CHESTERTON | Mother Nature could do nothing to derail the Chesterton boys swim team Monday night.
The Trojans broke seven Duneland Athletic Conference records and three pool records while rolling to their 18th consecutive conference championship on Monday night, outscoring runner-up Crown Point 530-342.
The annual meet is normally held on a Saturday, but was postponed to Monday night because of last weekend's weather.
“You could take all of my other 33 years of doing this and I’m not sure I’ve seen the kind of delays and postponements that we’ve seen this year,” Chesterton coach Kevin Kinel said. “There’s a tendency to be a little lethargic on a Monday night in a different atmosphere, but the kids rose to the occasion and did what we needed to do.”
The Trojans set the tone from the jump on Monday night, breaking a six-year old record in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1 minute, 33.66 seconds. It was the first of several meet records that went to for Aaron Whitaker, Blake Pieroni, Gary Kostbade and Jack Wallar. Aaron Whitaker broke pool records in the 100 butterfly (48.20) and the 100 backstroke (49.15). The 100 back record was formerly held by Crown Point’s Paul Schmidt (2002, 52.22) and Whitaker’s win meant the Trojans are in possession of every DAC record.
“It’s nice to see that we have people that cover the whole spectrum,” Whitaker said. “We’re keeping the tradition alive. It gives me gratitude that we’re able to do this for Coach (Kinel).”
Pieroni broke Kyle Whitaker’s 2010 mark (1:40.99) in the 200 free with a 1:39.12 and then added a pool record in the 100 free (44.56), breaking Seth Barry’s (Chesterton) mark of 45.97 in 2002.
“We still have work in front of us,” Pieroni said. “It’s a little tedious getting ready for sectionals, but the state prelims are when things start to get big.”
Ethan Whitaker added wins in the 200 IM (1:57.63) and 500 free (4:41.54), while Wallar won the 50 free (22.07) and 100 breast (58.45). The pair joined Pieroni and Kostbade to win the 200 free relay with a DAC-record 1:25.90. The Trojans capped off the night by setting a conference record in the 400 free relay (3:11.23) as well.
“We’re excited about the end of the season,” Kinel said. “This (process) has been crazy and a little hard, but it’s very rewarding. We had a lot of great swimming tonight.”