Chesterton Tribune

Chesterton Boys Swimming opens Saturday

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By TR HARLAN

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 shine.

“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 improve too.

“Brent Vondra had a tremendous summer and I expect him to step up into a role.”

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.”

 

 

 

Posted 11/25/2011