High School Sports

Junker, Nelson shine at IHSA State Swimming and Diving Championships


Mascoutah High School senior Cole Junker and Columbia junior Carter Nelson had medal-winning performances as they led the way for metro east area athletes Saturday at the IHSA State Swimming and Diving Championships.

The meet was held at New Trier High School in suburban Winnetka.

Signed to attend Southern Methodist University in Dallas where he will compete for the Mustangs program beginning later this summer, Junker placed fourth in the 100 meter backstroke in a time 50.04 seconds, just behind Noah Clancy of Alton, who was third in 49.55 seconds. Ryan Purdy of Glenbrook North won the title in 49.21 seconds.

Junker was also ninth in the 200 meter individual medley.

Nelson, one of the top sprinters in the state, also claimed a pair of top nine efforts.

Nelson placed sixth in the 100 meter freestyle in 45.80 seconds. Luke Maurer of (Wilmette) Loyola Academy won the event in 44.63 seconds.

Nelson also placed ninth in the 50 meter freestyle with a time of 20.99 seconds.

Dean Criddle has worked at the Belleville News-Democrat for 32 years as a sports writer. Dean graduated from SIUE with a double major in journalism and English, is married and lives in Belleville.