Boys swimming: By state finals, everyone should know Wilson Beckman’s name
By Mike Clark Post-Tribune correspondent January 14, 2013 8:48PM
Munster's Wilson W. Beckman swims in the finals of the Boys 100 Yard Butterfly during the Highland boys swimming invite held at Highland High School on Friday December 28, 2012. | Charles Mitchell~For Sun-Times Medi
Crown Point peaking
at the right time
As far as individual races go, it’s been awfully difficult for region teams to halt Crown Point.
Case in point, two of the biggest meets in the area, over the course of the last two weekends. Two weeks ago the Bulldogs front-end talent took nine out of 12 events at the Highland Invite (a great barometer of what the Lake County Sectional could look like) and finished third overall. And this past weekend, the Bulldogs’ again had nine wins and a third-place finish at the Duneland Conference meet.
“We pretty much did the same thing (at DAC) and yeah, it’s pretty much great for not just this year, but years to come,” CP coach Bryon Angerman said about the high totals after the DAC meet on Saturday.
With the abilities of Aly Tetzloff and Holly Schuster, and other promising swimmers, Angerman is confident about CP’s chances to move up from last year’s 10th place finish at state.
“That’s the goal; that’s the meet that we’re going to stay focused on,” he said.
P-T Top 5
GIRLS — 1. Chesterton,
2. Lake Central, 3. Munster,
4. Crown Point, 5. Valparaiso
BOYS — 1. Chesterton, 2. Munster, 3. Crown Point, 4. Lake Central,
of the Week
GIRLS: Sophia Esquivel, Wheeler
The senior helped the Bearcats finish off their fourth consecutive GSSC meet victory by winning both the 50 free (28.41) and the 100 back (1:06.22) on Saturday.
BOYS: Brayden Banske and
Anthony Repay, Bishop Noll
The seniors each set an individual meet record and swam on two relays that set meet records as the Warriors won their fourth straight GSSC title on Saturday. Banske took the 100-yard butterfly in 56.47 seconds and Repay was first in the 100 breaststroke in 1:07.20. Both were on the winning 200 free relay (1:35.66) and 400 free relay (3:36.58) teams.
— Correspondents Josh Lichtenfeld
and Mike Clark
Updated: February 16, 2013 6:23AM
Let’s clear this up: Munster’s top swimmer does not have an identity crisis.
“My family and friends all call me Wilson,” said sophomore Wilson Beckman. “My first name is James, (but) I like to be called Wilson.”
When he came into the program as a freshman last year, though, Beckman’s first and middle names were used interchangeably, leading to some confusion.
Now, however, there’s little doubt who’s setting the pace for one of the area’s perennial powers.
“He’s having a great year,” Munster coach Matt Pavlovich said. “His times are a little faster than they were last year. He’s definitely more aggressive in his swims.”
Like many elite high school swimmers, Beckman has moved around from event to event in the regular season. Where he’ll wind up for the postseason remains to be seen.
“For me, as long as I swim the 100 back, I’ll do any other event,” Beckman said.
He’s a returning state qualifier in that event and the 200-yard individual medley as an individual. He also was part of the Seahorses’ 200 medley and 400 free relay teams that went to Indianapolis last season.
Pavlovich is keeping an open mind about where his ace will swim in the state series this year.
“We’re kind of leaning toward the 100 fly and 100 back,” the coach said. “We could look at the 200 IM, even the 50 free.”
Beckman’s OK with whatever happens, but his easy-going nature changes a bit when he hits the pool.
“For me, I’m always competitive in the water,” he said. “Even at practice and even (lifting) weights.”
He’s been that way for years, since his mom Diane got him involved with Munster’s age-group program.
“I wasn’t as good at other sports,” Beckman said. “I think I’d be good at other sports now.”
But now he doesn’t have the desire to do anything other than swimming, which is fine with Pavlovich.
“He just has a passion for it,” Pavlovich said. “Even more so than anybody on our team, he just likes being in the water. I think if there were no meets, he would just show up and swim.”
Pretty soon, the stakes will get higher for the Seahorses and Beckman. Munster will be trying to extend its state records for most total sectional titles (42) and most consecutive (27, shared with Center Grove).
Beckman’s mindset is more long-range: “I want to get our team to a top-15 finish at state. I want our relays to get into the top eight at state.
“For me, my focus is the state championships. That’s where you get the recognition from the rest of the state.”
And that’s when they get to know your name, especially if you’re Wilson Beckman.