Easy does it for Ch­ester­ton

Tro­jans cruise to 19th con­sec­u­tive DAC meet cham­pi­onship

Post-Tribune - - Post-Tribune Sports - BY BRAN­DON VICKREY

CROWN POINT — Sel­dom does win­ning a con­fer­ence meet rank sec­ond on a team’s list of ac­com­plish­ment for a given week, but that was the case for Ch­ester­ton on Satur­day.

Win­ning the Duneland Ath­letic Con­fer­ence team ti­tle has be­come an an­nual rou­tine for the Tro­jans, who recorded their 19th con­sec­u­tive crown. They ex­erted their dom­i­nance yet again, down­ing sec­ond-place Lake Cen­tral 514-330.

Af­ter nip­ping ri­val Mun­ster 10086 on Thurs­day, coach Kevin Kinel en­tered Satur­day with the fear that his team may let its guard down.

“This is a dif­fi­cult meet for us be­cause of the tim­ing,” Kinel said. “Mun­ster has al­ways been such a good ri­valry, that we got up for it and some­times it’s hard to get the kids mo­ti­vated for this meet. How­ever, the kids stepped up and had a lot of sea­son-best times.”

Ch­ester­ton’s Gary Kost­bade notched first-place fin­ishes in two in­di­vid­ual events, win­ning the 100 fly in 51.77 and the 200 IM in 1:56.95.

Though Kost­bade ad­mit­ted that he felt pres­sure to con­tinue the DAC cham­pi­onship streak, no nerves were ev­i­dent in his per­for­mance.

“Gary is a big-meet swim­mer and al­ways rises to the oc­ca­sion,” Kinel said. “He had a great race with Joey Gard­ner from Mun­ster in the breast stroke, and he had a cou­ple good races (on Satur­day), where he was re­ally pushed by the com­pe­ti­tion.”

Lake Cen­tral coach Jeff Kilin­ski can’t re­call the last time the In­di­ans fin­ished as high as sec­ond in the con­fer­ence meet, a feat that hasn’t been reached “in years.”

Con­nor Ho­mans guided Lake Cen­tral with vic­to­ries in the 50 free (21.76) and 100 free (48.21). He was named the meet’s Most Valu­able Swim­mer.

“It’s been a long time since any In­dian has been the MVP of the DAC, so it feels re­ally good to get our pro­gram back up there,” Ho­mans said. “I was right where I wanted to be, but I know I’ll do a lot bet­ter at sec­tion­als.”

Crown Point fin­ished third with 296 team points, fol­lowed by Val­paraiso (281) and LaPorte (240). Joey Kar­czewski paced the Bull­dogs with ti­tles in the 100 back and 200 free.

“I went out faster than I usu­ally do at the be­gin­ning and tried to stick with it as hard as I could through­out the race,” Kar­czewski said. “I wanted to get ahead and stay ahead. It’s a chal­leng­ing meet, and that pushed me to swim faster.”

Lake Cen­tral’s Alex Mor­gan cap­tured the div­ing ti­tle by to­tal­ing 460.7 points. Lo­gan Nip­pert dropped 1.5 sec­onds off his best time in the 100 breast with a fifth- place time of 1:03.85 on a mem­o­rable day for the In­di­ans.

“Con­nor win­ning the MVP is a true step­ping stone for our pro­gram,” Kilin­ski said. “He did what he was sup­posed to do, he cranked it out. We look past con­fer­ence a lit­tle bit, be­cause our goal is sec­tion­als three weeks from now.”

| JIM KAR­CZEWSKI

Ch­ester­ton’s Gary Kost­bade won the 100 fly in 51.77 and the 200 IM in 1:56.95 on Satur­day.

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