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Girls swimming: Mary Beth Blocher paces Munster to easy win at NCC meet

Mary Beth Blocher Munster pushes through first place finish finals for 200 yard freestyle during girls Northwest Crossroads Conference swimming

Mary Beth Blocher of Munster pushes through to a first place finish in the finals for the 200 yard freestyle during the girls Northwest Crossroads Conference swimming and diving championship at Highland (Ind.) High School Saturday January 12, 2013. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: February 14, 2013 7:00AM



HIGHLAND — In high school athletics, very seldom does a 5-foot-11 girl with exceptional athletic skill escape girls basketball. But that’s OK in this case.

“If I was on the basketball team, we would lose every game,” Munster’s Mary Beth Blocher said. “I’m not good at basketball at all.”

It’s a whole different story in the swimming pool. The junior was good enough to lead Munster to a slam dunk victory in the Northwest Crossroads Conference meet Saturday at Highland.

The Mustangs finished with 398 points with the host school Trojans finishing second with 288 points. Third place belonged to Kankakee Valley (208), followed by Lowell (136), Hobart (124), and Griffith (67).

Blocher was a four-time winner in the meet, including individual wins in the 200 and 100 freestyle despite not being 100 percent during the meet.

“Actually I felt pretty bad,”she said. “My muscles were pretty sore from a rough practice yesterday. Hopefully by the postseason I’ll feel a lot better and perform better.”

As is always the case when breaking down yet another Munster pool party, it was not a one-girl show. Ashley Hwang won the 100 butterfly and helped the 200 medley relay team win, while Emily Wimmer won the 100 breaststroke and helped bring home two relay wins.

“When we put our minds to it, we can accomplish some pretty good things,” said Munster’s Audrey Mayer, a second-place finisher in the 100 backstroke.

That race was won by Highland’s Jackie Smailis, who set a school sophomore record with a run of 58.76, in what was one of two highlights for the Trojans. The other was Jordan Galovich’s win the 500 freestyle.

“I thought we did pretty well. Munster brings a lot of talent as does the rest of the conference,” said Highland coach Ryan Harrington. “Munster is a team we strive to beat and the more we compete against them, the more we can be like them. They bring good talent here and for us to see that level of talent is a good thing.”

Also going home with gold medals are Griffith’s Shannon Kunka in diving, Lowell’s Mikki Woods in the 200 IM, and Kankakee Valley’s Madison Babicka in the 50 freestyle.



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