HIGHLAND | Mary Beth Blocher had a good practice on Friday, but she came into Saturday's Northwest Crossroads Conference meet feeling muscle soreness all over her body.
Soreness or not, nothing was going to thwart Blocher from helping Munster continue to achieve conference glory again.
Blocher helped guide Munster to wins in the 200 freestyle relay (1:41.60) 400 free relay (3:44.60) and won individual titles in the 100 free (53.84) and 200 free (1:57.13) to help the Seahorses amass 398 points to run away with the NCC championship at Highland.
"My muscles all over my body were feeling tight," Blocher said. "I think that affected my times. I just had to fight through it. Especially during the 200 free, my legs started to feel numb during the race."
In addition to Blocher, several other Munster swimmers dominated the pool.
Ashley Hwang took the 100 fly (1:03.14) and Emily Wimmer won the 100 breaststroke (1:08.84).
The Seahorses' incredible depth year in and year out certainly didn't hurt, either.
"I'm pretty pleased overall," Munster coach Matt Pavlovich said. "We were trying to learn a little more about our team for the sectional. It's a good meet for us to be able to do that. Overall, I'm pretty thrilled. I moved some girls around. It was a nice meet for the team."
Second-place Highland compiled 288 points, getting lifetime bests out of Jordan Galovich, who won the 500 free (5:31.57) and took second in the 200 free (2:01.89).
Jackie Smailis also set a Highland sophomore record, winning the 100 back in 58.76. Munster's Audrey Mayer also swam a personal-best 1:01.57, finishing second in the event.
"I had to ice my knee until I was ready," Smailis said. "It was really exciting during the whole thing. I got tired during the last 25 (yards) but I just keep thinking to myself 'I need this.'"
Highland coach Ryan Harrington was pleased with his team, which has been much-improved over the last few seasons.
"There's no shame in getting second to Munster," he said. "When we can, we like to get out and compete with them. We came in probably more excited than they were. We had a really good meet and it's a good place to be heading into sectionals."
Madison Babicka helped Kankakee Valley to a third-place finish, winning the 50 free (24.76).
Lowell's Mikki Wood won the 200 I.M. (2:19.86).
Griffith's Shannon Kunka picked up a win in diving (324.60).