Franklin Sweeps Weekly HCAC Swimming & Diving Awards

Clockwise from top left: Will Combs, Lexi Blackburn, Jessica Halsmer, James Hone
Clockwise from top left: Will Combs, Lexi Blackburn, Jessica Halsmer, James Hone

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Franklin swimming and diving teams swept this week's Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) weekly awards, marking the first time in program history they walked away with all four league athlete of the week awards.

Junior James Hone was named HCAC Men's Swimmer of the Week for the first time and was joined as a first-time selection by sophomore Jessica Halsmer on the women's side. Senior Will Combs and sophomore Lexi Blackburn collected league diver of the week honors for the third straight week.

Melbourne, Australia-native Hone won three of his four individual events over the weekend in dual wins over Millikin, Illinois Tech and Loras. He took home wins in the 1000 freestyle and the and in the 200 IM on Friday night before adding a victory in the 200 backstroke on Saturday afternoon. Additionally, Hone was part of three relay wins for the Grizzlies, helping them improve to 4-0 in dual competitions this year.

Halsmer collected three event wins of her own and was part of two first place relay squads as the Franklin women moved to 5-0 in dual competition. The Indianapolis, Ind.-native took a pair of first-place finishes in the 200 freestyle, with her time of 1:58.54 on Friday night setting the new top mark in the conference and ranking 46th in the country. On Saturday, Halsmer's time of 2:08.11 in the 200 backstroke not only won the event, but clocked in as the 14th-fastest in the country in the event.

Combs continued his strong start to the year by winning the one- and three-meter board events on Saturday against Illinois Tech and Loras. The Indianapolis, Ind.-native scored 215.15 points on the three-meter board and 261.35 on the one-meter board, taking first place in both events for the third straight weekend.

Blackburn just missed qualifying for the NCAA Diving Regionals on Saturday but still took a first-place finish on the three-meter board with 218.60 points. The Clayton, Ind.-native followed up with a runner-up finish on the one-meter board, racking up 244.90 points.

The Grizzlies continue their season on Saturday (Nov. 10) afternoon, when they welcome Centre College and Manchester University to Franklin Middle School. Start time is set for 1:00 p.m.