Boys swimming

Chesterton prepares for title defense with four state records in prelims

2014-02-28T21:15:00Z 2014-02-28T21:40:19Z Chesterton prepares for title defense with four state records in prelimsJim Hunsley jim.hunsley@nwi.com, (219) 548-4356 nwitimes.com
February 28, 2014 9:15 pm  • 

Chesterton's boys swimming team asserted their influence early, middle and late at Friday's state prelims.

The defending champions ignited the session with a state record in the 200 medley relay (1:30.65).

Aaron Whitaker and Blake Pieroni kept up the pace, besting their own records in the 100 fly (46.61) and 100 free (43.52), respectively.

The Trojans punctuated the night, breaking the national public school record in the 400 free relay (2:59.35).

"We set ourselves up pretty well to try to go after a repeat," said Chesterton coach Kevin Kinel, whose program is aiming for its fourth state title. "We started out aggressive, and we were able to keep it going. We ended with a pretty big bang."

The top eight seeds qualified for the championship heat, while the next eight will swim in the consolation heat in the Indiana University Natatorium at IUPUI.

Seniors Aaron Whitaker, Jack Wallar, Pieroni plus freshman Gary Kostbade broke the Trojans' 2009 mark in the 200 medley (1:32.01). The 400 free team of twins Aaron and Ethan Whitaker, Pieroni and classmate Patrick Curley bested their mark from last year (3:01.05).

Pieroni and Aaron Whitaker are equally set to defend their titles in the 200 individual medley (1:46.78) and 100 back (47.31), respectively, both earning the top seeds.

Ethan Whitaker is seeded second in the 200 free (1:38.23) and third in the 500 free (4:29.02). The 200 free relay team is seeded fourth. 

The Trojans have an entry in every swimming event today, including two in the 200 IM, 100 fly, 500 free and 100 breast.

"We had really good swims up and down (the lineup)," Kinel said. "Some of our kids bumped up and got us in a scoring position.

"It's still going to be a battle. There's still work to do."

Valparaiso senior Andrew Antonetti will be extremely busy in the finals. He's seeded fourth in the 200 free (1:40.44) and eighth in the 500 free (4:35.93). He also helped the Vikings qualify in the 200 free relay (10th, 1:27.04) and 400 free relay (13th, 3:12.92), school records in both events.

"He swam kind of right where we thought," Valpo coach Adam Nellessen said of Antonetti, who's been a state finalist the last three seasons. "I still think his best is yet to come.

"I think it's a boost to be in the relays. He's made it very clear that this isn't all about him. I think it's more of a positive for him. He has teammates to swim with."

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