Chesterton’s Kinel wins national coaching honor
By Mike Clark Post-Tribune correspondent July 10, 2013 12:19PM
Chesterton High School's swim coach, Kevin Kinel, talks with Aaron Whitaker after his State Record performance in the 100 Yard Butterfly. Swimmers from around the state competed Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, in the 2013 IHSAA Boys' Swimming/Diving Championship at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis. | Doug McSchooler~for the Post-Tribune
Updated: August 12, 2013 11:35AM
The job of putting together a state-title contender in any high school sport is pretty much year-round these days.
So even though the season opener is months off, Chesterton boys swimming coach Kevin Kinel is focused on his job. But this week he took a moment to reflect.
The occasion: Kinel learned he’s been named National Boys Swimming Coach of the Year by the National High School Coaches Association.
“That’s about the highest honor you can get,” said Kinel, who guided the Trojans to their third state title in six years. “(I’m) excited, a little humbled.
“It makes me appreciative of what I’ve got here. ... I kind of think this is an accumulation (of the efforts) of a lot of people, from our high school assistants to the club coaches” and the school’s administration.
“It’s a success for the program, not one person,” he added.
The Trojans beat Indianapolis North Central 238.5-203.5 for their latest title, getting wins in four individual events and two relays.
With a junior-dominated lineup led by twins Aaron and Ethan Whitaker and Blake Pieroni, Chesterton will be favored to capture another state title in 2014.
“That’s going to be the hard part, to keep these guys hungry, keep goals in front of them,” Kinel said.
Aaron Whitaker set state-meet records in the 100-yard butterfly and 100 backstroke, and was a member of the record-setting 400 free relay team with Pieroni, Ethan Whitaker and Patrick Curley. Pieroni broke the state-meet record in the 100 freestyle and also won the 200 individual medley.
Chesterton’s other first came from the team of Andy Hurst, Jack Wallar, Aaron Whitaker and Pieroni in the 200 medley relay.
After celebrating this honor, it’ll be back to work for Kinel, who is heading into his 34th season at Chesterton.
“When you’re trying to get to the highest level, there’s really no break in the action,” he said. “The kids have been working hard. ...
We’ve had a pretty good summer (and are) trying to have the same kind of year next year.”