.

"I could definitely be disappointed about not PR'ing, not hitting my goals," he said. "I wanted to bring back a medal. I wanted top eight. I would have had to have dropped a half-second in the fly instead of added a half-second. It's easy to be disappointed in that, but I think most importantly it's how far I've come. I mean 13th place is no joke. And that's the first time that's Logansport's scored in a long time. So just to represent that and see all the progress I've made is really amazing."

Fincher PR'd in both events one week earlier at the Warsaw Sectional, winning the 100 fly in 50.66 seconds and the 50 free in 21.55 seconds.

"That turnaround from sectionals to state, a lot of people think, 'oh it's a week, that's plenty of time.' But swimming's different. That's a really quick turnover for two fast races," Fincher said. "Then you get in the pool with a lot of people who are just as fast as you or faster and you're not in clean water. Sectionals I was ahead, there was no one splashing into me. But state I was lane eight, lane six and just a lot of people near me that were keeping up, it does make a big difference."

Fincher's teammate with the Boilermakers Aquatics swim club, Matthew Klinge, a senior from Harrison who is an Ohio State commit, swept state titles in the 50 free (:19.81) and 100 fly (:47.67).

"He's great. He's really funny. He is one of my club teammates so I know him pretty well," Fincher said. "He's awesome, he definitely deserves it. He was really close to the state record in the 50 free, so a little unfortunate he didn't get that. But he's a great guy. It's great to see him win three times in a row for the 50, twice for the fly. So just seeing that, being able to work with him is awesome."

Fincher said he made his college decision on Sunday as he has committed to Olivet Nazarene University, an NAIA school located in Bourbonnais, Illinois. He plans to major in sports management or rec and sports studies.

"I did commit to Olivet Nazarene, which wasn't on my previous list," he said. "But it just seemed like a great school for me, a great fit.

"They're NAIA. I don't think they're top five, I think they're sixth. They're up there, they've got some fast kids, they've got I think 13 national qualifiers. The girls are probably competing for a national championship when that comes and the boys are a little behind them."

Logansport has 12 state championships in girls swimming, including eight by Heidi Hendricks alone. Laura Brown won two and Jenny Jordan won an individual title and also teamed with Joy Coon, Paige Coon and Allison Roberts to win a state title in the 200 medley relay in 1983.

The best boys finish at state is believed to be Joel Wihebrink's 10th-place finish in the 100 free in 1991 with a time of 48.05 seconds, which set a school record which stood for 33 years before Fincher broke it this season.

Fincher broke seven of the eight individual school records, which makes him the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) for Logansport boys swimming, according to Berries coach Mike Shannon.

"How can you not say that?" Shannon said. "I don't have any statistics, I don't have anything except for that big red sign on the wall that says 'Jake Fincher' seven times. Did he come off with a state title? No. But he's just an all-around great kid, hard working, very determined and laser focused. A lot of kids this generation could learn a lot from that just by looking how much effort actually needs to go into things.

"What a ride."