The LaPorte High School Slicers were all smiles in their post-meet briefing with swim coach Brahim Hakim. Despite a solid loss to the visiting Chesterton High School Trojans, the Slicers were proud of their performance during the meet. This included several personal bests for members of their team as well as an outstanding performance by freshman Chloe Chezem, who won the diving portion of the meet with a score of 130.65.
“Chesterton is a really tough team. They have a lot of crazy fast swimmers, but for us, it was all about going for personal bests and that’s what we did here tonight,” said Hakim. “We saw some of our swimmers put up personal bests, some of those even better than their sectional times from last year, so we’re pretty happy about that. That’s what we’re looking for.”
Hakim had high praise for freshman dive competitor Chezem for her performance in the meet.
“Chloe just shows up,” he said. “This is her first year here competing and she just shows up. Every practice, every meet, she’s there working her tail off. Top mental attitude and dedication and we can’t wait to see what the next few years bring for her here at La Porte.”
Hakim said that his team is looking forward to their upcoming meet next Saturday against Hobart High School.
“They just opened a new facility there in Hobart. It’s a top-notch, modern facility and the kids are really excited to be headed out to swim there.”
“We’re going to continue to work hard,” Hakim continued. “It’s really grueling for the kids to try and make sure that they keep their grades up and still put on their work here, but we’re just working hard to focus on all the positives we can.”
Mindi Billings, assistant coach for the Chesterton Trojan swim teams, said that her team has worked hard to overcome challenges stemming from the pandemic.
“We haven’t had a meet in a couple of weeks, but we’ve been training since Christmas break,” said Billings. “The kids are pretty excited to get out here and race today. It’s been a while.”
Billings is proud of their record so far this season.
“We’re having a good year. So far, both our girls and boys swim teams are undefeated this season,” she said. “Despite all the challenges this year, from dealing with COVID-19, we’ve been able to stay in the water and continue to train, and we’re doing really good.”
The Trojans are looking forward to swimming against Lake Central High School next Tuesday, followed by a girls varsity DAC meet next weekend.