CHESTERTON — The Duneland Athletic Conference meet had just ended, and Jaclyn and Maisyn Klimczak were still hanging around the pool.

Most of the swimmers who competed had already ducked off into various locker rooms to change out of their swimsuits and into dry clothes. But Chesterton’s top performers took some extra time to talk to friends and family, and they couldn’t hide their smiles after securing the Trojans’ 20th consecutive conference title.

Maisyn Klimczak said it meant a lot to win one of the biggest competitions of the year and uphold Chesterton’s storied swimming history. The sophomore won the 200-yard freestyle and 500 free, and also anchored the Trojans’ first-place finish in the 200 freestyle relay. But in addition to her individual achievements, she said most of her joy stemmed from having a strong performance alongside her older sister.

“It’s like another level of happiness,” Maisyn Klimczak said. “Because you’re happy for yourself, but then I get to see how well she’s doing. So it just adds to the whole experience.”

Jaclyn Klimczak is in her final prep season with the Trojans, and after recovering from a minor injury last week, the senior put on a show. She was a part of Chesterton’s first-place 200 medley relay, and won the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke.

But just like Masiyn Klimczak, Jacylyn Klimczak’s most memorable moment came during the last event of the day and the only one in which she competed with her sister.

Chesterton capped of its 27th DAC championship overall with a win in the 400 freestyle relay, and both sisters did their part. Maisyn Klimczak swam second, while Jaclyn Klimczak went third to help the Trojans finish with a time of 3:33.82 and earn a spot atop the podium.

Jaclyn Klimczak’s split was slightly faster than her younger sister’s and although she didn’t show her up, she still beamed with pride after edging out Maisyn Klimczak. The sisters have been swimming together for over a decade, and have always pushed each other to their maximum potential. But even when they come together to accomplish a goal, their head-to-head competitiveness occasionally seeps in.

“There’s definitely a little sibling rivalry, especially on that last relay,” Jaclyn Klimczak said with a laugh. “I never want to get out and be like, ‘Oh, my little sister just went faster than me. And then at practice, I never want her to have a better set. I want her to have an equally as good set. But I mean it’s definitely healthy competition.”

Coach Kevin Kinel commended his entire team for their effort in Saturday’s meet but also acknowledged his standout sophomore and senior. The Trojans scored 551.5 points — 140.5 points ahead of second-place Lake Central — and won 10 of 12 events. And out of all of the siblings he’s coached throughout his lengthy career, Kinel said Jacyln and Maisyn Klimczak’s outings were just a glimpse of why they rank near the top.

“They come from a swimming family,” Kinel said. “Their dad (Adam Klimczak) is a coach, so they’re very coachable. They get it, and their whole family gets it.”


Sports Reporter

James Boyd is the Lake County prep sports reporter for The Times. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a proud native of Romeoville, Illinois. Before anything else, his main goal in life is to spread love and light.