La PORTE — After starting 2-1 in the grueling Duneland Athletic Conference, La Porte’s girls swim team was eager to face another DAC opponent Wednesday night.
In the end, though, the Slicers couldn’t quite keep pace with robust Lake Central, despite an admirable performance, falling 113-73 at the Slicer Natatorium.
“This meet shows us where we want to be when we meet them again,” La Porte’s Becca Shaffer said. “And how much harder we have to work to get there, and hopefully, beat them at the DAC Meet.
"We did really good because last year we weren't in it. Everybody was all there for each other."
The Slicer boys, meanwhile, dropped a 148-35 decision to the Indians and had just nine swimmers compete.
La Porte's girls (8-2, 2-2 DAC) only two losses this season are to DAC foes Valparaiso and Lake Central.
“I'm very happy with how everybody did,” Slicer girls coach John Doty said. "We had a bunch of personal bests and season bests. We always know going in against Lake Central it's going to be tough.”
La Porte freshman Abie Wiencek captured first in both the 50-yard freestyle (25.02) and 100 free (53.00), and fellow freshman Caiya Cooper registered first in the 200 free (1:59.54), to go along with her second-place showing in the 500 free (5:22.59). Becca Shaffer tallied first in the 100 butterfly (1:00.32) and got narrowly edged out for first in the 200 individual medley, placing second (2:16.80).
"The 100 fly was my best event tonight because recently I haven't been feeling my fly in practice," Shaffer said. "And then, I just came out here and I was super nervous because I didn't want to lose, and I just swam it and ended up earning a really good time."
Besides Shaffer, Callie Hekter took second in the 100 breaststroke (1:22.48), while Lauren Miskowicz recorded second in the 100 backstroke (1:09.98).
“We had so many great swims all around,” Doty said. “Abie did really well in her 50 (free). She was right there, almost dipping into 24 (seconds), which is big. Caiya (Cooper) in her 500 (free) was on pace for a season-best time and just kind of died at the very end. Same with Becca (Shaffer) in the (200) IM. We had some 'B' and 'C' swimmers who dropped a bunch of time. Leslie (Garcia) in the (100) breaststroke has been trying to get under 1:40 for a while and she got a 1:39. I know Ava Allen in the (100) breaststroke dropped some time.”
The Slicers' 200 medley relay team of Cooper, Wiencek, Shaffer, and Alicia Wireman posted second with a solid time of 1:57.88, while their 200 free relay quartet of Wiencek, Shaffer, Wireman, and Cooper took second (1:44.78).
In girls diving, Mackenzie Olson recorded third (164.30) for La Porte's best finish.
In the boys meet, freshman Grant Olson notched third in the 50 free (26.03) and recorded fourth in the 500 free (5:52.29) for the Slicers (2-5, 0-3 DAC), and Joe Bartoszewicz finished third in the 100 free (54.61), in addition to fourth in the 200 free (2:08.10). Lucas Banic posted fourth in both the 200 IM (2:30.95) and 100 butterfly (1:07.50).
“Lake Central's a very, deep, deep team and we knew that coming in, so we were shooting for personal-best times,” La Porte boys coach Brahim Hakim said. “And we got personal bests almost across the board. And some of our brand new swimmers who have never swam before had some amazing time drops.”
Toy Hayes took third in boys diving (206.75) for the Slicers.
After his final dive, he struggled to get out of the pool and had to be helped to the locker room by the Slicer trainer and coach. He later returned to the pool deck.
“There's something going on that we've been monitoring,” Hakim said. “He's had some issues and we're trying to get him healthy. He also smacked his ankles on the diving board, so those last two dives he was diving in a lot of pain. That was the main issue. Considering that, his last dive was a pretty spectacular dive. So I was really proud he was able to gut it out and knock out those sevens and eights on his last dive.”
Lake Central 113, La Porte 73
Lake Central 148, La Porte 35