INDIANAPOLIS | The more things change, the more they stay the same for the Chesterton girls swim team.
The Trojans graduated two-time state champion Olivia Kabacinski and Maddie Miller off their fifth-place state final team last season and replaced them with a couple of freshmen who picked up right where the graduated seniors left off on Saturday morning.
Vanessa Krause had two individual fourth-place finishes and Kelly Craig anchored a 400 relay team that helped clinch Chesterton’s fifth-straight top five finish at the IHSAA Girls State Finals at the IUPUI Natatorium.
“To get down here as a freshman is hard enough,” Chesterton coach Kevin Kinel said. “Then to score as a freshman is even harder. Finally, to be on a relay team and contribute there while scoring is even tougher. I’m really proud of these girls.”
The Trojans sent the freshmen and two seniors, Julia Campbell and Kate Curley, to the deck for the final race of the season, needing to hold off several teams to secure another top-five finish. The mixture of youth and experience finished third in the relay and sent the Trojans to a fifth-place team finish.
“I’m proud of the fact that we finished in the top five every year that I was here,” Campbell said. “I know that these girls will continue to finish toward the top and I’m excited to be able to watch them in the future.”
Krause got her feet wet with a consolation victory in the 200 relay before competing in her first state individual event. The freshman finished the 50 freestyle in 23.57, barely moving past Munster’s Mary Beth Blocher for fourth place. Just over an hour later Krause edged out Munster’s Nikki Smith for fourth place in the 100 fly (55.26). Krause ended her day with the fastest Chesterton split in the 400 relay as the Trojans finished in third place.
“I thought I was going to be a lot more nervous than I actually was,” Krause said. “All of my teammates helped me and kept me comfortable throughout the day.”
The Trojans were understandably fatigued as the final meet of the season came to close. Campbell swam in two relays, won the consolation heat of the 200 freestyle and then took fifth place in the 500 freestyle.
“I always get a little sad when the season is over,” Campbell said. “I’m ready for a break, but I loved everything about high school swimming. It’s pretty sad that it’s come to an end.”