Swimming: Munster boys, girls earn 10 wins each on way to knocking off Valpo
By Josh Lichtenfeld Post-Tribune correspondent December 6, 2012 11:22PM
Munster's Wilson Beckman leads Valparaiso's Andrew Antonetti in the 200 yd IM Thursday evening at Munster High School. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 8, 2013 6:34AM
MUNSTER — Munster junior sprinter Sammy Odtallah is starving to shave time off his swims.
Sure there’s plenty of the regular season remaining and he’s already posting big accomplishments, but the Seahorses standout sees a beaming light at the end of the tunnel.
Odtallah won in both the 50 (22.90) and 100 freestyles (49.41) and helped lock down two more firsts in the 200 and 400 free relays, in a 116-70 statement win over visiting Valparaiso on Thursday night.
“I felt pretty good,” he said before a slight pause, “(But) … not where I want to be.”
What he would ultimately like is to be in the top 16 for both of his sprints when the state meet at the IUPUI Natatorium rolls around. This may be a lofty goal, but the notion can be correlated to the Seahorses’ regimen of workouts this winter.
“I think this meet shows how good we’ve been practicing and how much we’ve improved,” he said.
On the girls side of the Northwest Crossroads Conference-Duneland Conference showdown, Odtallah’s schoolmates also powered over Vikings competition in a 129-57 outcome. Both Munster squads finished with 10 victories.
Something that’s helped the girls remain so dominant season-to-season is its ability to retool. For instance, while three or four key swimmers graduated from last year’s lineup, the next class was more than ready to shine. Sophomore Allison Cunningham is a key part of this process, and against Valparaiso she brought home wins in the 200 free (2:00.29), 500 free (5:22.51), and 400 free relay.
“It’s a lot of hard work, we’ve been working a lot harder this year,” said the swimmer who had a season-best in the 500 and is within reach of her times in the 2011 state meet.
Though both Munster teams were in control, also led by Emily Wimmer (three wins) and Nikki Smith (four wins) for the girls and Wilson Beckman (four wins) and Joe Gardner (three wins) for the boys, Seahorses coach Matt Pavlovich is fast to admit neither Vikings team is one to look past.
“You don’t take Valpo lightly, boys or girls,” he said.
The Vikings narrowed some of the gap by winning both dives. The Vikings girls also won the 200 free relay, while Valparaiso’s Andrew Antonetti grabbed the 500 free win (4:49).
“It’s been a pretty tough week (including a dual with Crown Point), but it’s preparing us to swim tired for the rest of the season (and tapering),” Antonetti said.
Valparaiso senior Kaitlyn Steffus, part of the relay victory and second-places in the 100 fly and the 200 free, was motivated coming in.
“I feel really pushed every time I come here,” she said.