MUNSTER | Munster’s Joey Gardner had plenty of time to get himself mentally and physically prepared for Monday’s Northwest Crossroads Conference swim meet.
Gardner swam the 200 individual medley in 1:56.03, eclipsing the old NCC record of 1:56.56, set in 2011 by former Seahorse Dillon Thompson.
Even though the meet took place nine days after the original date due to two weather postponements, Gardner was still able to lock into the task at hand.
“I always looked up to Dillon ever since I started swimming,” Gardner said. “(It feels great) to beat one of my idol’s records. I knew I had a chance at beating the meet record, so I started getting really pumped.
"I knew what I wanted to do, and I had that motivation, so I went for it.”
Gardner also won the 100 fly (52.76) and swam a leg on both the winning 200 free and 400 free relays for the Seahorses, helping lead Munster to 414 points and another NCC championship.
The Seahorses won nine of the 12 events, including freshman James Svolos’ personal-best 57.60 seconds in the 100 back.
“I thought Svolos looked very strong from the get-go,” Munster coach Matt Pavlovich said. “He had good underwaters off the start and good turnover. He has a very pretty stroke, and I’ve been trying to stress to him all year the capabilities he has in the backstroke.
"Over the next year or two, he’s going to get faster and faster.”
Other individual wins for Munster were Wilson Beckman in the 50 free (21.80) and 100 free (47.81) and Jack Wulf in the 100 breast (1:03.32). The Seahorses also won the 200 medley relay (1:45.65).
Highland placed second with 314 points, getting wins from Chris Dabrowski in the 200 free (1:50.78) and 500 free (4:59.17).
“I felt like I could have done better, but I’m still happy,” Dabrowski said. “It’s promising to see those times, because sectionals will be a lot better.”
Highland’s other win came from Mitch Mastey in diving (404.70). That score gives him hope for a strong performance at the Munster Sectional.
“I felt confident,” he said. “I trained really hard this summer. I just wanted to dive hard. I’m going to keep training.
"There’s a lot of tough guys in our sectional, but I’m going to try hard.”