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Girls swimming: Munster tops Lake Central in nail-biter

Updated: March 4, 2013 6:57AM



MUNSTER — One spectator of the Munster girls swimming sectional basically said it all. With the Mustangs and Lake Central locked in a tie with three events remaining, the fan shook his head, smiled, and said, “I can’t recall the last time we had a sectional this tight.”

Robin Tobias can.

“It happened about seven years ago when Crown Point and Munster went down to the wire,” said Tobias, who is Lake Central’s principal but as the time was the Mustangs coach. “It was pretty exciting.”

It was the Bulldogs who played spoiler in this one to the benefit of the Mustangs. In a meet that went down to the final event, Munster won its fourth straight sectional title with 480 points to Lake Central’s 478, giving Mustangs coach Matt Pavolich a nerve-wracking, but happy birthday present.

“We knew this would be a tight meet,” Pavolich said. “We were just trading punches the entire time. Both teams are so similar and it was a heck of a meet. It was a wild ride.”

The Mustangs owned a four-point lead over Lake Central heading into the final event, the 400 yard freestyle relay. Crown Point finished first, ending Lake Central’s final chance of winning the meet.

“This is the closest we’ve come since I’ve had the program,” said Indians coach Todd Smolinski.

“Our girls went out and swam fast and did the best they could. We can’t hang our heads on this one because we’ll have a pretty good state team going down next week.”

Sophomores Mary Bridget Baeza (100 backstroke) and Nikki Smith (200 yard IM) won for Munster, while Lake Central got wins in the 200 and 500 freestyle from Tracilyn Muszalski.



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