Wheeler senior Danielle Radosevich was caught off guard with her performance in Tuesday's meet.
Radosevich broke the pool and team record in the 100-yard backstroke (1:01.6) and helped the 400 free relay squad break the pool record (3:53.93) in a Greater South Shore Conference triangular win against Bishop Noll and Calumet.
"I was pretty surprised," Radosevich said. "It was senior night, and I was excited.
"I've been around a 1:03 (in the back), so I couldn't believe I did this."
Radosevich already possessed a quality prep resume. She qualified for the state meet as both a freshman and sophomore at Valparaiso. She swam in relays, and also finished 27th in the 100 back as a freshman and 23rd a year later.
Swimming then took a back seat to personal issues at school as a junior. She began to be bullied. Things intensified so much that Radosevich ended up leaving the swim team before Christmas break and transferring to Wheeler.
"It just kept progressing," Radosevich said. "I took almost a whole year off (from swimming). I was just kind of depressed about everything.
"It's still hard, because I do miss my friends at Valpo. It's still the best thing for me."
Radosevich found familiar ground with the Bearcats. She'd participated with Union Township's Swim Club since she was eight years old. She also worked with current Bearcats coach Adam Klimczak when she was in eighth grade.
"Everyone is really nice here," Radosevich said. "I was glad to be back."
Klimczak welcomed Radosevich to the team. He admits his prior work with the senior has helped the coach-athlete relationship.
"It's not like I don't know anything about her," Klimczak said. "I know the talent she has."
Radosevich has also provided some leadership to the youthful Times No. 6 Bearcats. In the record-setting relay, Radosevich teamed with freshmen Sara Helmerich and Katie Wong, plus sophomore Rachel Wodetzki.
"She has a calming effect on the team," Klimczak said. "Some of the freshman age-groupers haven't been to the Chesterton Sectional or state meet, so her experience helps. It's reassuring."
For Radosevich, she's just happy to be swimming once again.
"It's been so much fun this season, even though I don't really know everyone on the team," Radosevich said. "We still go out for pizza and have good times.
"I've just learned that you can take nothing for granted. I just love swimming, and I couldn't quit."