INDIANAPOLIS | When thinking of Griffith High School, boys swimming is never the first sport that springs to mind.
However, after transferring from Portage this school year, Alex Rosales put Griffith on the map for at least a day.
After finishing 15th at state last season, Rosales improved greatly this time around, taking fourth with 444.60 points.
“I feel really well,” he said. “My coach just kept telling me to stay relaxed. If I get the first step through it, I'm going to make it through all my other dives. Don't rush anything, don't hustle anything and all the dives will come to you.”
Excited for the future: Munster sophomore Wilson Beckman finished sixth in the 100-yard backstroke (51.62) and won the consolation heat in the 100 fly (51.15), finishing ninth despite having the sixth best time amongst the 16 competitors.
“It was a really fast meet, and you can see the state of Indiana is really progressing and getting faster,” Beckman said. “I am really excited (for the future) because I know the areas I have to improve on.
"Overall, I'm happy, but my (backstroke) start was really bad.”
Rebounding from disappointment: Highland senior Stephen Castillo was expected to be in the mix for a state championship in the 50 free.
However, a disappointing preliminary finish of 11th place (21.37) meant the Eastern Michigan-bound Castillo would essentially just be racing for a better time.
Castillo rebounded from his prelim time, winning the consolation heat in 21.07 seconds. Had he been in the championship heat, that time would have put him in fourth place.
“I was extremely happy with today,” said Castillo, who was battling flu-like symptoms the last two weeks. “A medal is a medal, it doesn't matter. It's all about the times. A medal is just a perk.”
Castillo also competed in the 100 free, winning the consolation heat (46.51). He and teammates Matt Harnisch, Sam Gordon and Jeff Schroeder also swam the 200 free relay, finishing seventh in the consolation heat and 15th overall (1:28.95) despite none of them having age group experience.
“It is pretty amazing to just look at where we started,” Highland assistant coach Nick Castillo said. “Not many teams can do what these boys have done the past two years.”
Other local finishers: Valparaiso's Andrew Antionetti finished sixth in the 200 free (1:41.58) and eighth in the 500 free (4:41.80). Chesterton's Patrick Curley placed 15th in the 200 I.M. (1:56.36). Chesterton's Jack Waller finished seventh in the 100 breast (57.52) and 13th in the 50 free (21.59). Valparaiso's Muyenda Burnett finished 15th in diving (373.15). Michigan City's Matt Quinlan finished eighth in the 100 breast (57.58) and 16th in the 200 I.M. (1:56.86). Munster's Joey Gardner was 16th in the 100 breast (59.57).