INDIANAPOLIS | Going up against Chesterton’s Aaron Whitaker, the state record holder in the 100-yard backstroke, is never an easy task to undertake.
However, Munster junior Wilson Beckman did the best he could, finishing tied for runner-up honors with Lawrence North’s Adam Noens in 49.82 seconds.
Beckman’s finish was the best among any local swimmer not from the state-champion Trojans.
“That was my goal coming in, and I accomplished that goal,” Beckman said. “I wasn’t in position to do that off my third turn, but I kind of just thought ‘I’m not going to lose this,’ and I pulled through.”
Beckman also placed fifth in the 100 free (46.37).
Teammate Joey Gardner placed sixth in the 100 breast (56.62). The duo also helped the 200 medley relay (10th, 1:35.76) and 400 free relay (16th, 3:14.03) in the consolation heats.
“I felt pretty good during my swim,” Gardner said. “I’m happy I’m under 57 (seconds). I came in seeded sixth, and I got sixth.”
The Seahorses are ready to come back and improve on their 13th place team showing at state next season.
“We can’t wait for next season,” Gardner said. “Individually, Wilson and I should place even higher in our events. We’re just stoked for it.”
Capping a busy day: Valparaiso’s Andrew Antonetti participated in four events Saturday. He was ecstatic about placing fourth in the 200 free (1:40.07), helping him cap a busy day and a successful prep swimming career.
“I felt like it was a good race,” he said. “It didn’t feel like last year where I did the first three 50s strong and then died. It felt like it was a good curve the whole way.
Antonetti also placed eighth in the 500 free (4:37.80) and helped the Vikings place 11th in the 200 free relay (1:27.59) and 13th in the 400 free relay (3:11.24).
Diving to a strong finish: Portage’s John Fannin finished sixth in diving with 447.40 points, ending his senior season on a strong note.
“My goal was to place, so getting sixth place was what I wanted,” he said. “I was coming in ranked ninth, so getting sixth made the end of my senior year end on a great note.”
Highland’s Mitch Mastey placed 13th (400.80) and Crown Point’s Sage Chiaro was 16th (380.15) to round out the local divers.
Getting a taste of the competition: Lake Central’s Connor Homans made a splash in his first-ever state finals competition. The junior finished ninth in the 100 free (46.71) and 10th in the 50 free (21.28). Homans came in seeded just 16th after his preliminary time of 47.33.
“I was so happy after (the 100 free),” he said. “It was a really fun time. The competition was really intense. Next year, I want to come back and make my statement.”
Rebounding from disappointment: Crown Point’s Andrew Kvachkoff didn’t qualify for last season’s state finals, so the senior knew he had to work for that this season.
Kvachkoff did just that, placing 12th in the 100 breast (57.79).
“With as fast as this state is, it’s just a great experience, especially for my senior year,” he said.
Kvachkoff also helped the Bulldogs place 15th in the 200 medley relay (1:37.86)