Depth leads to Chesterton’s 18th straight DAC victory
If there’s anything that can slow down Chesterton’s boys swim team, it hasn’t made an appearance yet.
The brutal winter weather that kept the Trojans from competing in a key early-season test — the Hall of Fame meet in December — and scrambled their practice schedule couldn’t do it.
When it was too cold or snowy to make it to school, Aaron Whitaker and his teammates headed over to the YMCA for an informal workout.
When the Duneland Athletic Conference meet was postponed on Saturday and rescheduled for Monday night, the Trojans again took it in stride.
Even an unplanned 17-minute break when some lights went out didn’t faze Chesterton.
“Everyone did a good job of it, especially on a Monday,” senior Blake Pieroni said. “But it is what it is, the weather.”
So is Chesterton’s DAC title streak, now at 18 straight after a 537-378 victory over runner-up Crown Point that featured seven meet record and three pool records. Lake Central edged Valparaiso 288-286 for third place.
Aaron Whitaker and Pieroni all went 4-for-4 in meet records, with Whitaker getting two pool records and Pieroni one for good measure.
The other two members of Chesterton’s Big Four, Ethan Whitaker and Jack Wallar, also won every event they swam and were on two record-setting relays.
In fact, Chesterton now owns every DAC swimming record.
“It is impressive that we have people who can cover the full spectrum,” said Aaron Whitaker, who set DAC and pool records in the 100-yard butterfly (48.20 seconds) and 100 backstroke (49.15).
He also was on two relay teams that broke meet records: the 200 medley (1:33.66) and 400 freestyle (3:11.23).
“Mondays are just hard,” Chesterton coach Kevin Kinel said. “We notice when we swim Monday morning at practice, you’re a little lethargic after the day off Sunday. It’s hard swimming Monday night, but I thought the kids rose to the occasion. We had a lot of best times and broke some records.”
Pieroni set a meet and pool record in the 100 free (44.56) and a DAC mark in the 200 free (1:39.12), and was on the 200 medley and 200 free (1:25.90) teams that broke conference records.
“I was happy with the 100, somewhat with the relays,” he said. “The 200 free, not so much.”
But Pieroni and his teammates are still two weeks away from sectionals and more than three away from another trip to Indianapolis for their state title defense.
“We’re excited about the end of the season, but we’ve got some hard work to do,” Kinel said.
Ethan Whitaker doubled in the 200 individual medley (1:57.63) and 500 free (4:41.54), and was on the two free relays, while Wallar was first in the 50 free (22.07) and 100 breaststroke (58.45).
The only winner not from Chesterton was Portage diver John Fannin, who scored 467.70 points.