Chesterton Tribune

Chesterton's Star of Stars Whitaker wins two IHSAA state titles

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Talor Whitaker and Coach Kevin Kinel celebrate



The Chesterton girls 200 Medley Relay team won the consolation race of the 2007 State Swim Meet to get things started for the Trojans and senior Talor Whitaker finished.

Whitaker picked up two individual state titles (100 and 200 Free) as the Trojans finished eighth as a team behind 21-time defending state champion Carmel.

“We pretty much did everything we could have possibly done,” Chesterton coach Kevin Kinel said. “It was really a great team effort from the relays, through the divers and then Talor.

“Going down (to Indy), I thought top 10 was possible but we had to be almost perfect and we were.”

Perfect is the best way to describe Whitaker’s day. The Washington State-bound senior was nearly flawless in picking up the fifth and sixth state titles of her career.

“This whole season I knew about those freshmen that were coming in,” Whitaker said of the competition. “I did everything I could to get pumped up.”

In the 200 Free, Whitaker did everything right in bringing home top honors.

“I didn’t expect to win the 200 and I was much more nervous for it,” Whitaker said. “It’s a longer race and I didn’t know if I could hang on.”

Whitaker couldn’t see the competition from her place in lane four, so she had to switch her breathing pattern to find the nearest competitor in lane five.

“I was watching the girl next to me,” Whitaker said. “I don’t breathe to her side because she was to my right. I had to breathe that way and pay attention to her.”

“This was the first time she swam the 200 at the state meet,” Kinel said. “The 200 is a tough race because you have to be fast and it hurts a lot. It’s a long sprint.”

Whitaker got a break as the diving competition concluded before getting a chance to defend her title in the 100 Free.

“Going through the weeks leading up to state, it’s all about perfecting the start and finish,” Whitaker said. “You don’t dive or pull up at the wall. You have to go into the wall with everything you have.”

Almost prophet-like, Whitaker perfected the most important part of her title defense and since she was in fourth place off the final wall, it was a nice time to be right.

“Lane 7 came on, but tightened up in the last five yards,” Whitaker said. “The girls next to me dove a little bit at the wall. I just tried to stay strong and be long going into the wall.”

It worked as Whitaker won the race by .07 seconds.

“Coming in freshman year and getting fifth and seventh, I knew that it was going to be extremely hard to get to the top,” Whitaker said. “Sophomore year I got seventh in the individual. I thought it would be cool to get an individual win.

“Now that I’ve done that, it’s nice to know I’m not just a competitive swimmer, but that I can win here against the best.”

“This is her sixth state title and that says an awful lot,” Kinel said. “The thing about Talor is she can get herself in the right frame of mind for individual events and then be a great teammate in the relays. She’s just very cool under fire.”

Whitaker wasn’t the only standout performance by the Trojans.

“We hadn’t quite got the Medley Relay in the last few years,” Kinel said. “We got into the consolation race and then took advantage moving from 15th to winning it (9th). It sparked a lot of emotion for us and got us going.”

The Trojans also got a great swim from Kate Stephens in the 100 Back and solid swims on Friday night from both Free Relay teams to get into the finals.

“Kate Stephens in the 100 Back broke a minute to get into the consolation’s in the prelims and then came back even faster,” Kinel said. “Our two Free Relays to make the finals had great swims. That was huge for us in the team standings.

“I’m awfully proud and pleased with the way these kids hung in all year with the challenges that we had to go through.”

Team Scores

1. Carmel, 335; 2. Hamilton Southeastern, 280.5; 3. Columbus North, 185; 4. Homestead, 173; 5. Indpls North Central, 127.5; 6. Center Grove, 126; 7. Yorktown, 114; 8. Chesterton, 109; 9. FW Snider, 82; 10. Jasper, 65.

Individual Results

200 Medley Relay – 1. Hamilton SE, 1:44.70; 2. Carmel, 1:45.95; 3. Indpls North Central, 1:47.68; 4. Columbus North, 1:49.14; 5. Homestead, 1:49.51; 6. FW Snider, 1:50.28; 7. Lawrence North, 1:51.32; 8. Penn, 1:52.33; 9. Chesterton (Kate Stephens, Katie Cahillane, Nikki Pierce, Brittany Fozkos), 1:52.03.

200 Free – 1. Talor Whitaker (Chesterton), 1:51.10; 2. Kayla Sergesketter (Jasper), 1:51.63; 3. Aubrey Hertzler (Hamilton SE), 1:52.42; 4. Melody White (Center Grove), 1:53.12; 5. Patricia Regan (Carmel), 1:53.64; 6. Laura Heckroth (Columbus North), 1:53.84; 7. Caitlin Conroy (Columbus North), 1:54.59; 8. Samantha Partridge (Carmel), 1:57.36.

200 IM – 1. Michelle McKeehan (Center Grove), 1:58.06; 2. Lindsay Rogers (Hamilton SE), 2:02.70; 3. Stephanie Parker (FW Snider), 2:06.81; 4. Emily Dibenigo (Carmel), 2:06.83; 5. Megan Sparks (Carmel), 2:07.55; 6. Jessica Skiba (Homestead), 2:08.06; 7. Kelsea Cross (Columbus North), 2:08.53; 8. Elizabeth Weinkauf (Carmel), 2:10.21.

50 Free – 1. Kelsi Hall (Yorktown), 22.92; 2. Ariel Martin (Lafayette Jeff), 23.52; 3. Carly Mercer (Hamilton SE), 23.71; 4. Kaitlyn Flederbach (West Noble), 23.84; 5. Lauren Gustafson (Columbus North), 23.96; 6. Lauren Massey (Indpls North Central), 24.15; 7. Emma Wermuth (FW Carroll), 24.38; 8. Megan Detro (Carmel), 24.45; 17. Brittany Fozkos (Chesterton), 24.81.

1-Meter Diving – 1. Audra Egenolf (Heritage Christian), 445.20; 2. Monica Dodson (Whiteland), 438.80; 3. Gabriella Agostino (SB St. Joseph’s), 420.85; 4. Krissy Riley (Pendleton Heights), 410.65; 5. Gail Susdorf (Fishers), 406.50; 6. Amy Cozad (Decatur Central), 402.65; 7. Sarah Clay (Hamilton SE), 398.30; 8. Ellis Walters (Indpls North Central), 394.85; 18. Carlie Frech (Chesterton), 248.65; 29. Ashley Fozkos (Chesterton), 143.20.

100 Fly – 1. Jenny Connolly (Lafayette Harrison), 55.73; 2. Maria Gramelspacher (Jasper), 56.51; 3. Ariel Martin (Lafayette Jeff), 56.72; 4. McKenzie Bagan (Homestead), 56.74; 5. Nikki Hubbard (Penn), 56.86; 6. Sarah Boylen (Mishawaka Marian), 57.01; 7. Alexandra Young (Carmel), 57.19; 8. Chelsea Larsen (FW Snider), 57.35; 27. Nikki Pierce (Chesterton), 1:01.32.

100 Free – 1. Talor Whitaker (Chesterton), 51.53; 2. Kaitlyn Flederbach (West Noble), 51.60; 3. Kelsi Hall (Yorktown), 51.68; 4. Kayla Sergesketter (Jasper), 51.74; 5. Carly Mercer (Hamilton SE), 51.95; 6. Lauren Massey (Indpls North Central), 52.19; 7. Caitlin Conroy (Columbus North), 52.78; 8. Megan Detro (Carmel), 53.02; 22. Shauna Foor (Chesterton), 54.33.

500 Free – 1. Jessica Skiba (Homestead), 4:59.86; 2. Alexandra Young (Carmel), 5:00.59; 3. Laura Heckroth (Columbus North), 5:02.95; 4. Melody White (Center Grove), 5:03.00; 5. Samantha Partridge (Carmel), 5:07.61; 6. Kristen Witham (Homestead), 5:08.84; 7. Clara VanAllen (Indpls North Central) 5:08.94; 8. Emily Schroeder (Hamilton SE), 5:08.95.

200 Free Relay – 1. Hamilton SE, 1:35.63; 2. Carmel, 1:35.78; 3. Yorktown, 1:36.94; 4. Columbus North, 1:37.15; 5. Homestead, 1:37.44; 6. Center Grove, 1:37.54; 7. Chesterton (Talor Whitaker, Brittany Fozkos, Shauna Foor, Taylor Lipniskis), 1:37.98; 8. FW Carroll, 1:39.18.

100 Back – 1. Jenny Connolly (Lafayette Harrison), 55.47; 2. Megan Sparks (Carmel), 56.92; 3. Aubrey Hertzler (Hamilton SE), 57.31; 4. Jessia Hammes (Carmel), 57.41; 5. Kelsea Cross (Columbus North), 57.95; 6. Amber Molina (Indpls North Central), 58.60; 7. Chelsey Gill (Southridge), 58.71; 8. Molly Raspopovich (Crown Point), 58.94; 12. Kate Stephens (Chesterton), 59.68; 31. Brittany Fozkos (Chesterton), 1:02.07.

100 Breast – 1. Michelle McKeehan (Center Grove), 1:00.23; 2. Lindsay Rogers (Hamilton SE), 1:01.93; 3. Stephanie Parker (FW Snider), 1:04.92; 4. Emily Haifley (Homestead), 1:05.60; 5. Emily Dibenigno (Carmel), 1:05.83; 6. Elizabeth Counsell (Heritage Christian), 1:06.01; 7. Bridgette Ruehl (Lowell), 1:06.20; 8. Megan Wesler (Richmond), 1:06.99.

400 Free Relay – 1. Hamilton SE, 3:29.12; 2. Carmel, 3:29.68; 3. Columbus North, 3:33.31; 4. Center Grove, 3:33.73; 5. Yorktown, 3:34.04; 6. Homestead, 3:35.50; 7. Indpls North Central, 3:38.34; 8. Chesterton (Shauna Foor, Nikki Pierce, Taylor Lipniskis, Talor Whitaker), 3:39.01.


Posted 2/12/2007