Chesterton boys swimming and diving coach Kevin Kinel knows what it takes to
win a State Championship.
After all, he’s got two rings.
“We’ve already started talking about it,” Kinel said as his team prepares to
open the 2011-2012 season at Lafayette Jeff on Saturday. “The hard part is
getting the kids to buy into the process that it takes. The kids that were
part of our State title teams didn’t just fall into it. They worked for it
and that’s the hard part.”
The Trojans will be led by a trio of sophomores that all had solid showings
as freshman at the IHSAA State Finals in the persons of Blake Pieroni, Aaron
Whitaker and Jack Wallar.
“We have Blake back after two runner-ups and he has only gotten better,”
Kinel said. “Aaron was runner-up in the Fly. Jack Wallar was real
competitive individually and on our relays that scored.”
“Our top kids are young, but they’re veterans,” Kinel said. “They are used
to the big time and they’ve got a lot of experience in big meets. They
really thrive on meet day. It’s been a long pre-season and I know they are
excited to start getting after it.”
The talented trio of sophomores are backed up by classmates that can also
“Blake, Aaron, Jack and then we have Ethan Whitaker who is right there and
able to score at the State Meet as well,” Kinel said. “We have Patrick
Curley that had such a good summer. If the intrasquad meet is any
indication, he’s really going to have a great year. Andy Hurst continues to
“Brent Vondra had a tremendous summer and I expect him to step up into a
All the Trojans talent isn’t in the sophomore class. The seniors will hold a
key card in any team success.
“Senior Chris McGue really came into his own in the distance stuff last year
and we feel like he could score at the State Meet,” Kinel said. “Nick
Borzych has to really step up for us and I think he will. Colin Buckles is
another kid that really came into his own last year.
“Diver Austin Roach is a senior and nobody really knows about him because
we’ve been so deep in diving. He’s never really had a chance, but he’s
really good. I think he’ll turn some heads.”
In the junior class, Collin Ringas (breaststroke), Cody Olson (backstroke)
and Andrew Claudio (diving) will also be counted on.
“I think we’ll be pretty strong up top and pretty deep as well,” Kinel said.
Freshman Josh VanNevel should also provide an immediate impact
“Josh is a real blue-chip Age Group swimmer,” Kinel said. “I think he’ll fit
right in with the top kids.”
Most importantly for the Trojans right now, according to Kinel, is to get in
the water against somebody else.
“People think it’s easy and it falls in your lap,” Kinel said. “We’ve got a
lot of talented kids, but along with that is high expectations. That means
you have to find a way to push them every day and that’s what we’re trying
to do. I really like what I’ve seen throughout the pre-season.
“We’ll find out Saturday. Lafayette Jeff isn’t real strong, but it’ll be fun
to see where we are at to open the year.”