Section: dL PAGE: 05
Head: Lee could carry a load for Munster.
By: JEFF CARROLL
INDIANAPOLIS - If Munster's Jeff Lee turns in the same type of performance
in today's swimming finals as he did in Friday's preliminaries, there is a
chance he could climb out of the pool with five medals hanging around his neck.
That would be two individual state titles, a couple of relay crowns and of
course the big one - a team championship for the Seahorses.
Lee was the most dominant individual of the preliminaries, shaving nearly
four seconds off of his sectional 200 freestyle time to capture the top seed
for today's race with a time of 1:38.96. He also had the top time in the 100
freestyle Friday night, clocking in at 44.84.
Lee was also on two Munster relay teams that qualified for today's final.
The 200 free relay squad grabbed the top seed with a preliminary time of
1:25.68. The 400 free relay was second to Columbus North at 3:09.55 and also
will compete in today's finals.
"I don't even know what I did, but I'll do the exact same thing tomorrow,"
The performance came after a week of practice in which Lee felt less than
"I felt bad all week in practice," Lee said. "But I guess that's good.
I wasn't sick, I just felt heavy."
Munster's Matt Lee also qualified in two individual events, finishing second
in the 100 butterfly with a time of 50.33 and fourth in the 200 IM with a time
Munster wasn't the only Region team to make an impact at Friday's
preliminaries. Hanover Central's Heath Montgomery qualified for two events in
today's finals, the 500 freestyle and the 200 freestyle. Highland's Matt
Gouwens swam the 100 breaststroke in 58.87 good for the third best qualifying
But it was Lake Central's Todd Smolinski who may have provided the most
exciting moment of the preliminaries. He swam the breaststroke in 49.61, a new
The previous mark was 49.77 set by Bedford North Lawrence's Dan Schultz in
"I least expected to do this," Smolinski said. "I was just trying to
qualify. I'm really surprised."
Despite the strong performance, Munster will have its work cut out for it if
it hopes to win its first team championship since 1980.
The two teams ahead of it in the state coaches poll, Columbus North and
Carmel, were the only two teams to qualify more swimmers in today's finals than
Munster. Columbus North will participate in 10 title races today, and Carmel,
which has won seven of the last eight state championships will race in eight.
The Seahorses qualified a total of six individuals or relay teams for
The diving finals also will be today.
Despite the uphill battle, Munster still holds out hope of ending the reign
of Carmel dominance.
"You want to show those guys up whenever you can," Lee said.