Swimming Towards a Sectional Title

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Kyle Massa (11) swims freestyle. Sectionals took place on Saturday, Feb. 21.

Tori Wilkes

On Saturday, February 24th, 17 swim teams competed head to head in the fight for a Sectional title at Lake Central’s Aquatic Center.

The long practices and intense schedule proved to pay off for Lake Central, because they were awarded second place, right behind the Munster High School Mustangs.

“I think as a team we did fantastic. We really have come together this season and we had a lot of guys step up at sectionals,” Matt Applegate (12) said.

Their placement amongst the other teams was not the only positive aspect of the competition.

“The crowd is the best part of Sectionals.Everyone is screaming for you when you jump into the water and when you walk out,” Gavin Baisa (10) said.

Five events that competed at Sectionals will be competing at State. The swimmers that will be competing include Joshua Barajas (12), Connor Homans (12), Gavin Baisa (12), and Ryan Kilinski (10).

Barajas also achieved a personal and team best by breaking 2 of Mr. Todd Smolinski’s, Social Studies, records that he set when he was swimming for Lake Central.

“[Beating 2 of Mr. Smolinski’s records] was one of the best feelings I’ve had in swimming. It was a goal of mine ever since freshmen year to break his records. I remember asking him to race my freshmen year and he pointed at the record board and told me ‘the record’s up there’ so it just felt great to beat him. Smo was proud of me, but I could definitely tell it was a bittersweet feeling for him,” Barajas said.

Although sectionals was successful, the team is still anxious about competing at the State meet.

“[I’m feeling] nervous and excited [about state]. This is the first year I’ve been ranked in the top eight so I’m hoping to hold my spots and come home with a medal,” Joshua Barajas (12) said.

Being a senior this year, this will be Barajas’ last time competing at State and swimming for Lake Central.

“I’m swimming at IUPUI next year. I’m really going to miss my coach and my teammates. I’ve been swimming with all these guys and this coach my whole life, and it’s going to be a tough goodbye,” Barajas said.

The seniors on the team will be missed by their teammates as well.

“[The seniors] are good guys, I’m really going to miss them, we’ve become really good friends over the years,” Brandon Walton (11) said.

The State Meet will be held at IUPUI on Feb. 28 and Mar. 1.