As a freshman last year, Crown Point’s Aly Tetzloff took her inaugural sectional by storm, winning both the 100 fly (55.26) and the 100 back (56.05).
“It was pretty exciting to be able to win a sectional medal in my first try,” Tetzloff said. “I didn’t know what to expect, since it was my first time there, but I swam really well that day and turned in some good times that won it.”
Instead of defending both of those individual titles, Tetzloff will take one for the team this time around. She will drop competing in the 100 back and replace it with a spot on the 400 free relay.
“There are three of us who are going to drop an individual event and relay together,” Tetzloff explained. “Holly (Schuster) and Rachel (Bukowski) and I are going to swim all three relays. We think we can get all three relay teams down to the state meet.”
It’s part of a team strategy to add depth that has been sorely lacking for the Bulldogs.
“We have some excellent swimmers, like Aly,” coach Bryon Angerman said. “There’s no question Aly would do very well in any individual event she swam. But, as a team, we lack depth. By moving her to a third relay we help the team score better at state.”
Angerman believes the new lineup and strategy can push the Bulldogs into the top six finalists at IUPUI in February.
“I also believe that Aly can finish in the top three at state in the 100 fly,” Angerman said. “She is one of the very best in Indiana.”
Tetzloff won both the DAC conference and the Highland Invite in the 100 fly. She set the Duneland record at conference, breaking the record she set last year.
It takes a great “team-first” attitude for a swimmer to give up an individual event for a relay – especially if the swimmer is really good at that event. Tetzloff is sacrificing a defense of her sectional title to help get more team members down to Indianapolis.
“It shows what kind of character she has,” Angerman said. “Some kids would have resisted, and some would have shown their displeasure in and out of the pool. Aly has taken the path of working hard with her relay teammates to make sure they do well and get to Indy.”
Tetzloff admitted she is nervous about the switch.
“It’s a little different and a change to my routine,” she said, “so that makes it a little nerve wracking. I just want it to work for all of us. I want to see the team do well enough in the relays that we all make it to the state meet. I want our hard work to pay off.”
Hard work in the pool has never been an issue for the sophomore. Her offseason program included swimming at the Junior Nationals in Indianapolis last summer.
“That was an exciting time,” Tetzloff said. “I got a lot out of it. I learned a lot about how other swimmers train, what they do to prepare for the season, things like that. It was a good experience and a chance to learn a lot.”
Tetzloff has also learned about the difference between being a sophomore and a freshman.
“Early on I realized I was a role model,” she said. “Several of the freshman swimmers were looking to people like me for guidance and answers. Even though I’m only one year ahead of them, they look at me for an example. It has made me a lot more conscious of everything I do.”