At five feet tall and 95 pounds, Chesterton sophomore swimmer Stephanie Krause doesn't appear to be powerful.
"Ninety pounds is muscle," Chesterton coach Kevin Kinel said. "She's really lean."
Krause showed her strength last weekend at the Hall of Fame Classic, where seven of the Top 31 teams in the state competed. Krause competed in two prelims (100 IM, 200 back) in the morning, then after lunch she swam in five finals: 400 medley relay (eighth), 1,000 free (10th), 100 IM (seventh), 200 back (eighth) and 400 free relay (seventh).
"I wasn't going to complain about it," said Krause, who swam the finals' events in about a three-hour window to help her team win the crown. "I just didn't realize I was going to swim so much in one day. I didn't have a lot of time to rest.
"I'm just happy that my coaches believed in me."
That belief stems from a few things, starting with last year's breakout performance at the sectional, where she placed second in the 100 back.
Then she intensified her training in the offseason.
"My coaches keep telling me that they've never seen someone change like this," Krause said. "I've really focused on lifting weights and getting a lot stronger. I used to dread events like the 100 fly, because I didn't have a strong upper body."
Plugged into this season's lineup in the 100 fly, the work seems to have paid off. Her 1:00.8 in Tuesday's win over Michigan City is the 13th-fastest time this season on the Indiana Swimming Coaches Association website.
"It takes a lot of heart and technique," Kinel said. "She's stayed after to work on some things, and she's never said no to working extra. It's wonderful to have her; with those kids, the sky is the limit."
Some of that drive comes from her family. Her father Jeff swam both at Highland and Purdue. Younger sister Vanessa, an eighth-grader, is an extremely accomplished age-group swimmer.
"I'm always comparing times," Stephanie said. "Vanessa just has natural talent, and it doesn't seem she has to work as hard to get her times.
"I have to work harder and that pushes me. It's a friendly rivalry, and I use it more as a motivation."
Stephanie Krause's main goal now is finding a way in the state lineup.
"I'm doing pretty good so far, and I really want to swim at state," she said. "I definitely feel a lot more confident.
"Some people see me as tiny, but they cannot beat me. I'm just out to try to prove them wrong."