BOYS SWIMMING | Season preview

Heralded age-grouper Kostbade begins his swimming career at Chesterton

2013-11-19T17:30:00Z 2013-11-20T02:12:06Z Heralded age-grouper Kostbade begins his swimming career at ChestertonJim Hunsley jim.hunsley@nwi.com, (219) 548-4356 nwitimes.com
November 19, 2013 5:30 pm  • 

Gary Kostbade was in attendance when Chesterton won its initial boys swimming state title in 2008, and he watched the Trojans win titles in 2009 and last winter on line.

The prep swimming spectator days are now on hold for the Trojans freshman.

"I've actually been looking forward to this for quite a while," Kostbade said of being in the lineup. "I'm excited, and hopefully I'll be a part of something great."

Kostbade has already had a quality age-group career.

He owns the 11-12 state age-group record in the 50-yard breaststroke (28.24). In long-course (meters), he owns the state meet record in the 50 breast (32.88) for 11-12 and the 50 free (24.85) for 13-14.

Last January, he competed for Team Indiana at the Mid- States Championships. He was first in the 50 free, 100 breast and 200 breast.

He was second in the 100 free and fly, plus third in the 200 free. He also helped the 400 free and medley relay teams breaks meet records.

"I think that builds up my motivation and my confidence," Kostbade said. "I've been in a lot of meets and hopefully that prepares me."

Veteran Chesterton coach Kevin Kinel believes Kostbade is ready.

"He's a smart kid and a hard worker," Kinel said. "He's a gifted kid, but he doesn't expect anything will be given to him. He's willing to do the work."

Kostbade joins a lineup that includes eight swimmers who participated in last year's state meet, including state meet record holders Aaron Whitaker (100 back and fly) and Blake Pieroni (100 free).

"(The returning swimmers) have been great," Kostbade said. "They want to be able to reach out and help."

Kostbade is a part of talented freshman class that will push the elder statesmen for spots in the lineup.

"There's going to be a lot of competition in the relays," Kinel said. "It's great to have a really quality group of freshmen, and the team gets along. (The older swimmers) aren't threatened by (the competition)."

As for goals, Kostbade remains in a team mindest.

"My specific goals are to definitely help the team have a great season," he said. "I'd like to be a part of the state team."

Kinel believes Kostbade might even have a deeper impact on the program.

"He's a very genuine kid," Kinel said. "He's the kind of kid we want on the team. Hopefully, he'll inspire younger kids to be like him."

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