No rest to beat the best

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Jillian Murray (10) freestyles against her competition. Murray was also on varsity as a freshman.

Lauren Wisniewski

Even with the shouts of the coaches, the cheers from the fans and the encouragement from the audience, nothing seemed to distract the swimmers during their Duneland Athletic Conference championship races. Female swimmers and divers from all DAC high schools faced off at the Lake Central aquatic center to see which team reigned supreme.

“While big invite meets are very different from dual meets, they give the team the chance to prove ourselves. DAC is like a mock Sectionals, and getting used to the setting and the number of swimmers is always a challenge. Invite meets are weird because if a team is better than us, it still gives us a chance to beat them even if they beat us in a duel. But like tonight at DAC, [coach Smolinski] gave us the challenge of beating Valparaiso, and though that didn’t happen we still performed really well. If as a team we don’t accomplish what we had hoped against a challenging team, or at an invite, as long as all of us do well individually we still see it as a gain,” Rachel Albright (11) said.

The lady Indians finished with a team score 327.5, putting them in fourth place. The DAC was golden for some like Kallie Higgins (12) and Savannah Spears (11) who finished first in their respective events.

“The meet itself was pretty big for us. Though we did not beat Valparaiso as we hoped, everyone swam really well and most of us got our season best times,” Albright said.

Even through the meet spanned from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., the swimmers and divers were able to keep up their stamina. The girls also maintained composure and did not let anything distract them during their swims.

“How I ignore the distractions is listen to music before I swim, and repeat the songs as I swim. It’s more nerve-wracking when it’s loud, but it’s nice to know people are cheering,” Megan Earl (11) said.

With DAC meets finished, the girls now focus on IHSAA tournaments. Up next for the swimmers and divers is a meet against Crown Point which takes place on Jan. 17 at Crown Point at 5:30 p.m.