Andrew Antonetti reset the Valparaiso school record in the 500-yard freestyle in each of his final three races last season, but the Vikings junior distance swimmer doesn't plan on stopping there.
"I definitely like to see the record go lower," said Antonetti, who finished fourth at last year's state meet in 4:36.21. "I'd like to see 4:30 or 4:28. That's a very big jump, but I think have a chance to get there."
Antonetti made the most of his inaugural prep swimming season a year ago. Besides finishing fourth in the 500, he was 11th in the 200 free and swam a leg on the Vikings' 13th-place 400 free relay team.
Moments after last year's state boys state finals, Valparaiso boys swimming coach Adam Nellessen was already looking ahead to bigger and better things for Antonetti.
"He's going to be a force in the state the next two years," Nellessen said. "I really believe it."
According to the Indiana Swimming Coaches Association website, his state finals performance is the quickest returning time in the state. His 1:42.42 in the 200 free is the fifth-fastest returning time.
"I don't think last season was a fluke," said Antonetti, who skipped his freshman season to focus on his academics. "I found out I was ready to swim last year. I feel pretty comfortable."
He's also not shaken by the prospects of facing two of the top swimmers in the state — Chesterton's Blake Pieroni and Ethan Whitaker — on a regular basis.
"I definitely like having the competition so close to home," Antonetti said of the Duneland Athletic Conference rival Trojans. "I like those guys, and I talk to them. Once the competition starts, that changes."
Antonetti, the defending LaPorte Sectional champion in the 500 free, admits he'll have a different role this season, more of a leader. He hopes to build off what graduated swimmers like Dion Low and others taught him.
"I'm more familiar with things," Antonetti said. "I just want to use my experiences to help my teammates. If they improve, that motivates me to improve."