Rival club host Northwest Indiana Divisional Swim Championships

2013-03-11T22:00:00Z 2013-03-12T02:19:04Z Rival club host Northwest Indiana Divisional Swim ChampionshipsJohn Burbridge john.burbridge@nwi.com, (219) 933-3371 nwitimes.com

MUNSTER | Jeff Kilinski doesn't like entertaining the idea that he's getting older. It's just that everyone else around him seems to be growing up.

Kilinski's oldest son, Josh, is now one of his assistant coaches for the Lake Central Barracudas Swim Club, an organization Kilinski has been the head coach for since 2003. And his younger son, Ryan, is amidst his final season with the age group-level Barracudas.

"Next year he'll be swimming in high school," Kilinski said of Ryan.

Kilinski formerly was the head coach for the Hub Swim Club -- now named the Crown Point Swim Club. Among the stars on that team were brothers Jeff and Matt Lee.

Matt is now the head coach for the Munster Swim Club. On March 1-3, Kilinski's and Lee's clubs joined forces to host the Northwest Indiana Divisional Championships.

"This is the first time we've hosted this ... we never had the facility to host it before," Lee said of Munster High School's Olympic-size and state-of-the-art natatorium, where the event was held.

"We have 20 clubs with about 585 swimmers, and a whole lot of volunteers to help make this run smoothly," Lee said. "For many swimmers, this is their final chance to make a state cut."

The Indiana Swimming Age Group Championships will take place March 15-17 at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis.

"So far we have 45 swimmers who have qualified," Lee said. "Some are swimming today in hopes of qualifying in other events."

The plan is to have Munster and Lake Central alternate for Divisional site host every other year.

"Next year (December of 2013), we're getting a new pool," Kilinski said of one of the school's ongoing upgrades. "It will be just like this place. It will have more deck space ... the pool will have deeper turns.

"Yeah, like this, it should be a fast pool," said Kilinski, who was a high school All-American in the 50 freestyle for Lake Central in 1986. "But I believe the reason why some swimmers do better in a so-called 'fast pool' comes from more of a mental thing."

Mental or not, Kilinski believes the new pool should be a shot in the arm for the program.

"We're kind of in a rebuilding stage right now," he said. "Our 10-and-unders are real strong."

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