UNION TWP. | Another year, another victory lap.
For the past four seasons, Wheeler coach Adam Klimczak and Bishop Noll coach Pam Armagast have met in the water at Wheeler High School during the teams’ respective celebrations to congratulate each other and swim the length of the pool together.
On Saturday, Klimczak was celebrating the fourth straight Greater South Shore Conference championship for his Bearcats’ girls team, while Armagast was enjoying a four-peat for the Warriors’ boys.
Both teams won convincingly, with the Wheeler girls taking their title with 475 points and Bishop Noll coming in second with 269.
On the boys side, the Warriors won with 442 points to the Bearcats 243.
“There were a lot of great swims,” Klimczak said. “Kids just keep getting faster and that’s a testament to the two programs building traditions. It’s encouraging to see from a couple of smaller schools.”
The Wheeler girls were led by sophomore Rachel Metzger, who won the 200 IM with a GSSC record 2:19.32. Wheeler senior Sophia Esquivel also had a strong meet, winning the 50 free in 28.41 and the 100 back in 1:06.22.
The Bishop Noll boys also had a record-setting day.
Senior Brayden Banske took first in the 100 fly with a conference record 56.47, while senior Anthony Repay set a GSSC record in the 100 breast at 1:07.20.
Banske and Repay teamed with senior Jake Miller and junior Aaron Kruse to set a conference record en route to winning the 200 free relay (1:35.66). Miller, Banske, Repay and senior Robby Lorenz finished off the meet with yet another GSSC record in the 400 free relay (3:36.58).
Armagast said she was proud to see the Warriors swim so well, despite the fact that Bishop Noll has no pool and the teams practice at Calumet High School.
She said the group of seniors who swam so well on Saturday had helped build a tradition.
“The boys that are here today are the kids that have stuck through and did not ever swim competitively (before high school),” she said. “It’s really cool that they were here at the beginning and they’re breaking their own records, they’re breaking other records.
"They’re a great group of kids.”