Swimming: Noll, Wheeler repeat as GSSC champs
By Terry Turner Post-Tribune correspondent January 12, 2013 11:22PM
Updated: February 14, 2013 7:00AM
VALPARAISO — Tradition was the watchword for the Greater South Shore Conference swimming meet Saturday, as the defending champions, Bishop Noll for the boys, and Wheeler for the girls, won their respective championships.
Coach Pam Armagast saw her Warriors win for the fourth consecutive year, and Bearcats coach Adam Klimczak’s team repeated as champions for a sixth year. Noll was first in the boys, with a 442, Wheeler was second at 243, then North Newton 229, Calumet 109, South Central 32 and Hanover Central 21. In the girls, Wheeler swept to the championship with a 475, Noll was second at 269, followed by North Newton, 248, Calumet 110 and South Central 32.
There may be a lot of tradition in the GSSC, but there is also a great deal of outstanding swimming. Swimmers set 11 records during the competition.
For Armagast, her seniors came into a program without a pool and a lot of experience four years ago, and they’ve not only stuck it out, they have thrived and grown.
“They come from all over, and sometimes, you have to teach them everything, even their marks, and it is really cool, they’ve been here from the beginning. They’ve built a tradition, they’ve believed in themselves these last four years, it has been a great ride,” said Armagast. “I’ve told them, and they understand this, nothing is won by one person, it is done as a team.”
She said she has looked to captains Anthony Repay, Brayden Banske and Robert Lorenz for leadership.
“It is a great shock seeing the times on the board, it is shocking to see how far we have come, said Repay, himself one of the record-setters in the 100 Breaststroke and as a member of the 200 Breaststroke Relay. “But it is not as an individual but as a team that is important.”
The best motivation is your teammate next to you in practice, and it pays off big in a meet like this,” Repay added, noting that his squad has a lot of fhard work ahead in pushing towards an unbeaten season.
South Central senior Tori Klimczak now holds five conference meet records, despite being, along with her brother, sophomore Kane, the only members of the Satellites team. Tori set records in the 100 and 500 freestyle events, while Kane set records in the 200 IM and 100 backstroke.
Tori, who is headed to either Purdue or Franklin to swim in college, says, that though she didn’t expect to be able to excel in swimming, it has always been a dream to be able to do so.
Klimczak’s father, Adam, is the Wheeler coach, said his team “swam well, had decent times, our tradition has been strong in this meet, and though we’ve seen girls move on, we’ve always managed to keep reloading… a lot of girls come out of our age group (swim teams) each year, and that keeps our high school program strong.
The Wheeer coach was pleased with all his team’s performances, but pointed in particular to Rachel Metzger and Sophia Esquivel. Metzger won in the 200IM (a record), 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke and was a member (with Julia Stojic, Audrey Schnell and Katie Wong) of the winning 400 freestyle relay.
Esquivel, a senior, came to Wheeler with her family from Mexico as a freshman, and had never swam before. This conference swim meet she was a member of the winning 200 medley relay (with Schnell, Allie Bolde, and Isabella Popovich), won the 50 freestyle and 100 backstroke .
“I was really amazed, I couldn’t believe I could win,” she said. “In my freshman year, I didn’t even know how to dive in the pool.”