MUNSTER | It’s no secret to fans of Indiana high school swimming that Munster’s tradition of success in sectional competition dates back a long time -- well before any of the Seahorses swimmers were born.
Therefore, it’s no surprise the Seahorses will head into Saturday’s Munster Sectional finals the favorite to win their 29th consecutive championship after earning No. 1 seeds in five of 11 events in Thursday’s preliminaries.
“We saw some really great swims pretty much throughout,” Munster coach Matt Pavlovich said. “I’m really pleased with the way they swam. We’re set up to have some nice races (Saturday). It’s going to be tough to repeat those times again.”
Munster’s Wilson Beckman led the way in the 100 back, where he eclipsed his old pool record by finishing in 51.25 seconds. Beckman also will be seeded first in the 100 free (47.44) and helped the 200 medley relay and 400 free relay to a No. 1 seed, as well.
“Sectional finals, I think I’ll swim a lot faster,” Beckman said of his backstroke. “I wasn’t expecting it at all. Saturday, I think we need to just get the job done. I think we’ll have a lot more state qualifiers than people thought we would.”
Joey Gardner was Munster’s other No. 1 seed in the 200 individual medley (1:58.27). Teammate Jack Wulf took second in 1:59.06.
It came as no surprise that Highland’s Chris Dabrowski -- the favorite to emerge as Saturday’s No. 1 seed in both the 200 free and 500 free -- did so in both events in 1:48.44 and 4:51.06, respectively. However, teammate Matt Byquist set a personal record in the 100 fly, and will be seeded first Saturday with a 52.45 finish.
“I was feeling confident, but I definitely didn’t expect to bust out what I did or come in first,” Byquist said. “I was relatively surprised to come in first.”
Lake Central’s Connor Homans will be the No. 1 seed in Saturday’s 50 free after finishing in 22.04 seconds. Homans also helped the 200 free relay to a No. 1 seed, swimming a 21.5- second split.
“I had a lot more adrenaline going in me,” Homans said of his relay split compared to his 50 free. “My teammates were getting me going. I was ready for that swim.”
Crown Point’s Andrew Kvachkoff earned a No. 1 seed for the Bulldogs in the 100 breast (58.88).