March 1, 2014

Chesterton Repeats as Boys Swimming & Diving State Champion
Seniors Blake Pieroni and Aaron Whitaker each won a pair of individual events and also swam on a pair of winning relays helping top-ranked Chesterton to successfully defend its IHSAA Boys Swimming & Diving state championship at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis.

It was the fourth state championship in seven years for Chesterton and coach Kevin Kinel.

The Trojans outscored the field with 240 points followed by runner-up Avon with 198 points. Penn finished third with 187 followed by Columbus North with 133 and Carmel with 124.

Six state records were set over the two days including four during the Saturday championship finals.

Whitaker was responsible for two state marks winning the 100 butterfly in 46.31 and 100 backstroke in 47.06, each for the second year in a row. The Chesterton 200 Medley Relay team of Aaron Whitaker, Jack Wallar, Blake Pieroni and Gary Kostbade blazed to a 1:29.64 record time, the second-fastest time in national high school history. Whitaker's butterfly time and the medley relay time both also set national public school records as recognized by the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association (NISCA).

Pieroni collected his third straight 100 Freestyle in 43.81 and second consecutive in the 200 Individual Medley in 1:46.83.

The pair also joined teammates Jack Wallar and Gary Kostbade to win the 200 Medley Relay in a state record-setting time of 1:29.64, the second-fastest recorded time in national high school history. They also added a 400 Freestyle Relay crown to end the day in 3:01.65.

Cody Taylor of Columbus North left no doubt who the top breaststroker was this year setting state records both days. The senior broke his own mark with a 54.24 on Saturday after setting it the night before in 54.56.

Avon's Parks Jones helped the Orioles to the school's best finish in this meet when he won the 200 Freestyle in 1:37.11. He became the first swimmer in school history to win a state title.

Bowen Anderson of Penn claimed the 500 Freestyle in 4:25.01 and teamed with Mate Kovacs, Hudson Bursch and Adam Wait to win the 200 Freestyle Relay in 1:24.64.

Zionsville junior Kyle DeCoursey carried the day in the 50 Freestyle winning in 20.59 and Hamilton Southeastern senior Cody Coldren won the one meter diving competition with 536.20 points.

Five state records were established during Friday's preliminaries, two of which weren't touched on Saturday. Pieroni's 43.52 in the 100 Freestyle and the 400 Free Relay of 2:59.36 set by Pieroni, Ethan Whitaker, Patrick Curley, and Aaron Whitaker.

The 77th Annual IHSAA Boys Swimming & Diving State Finals
Indiana University Natatorium, IUPUI, Indianapolis
February 28-March 1, 2014

Top 10 Teams
1. Chesterton 240
2. Avon 198
3. Penn 187
4. Columbus North 133
5. Carmel 124
6. Bloomington South 115
7. Hamilton Southeastern 109
8. Northridge 107
9. Zionsville 105
10. Carroll (Fort Wayne) 84

State Champions

200 Medley Relay: Chesterton (Aaron Whitaker 12, Jack Wallar 12, Blake Pieroni 12, and Gary Kostbade 9), 1:29.64. State Record
200 Freestyle: Parks Jones, 11, Avon, 1:37.11.
200 Individual Medley: Blake Pieroni, 12, Chesterton, 1:46.83.
50 Freestyle: Kyle DeCoursey, 11 Zionsville, 20.59.
One Meter Diving: Cody Coldren, 12, Hamilton Southeastern, 536.20.
100 Butterfly: Aaron Whitaker, 12, Chesterton, 46.31. State Record
100 Freestyle: Blake Pieroni, 12, Chesterton, 43.81.
500 Freestyle: Bowen Anderson, 11, Penn, 4:25.01.
200 Freestyle Relay: Penn (Mate Kovacs 11, Bowen Anderson 11, Hudson Bursch 12, Adam Wait 11) 1:24.65.
100 Backstroke: Aaron Whitaker, 12, Chesterton, 47.06. State Record
100 Breaststroke: Cody Taylor, 12, Columbus North, 54.24. State Record
400 Freestyle Relay: Chesterton (Blake Pieroni 12, Ethan Whitaker 12, Patrick Curley 12, Aaron Whitaker 12) 3:01.65.

State Records Set During Friday's Preliminaries
200 Medley Relay: Chesterton (Aaron Whitaker 12, Jack Wallar 12, Blake Pieroni 12, Gary Kostbade 9), 1:30.65.
100 Butterfly: Aaron Whitaker, 12, Chesterton, 46.61.
100 Freestyle: Blake Pieroni, 12, Chesterton, 43.52.
100 Breaststroke: Cody Taylor, 12, Columbus North, 54.56.
400 Freestyle Relay: Chesterton (Blake Pieroni 12, Ethan Whitaker 12, Patrick Curley 12, Aaron Whitaker 12), 2:59.36.

Chesterton's Blake Pieroni named Herman F. Keller Mental Attitude Award Winner
Chesterton High School’s Blake Pieroni was recognized following the state championship meet by the IHSAA Executive Committee as this year’s winner of the Herman F. Keller Mental Attitude Award.

Besides his record-setting and championship-winning peformances in the pool, Pieroni has been active in his community where he has taught swim lessons for the YMCA, Duneland Swim Club and youth summer camps.

Academically, he owns a 3.87 GPA, is a scholastic All-American and Chesterton High School Scholar-Athlete. He's a member of the National Honor Society, Campus Life, Interact Club, Spanish Club and Student Athletic Council.

He is the son of Chris and Cathy Pieroni of Valparaiso and will attend Indiana University where he will swim and study biology.

Each year the IHSAA Executive Committee selects a senior who was nominated by his principal and coach and was determined to have best demonstrated mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability. The award, renamed in 1974, honors the former IHSAA assistant commissioner who served the Association from 1961 to 1973.

The Committee presented $1,000 to Chesterton High School's general scholarship fund in the name of Blake Pieroni.