Holly Schuster arrived on the Bulldog swim scene with a family history, one that is sure to be discussed around the holiday table.
“Both my sister (Hannah) and my brother (Brady) swam for the Bulldogs,” Schuster said, “so it was a given that I would follow in their footsteps.”
Not that she is complaining. After a pair of sectional wins her freshman year, and another title last season, Schuster has shown she can hold her own in the family.
In the 2010-11 sectional, Schuster took first in the 200 IM (2:09.23) and the 500 free (5:16.36).
“I went into the sectional week pretty nervous, but my coaches did a lot to help me focus and calm down,” she said. “Plus it helped a lot that my sister was still on the swim team and could share her experiences with me.”
Last year, Schuster defended her title in the 200 IM (2:06.69) while finishing third in the 500 free.
This season, Crown Point coach Bryon Angerman has moved Schuster to different events based on the competition. The versatility she brings to the team has been a tremendous asset.
“Holly has times under one minute in both the 100 fly and 100 back this season,” Angerman said. “She also has a time under 1:07 for the 100 breast. Very few girls in the northern region can match those numbers.”
That doesn’t even count her 200 IM times, which is where she won her sectional medals.
Schuster’s ability to swim well in different events provides the team with options when the Bulldogs face the likes of Chesterton and Munster during the season.
“It’s a nice problem to have,” Angerman said. “Every coach wishes they had those kinds of decisions to make.”
Schuster makes it easy on the coaching staff with her attitude.
“I am OK with swimming wherever they need me,” she said. “It gives me an opportunity to work on my different stroke techniques. I like the fact that I can stay strong in multiple events. I take a lot of pride in being able to help the team in so many different ways.”
Her value to the team was recognized by her peers when they voted her to be one of this year’s captains.
“I take the role seriously,” Schuster said. “I like to work with the younger girls and show them the ropes, and how to do things the Bulldog way. Upperclassmen did that for me when I was younger, so it’s my job to pass it on.”
Angerman said Schuster’s work ethic stands out as a way to lead.
“Holly is a very hard worker in the pool,” he said. “Especially because she works on so many different stroke techniques. The younger girls pick up on the example she sets. They learn what it takes to excel.”
So far, the Bulldogs' season has been a success. Schuster and company are aiming for the postseason to make a statement.
“We are looking at getting some top-five and top-eight finishes at state,” she said. “We have very strong relay teams, and several good individual times that should help us make the cut.”
Based on her past success and bright future, Schuster should have no problem with her siblings when they gather around the holiday table.