MUNSTER | Munster retained its Red Division crown – barely.
Fending off an upstart Crown Point boys swimming team, the No. 3 Seahorses won the last event to win the Munster Relays Red, 126-114. No. 4 Lake Central took third with 94 points and South Bend Riley was third (78).
In the White Division, No. 2 Valparaiso won seven of 10 events to cruise to a 140-166 win over runner-up No. 8 Portage. No. 6 Highland finished third with 80 points.
“I was very impressed with Crown Point today,” Munster coach Matt Pavlovich said. “We knew they were good. Coach (Doug) Norris had his team ready to compete. Fortunately, we stepped up in a big way at the end.”
Munster sophomore Joe Gardner won in the Red 800-yard free (7:44.94) and the 800 individual medley (8:51.84). He also got second in the 400 breast.
“The relays are a great team-building experience,” Gardner said. “Every event is team oriented, so we spend a lot more time cheering each other on. It helps us build a lot of camaraderie.”
Gardner earned personal bests in the free and the breaststroke.
“For being this early in the season, getting a personal best is really good,” he said. “Hopefully, I’ll be able to take more time off as the year progresses.”
No. 5 Crown Point coach Doug Norris was pumped about the Bulldogs performance.
“Usually, we do not swim this well until Christmas or even later,” Norris said. “Our guys came out today and did a great job. Andy (Kvachkoff) got his personal best in the breaststroke today. Several of the boys really stepped up.”
The Bulldogs won three events on their way to the second place finish.
Valparaiso’s Tim Blue won all three White events he swam in – the 200 medley (1:52.03), the 800 free (8:05.64), and the 400 free (3:30.10).
“This is a really great event to participate in,” Blue said. “You learn a lot about sportsmanship here. Everyone is competing and trying their best to win, but it’s still a different atmosphere than a regular dual.”
Blue swims the distance events for the Vikings, so some of the unique relays were tailored to his skills.
“The distances weren’t bad for me,” Blue said. “They were a little tougher for some of the sprinters. We have had a great season so far, all of our swimmers are really stepping up. So today has been good from that perspective.”