Easy does it for Chesterton
Trojans cruise to 19th consecutive DAC meet championship
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.”
Chesterton’s Gary Kostbade won the 100 fly in 51.77 and the 200 IM in 1:56.95 on Saturday.