CROWN POINT | It wasn't easy by any means, but Munster coach Matt Pavlovich and his swimmers were still able to take a celebratory dip in Crown Point's pool on Saturday.
Facing off against their toughest competition in the Bulldogs, the Seahorses amassed 431 points to win their 28th consecutive sectional championship. Crown Point nipped at their heels, finishing with 412 points.
"It came down to the wire, and we expected it," Pavlovich said. "We had a lot of great swims. It was a total team effort from Thursday all the way to today. We've got a young team. The team persevered. The key word for our season is perseverance."
Leading the way for Munster was Wilson Beckman, who won the 100-yard butterfly in 51.49 seconds and the 100 back (52.90).
Teammate Joey Gardner had an equal amount of success, winning the 200 I.M. (1:55.85) and 100 breast (58.17).
After nine events, Crown Point was winning 314-304 over Munster, but that's when the Seahorses' depth and skill took over. Beckman's win in the 100 back followed by Gardner's win in the 100 breast was key in Munster winning the meet.
"It pumped me up more, because I knew that I did not want to be on the team that lost," Gardner said of the close meet. "I used that as a strength instead of a weakness to help me build up my events.
Crown Point's 200 medley relay team of Johnny Lynk, Andrew Kvachkoff, Joel Gintzler and Nick Huls opened the meet with a win (1:36.79) and that same quartet upset No. 1 seed Highland in the 200 free relay, winning that event in 1:28.27. Kvachkoff also finished second in the 100 breast (59.27), under the state cut.
"We got a nice amount of tickets to the state meet," C.P. coach Doug Norris said. "We're supported every year by our athletic department, our parents and our athletes. The kids did the right thing pretty much all year."
Highland's Stephen Castillo won the 50 free (21.20), 100 free (46.52) and helped the 400 free relay (3:17.03) win and punch its ticket to IUPUI. The Trojans placed second in the 200 free relay, which Castillo swam, and a state callback is highly likely.
"I personally was tired, because I'm not fully tapered for this meet," Castillo said. "I held my ground, helped us in the (400) and did my best in the (200). I know we'll do better at state. Like I told my team, sometimes it's not always about winning; it's about going out there and racing."
Lake Central finished third with 347 points, including Luke Paprocki's win in the 200 free (1:45.57).
Griffith's Alex Rosales will compete in Tuesday's South Bend Riley Regional after winning diving (447.30).