LAPORTE | Chesterton senior Aaron Whitaker broke his own LaPorte Sectional records in the 100-yard fly with a time of 48.73 and 100 back in 49.8, and came up with a straightforward plan for teammates Saturday afternoon.
"I told them to stay up with me," Whitaker said. "I was feeling confident (about qualifying for state), and I wanted to make sure they would hang with me."
Teammates Gary Kostbade (51.4) and Tony Kincaid (51.95) broke the state cut in the fly, finishing second and fourth, respectively. Teammate Andy Hurst broke the state cut in the back (52.98), finishing second.
"It makes me feel better knowing that I'm helping get guys down," Whitaker said. "That increases our chance to do better at state."
Defending state champion Chesterton captured its 16th consecutive sectional crown, scoring 548 points. The Trojans broke meet records in all three relays; Blake Pieroni won both the 100 free and 200 IM; Jack Wallar won the 50 free; Ethan Whitaker won the 200 free and Kosbade won the 100 breast. They also qualified at least two swimmers for state in five events.
"Having that is huge; we need to go down and score," Chesterton coach Kevin Kinel said. "The best is yet to come. ... We have a bunch of kids who are unshaved or not in their (fast) suits, so that's a good sign."
Valparaiso senior Andrew Antonetti was also not fully tapered, but that didn't him stop him from massive time drops. He knocked over 16 seconds off his prelim time to win the 500 free in 4:39.27. He took close to eight seconds of his prelim time in the 200 free to beat the state cut and finish second (1:42.04).
"I felt pretty bad Thursday, but I felt much better (Saturday)," said Antonetti, who also helped the 200 free relay finish second and qualify for state. "It has a lot to do with the atmosphere. It's just so much different for the finals."
Portage senior John Fannin scored a career-best 487.8 to win diving. Fannin qualified for state last year, and he feels pretty confident heading into Tuesday's Penn Diving Regional.
"I have some dives that I'm still working on, and I was still able to get pretty high scores," he said. "That tells me I can do better."