CROWN POINT — Longtime Chesterton coach Kevin Kinel did a flip off the diving board moments after the Trojans won the Duneland Athletic Conference meet on Saturday at Crown Point.
Celebrations like those are common for Kinel and the Trojans, who won their 22nd consecutive DAC title with 508.5 points, well in front of runner-up Valparaiso’s 329 points. Crown Point was third with 319.
Chesterton senior Nick Hanas, who won the 200-yard freestyle and 500 free, said the team loves to continue the tradition that was started before any of them were even born.
“It’s an incredible tradition,” he said. “That just something that the whole team is proud of. We did have some sickness this past week, so we’ve had to sub in people. That’s just the beauty of being a team. … As a team we just did incredible.”
Winning championships never gets old for Kinel.
“It’s quite a milestone because there are an awful amount of good teams,” he said. “There were some great swims by all eight conference schools.”
Andrew Alders won the 200 individual, took second in the 100 butterfly and swam on the winning 200 medley and 400 free relays for the Trojans. Evan Dildine took second in the 100 breaststroke, while Justin Wallar was second in the 200 free, fifth in the 500 free and swam on the winning 400 free relay.
“The kids stopped up (Saturday),” Kinel said. “These guys are young. We’ve got a lot of kids who were not swimming varsity last year that have stepped into these roles and gone for it. Awfully proud of everybody. We’ve got our work cut out for us because sectionals are going to be incredibly fast, but that’s good.”
The Trojans placed multiple swimmers in each event.
“We had awesome swims from a lot of people, so we’re excited,” Kinel said.
Ryan Hrosik led the runner-up Vikings, winning the 50 free in a conference-record time of 21.00 seconds, and the 100 fly, while Cole St. Aubin won the 100 breast.
“It was a great day,” Hrosik said. “I’m really happy with everything, and I can’t complain. Plus the whole team did good, so that’s even better. We had real high energy. Everybody was feeling it. It was a good mood.”
Valpo and Crown Point went back and forth for second place throughout the meet, and Valpo got a key first place in the 200 free relay of St. Aubin, Will Miltenberer, Hrosik and Sam Behrend to help the Vikes place second overall.
“Obviously, we know we can’t compete with the depth they’ve got at Chesterton to go with their top guys,” Hrosik said. “Beating Crown Point and getting second was our goal, and we got that done.”
LaPorte’s Jacob Cooper also had a good day, winning the 100 free and placing second in the 50 free, while nursing a cold.
“I knew I had to go out there for the team and swim as best as I could,” he said. “I left it all in the pool, and I’m happy with what I did.”
The Trojans said they’ve still got work to do this season.
“We’ve just got to get back to the pool and get ready for sectionals,” Alders said.