Dou­bling down

Spears, DePirro fuel Lake Cen­tral re­peat at High­land In­vi­ta­tional

Post Tribune (Sunday) - - Sports - By CJ Peters Post-Tri­bune

Over the win­ter break, L a ke C e n t ra l ju­nior Michaela Spears said she re­ally put more fo­cus on her tempo train­ing.

Spears used a tempo trainer, which can be de­scribed as a metronome. The de­sired pace can be set on a de­vice at­tached to ei­ther the gog­gles or cap, and then the swim­mers can match the cor­re­spond­ing beat.

At Sat­ur­day’s High­land In­vi­ta­tional, Spears found her rhythm in win­ning the 100 breast­stroke in 1:06.71 and the 200 in­di­vid­ual med­ley in 2:12.10.

“I worked with that tempo trainer so much in prac­tice,” Spears said. “It’s helped with all my strokes lately, but def­i­nitely with the breast­stroke. It re­ally makes sure ev­ery­thing’s in tune.

“I was su­per happy with my times and sur­prised my­self with them, but I knew I worked re­ally hard to get there. I got in the wa­ter want­ing it re­ally badly.”

Spears was also a part of two first-place re­lay teams — the 200 med­ley (1:50.95) and 200 freestyle (1:42.02) — as the In­di­ans re­peated by win­ning the cham­pi­onship of the event with 513 points.

Crown Point (401) and Mun­ster (383) placed sec­ond and third, re­spec­tively.

Lake Cen­tral coach To d d S m o l i n s k i wa s pleased with a par­tic­u­lar as­pect of Spears’ per­for­mance and his team’s as a whole.

“Michaela was our freestyle lead­off in that re­lay and was re­ally good, and that showed me she’s click­ing there right now,” Smolin­ski said. “Her breast­stroke is prob­a­bly her best stroke with the back and fly not too far be­hind, but I like that her freestyle is com­ing on.

“She’s very solid in all four strokes, which is great for the IM. We wanted each girl to step up and show what they can do and if they did that, we knew we’d do well as a team. It worked out for us.”

While Spears went 4for-4, class­mate Mag­gie DePirro won three of four. She paired up in the re­lays with Spears and won the 100 fly (1:00.19). She took third in the 200 IM.

“I’ve gone lower than that time in the fly be­fore, but I can’t be upset with what I swam be­cause that’s a good place to be at this time in the sea­son,” DePirro said. “I feel like I’m in a bet­ter spot this year, es­pe­cially men­tally, go­ing into this stretch of the sea­son.

“It was ab­so­lutely one of our big­gest goals to come back and re­peat as well as mak­ing a point that we were some­one to reckon with at sec­tion­als. We and some other teams had some girls out, but it was still a good gauge for what we can ac­com­plish. There were a lot of fast times and we’re happy with that.”

CJ Peters is a free­lance re­porter for the Post-Tri­bune.

SUZANNE TENNANT/POST-TRI­BUNE PHO­TOS

Lake Cen­tral’s Michaela Spears swims the 200-yard in­di­vid­ual med­ley dur­ing the High­land In­vi­ta­tional on Sat­ur­day.

Lake Cen­tral’s Mag­gie DePirro swims the 100-yard but­ter­fly

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