Girls swimming: Trio of NWI schools cracks state’s top 8
By Brian Peloza Post-Tribune correspondent February 9, 2013 8:06PM
Seventh place Lake Central, (from left) sixth place Munster and fifth place Crown Point smile from the podium after receiving their awards for the 200 yard freestyle relay during IHSAA girls swimming state finals at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis, Ind. Saturday February 9, 2013. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 11, 2013 7:03AM
INDIANAPOLIS — Three teams from Northwest Indiana finished in the top eight at the IHSAA girls swimming state finals on Saturday.
Indications are that the local results will only get better in the future, as several young swimmers showed glimpses of their long-term potential.
Crown Point finished in the top eight of every relay event, all with underclassmen. Chesterton freshman Vanessa Krause took fourth in the 100 fly and fifth in the 50 free.
The examples don’t end there.
“I think it’s a good time for Northwest Indiana girls swimming right now, no doubt,” Lake Central coach Todd Smolinski said.
Chesterton finished fifth with 125 points, marking the third consecutive season the Trojans finished in the top five. Crown Point finished sixth with 120 points, Munster was eighth with 100.5. Lake Central finished 15th.
Carmel won its 27th consecutive state championship, finishing with 397 points, well ahead of second-place Penn’s 189 points.
Crown Point was hoping for a top-five finish, but coach Bryon Angerman didn’t leave unhappy.
“Our goal was top five, we only had six swims with five swimmers,” he said.
Munster earned its second consecutive top-10 finish, with every swimmer scoring a point in an individual event being an underclassmen. Sophomore Nikki Smith finished fifth in the 100 fly for the team’s best individual finish.
“We built on last year’s finish this year and we will hope to build on this year’s finish next year.” Munster coach Matt Pavolich said.
The region showed well in the 50 freestyle, with Krause finishing fifth, Crown Point junior Racheal Bukowski taking sixth and Munster junior Mary Beth Blocher was seventh.
Highland also showed its future potential, as sophomore Jacklyn Smailis finished 10th in the 100 backstroke in 57.54.
The region also was well-represented in the 200 freestyle relay, as Munster finished sixth with a team of Blocher, senior Emily Wimmer, and sophomores Allison Cunningham and Nikki Smith. Lake Central was eighth with a team of two juniors — Holly Spears and Muszalski, and freshmen Victoria Springman and Jessica Lopez.
Nearly a dozen region swimmers swam in the consolation finals, for those finishing ninth through 16th.
“Northwest Indiana is really well represented at this meet,” Angerman said. “I think it’s on an upswing and there is a lot of talent. I think we’re going to have another good group next year because we’re also getting a good group of eighth-graders.”