Bulldog Johnny Lynk has made it downstate to the IUPUI Natatorium every year. And every year, he’s come up just a little short of the top eight.
Now, as a senior with one last chance, Lynk hopes this is the magical year.
Lynk will participate in three events this weekend — the 200 medley relay, the 200 free relay, and the individual 100 freestyle.
“I got a callback yesterday on my 100 time (47.83),” Lynk said. “I was really excited that I am going to get a chance to make good on that event.”
Lynk swam the 100 free at state last year. He finished 28th with a time of 48.67.
“I’m already down a second from last year’s time,” he said. “Plus I was not fully rested or fully tapered at sectional. I believe I will be able to drop somewhere between 1-2 more seconds when I get down there.”
That would put Lynk right on the edge of the top eight and a medal.
Lynk also has the added incentive of being a senior who is finishing up a great high school career.
“I know this is my last high school meet,” he said. “That is a bittersweet thing. I want to finish on a high note and go out strong. I don’t want to look back and think I could have done more. So it’s a pretty strong motivation for me.”
At sectionals, Lynk and his relay teammates pulled off an upset in the 200 free relay, defeating favored Highland by 0.23 seconds.
“We felt going into the swim that we had a good chance to win it,” Lynk said. “We knew we were swimming well as a team, and we had some really good practice times before the sectional. Then, when we actually pulled it off, it was the highlight of the day.”
In addition to the 200 free relay, the Bulldogs also won the sectional in the 200 medley relay.
Last year at IUPUI, Crown Point set a team record in the 200 medley relay and finished 14th. So they have a track record of doing well in the relays.
“We think we can make it back on Saturday (top 16 finish) in both relays,” Lynk said. “We have been working hard on our starts and our turns. That is where we have the best chance to cut time off. We have the swim down pretty good.”
Crown Point coach Doug Norris considers Lynk to be the “go-to” swimmer when the pressure is on.
“When Johnny was a sophomore, he led off our 400 free relay at state with a record-setting time,” Norris said. “As a direct result of his swim, we were able to cut a full five seconds off of our time and set a school record. And he was the youngest one on the relay team.”
Norris said that Lynk always responds to the pressure situations.
“Whenever there is a pressure situation, it’s Johnny that answers the bell,” he said. “He is always the one who comes through for the team. He thrives in pressure situations. That helps other team members’ deal with challenging events.”
Now, with the state meet front and center, Norris is glad to see the team doing so well.
“Our relay teams have done very well all year, and are peaking at the right time,” Norris said. “Plus Johnny is swimming his best of the season right now, and that’s where you want to be.”
Both relay teams consist of Lynk, Andrew Kvachkoff, Joel Gintzler and Nick Huls. Their sectional championship time in the medley was 1:36.79, and their time in the 200 free relay was 1:28.27.
"We got a nice amount of tickets to the state meet," 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."