Fittest loser
Article updated: 12/7/2012 9:50 PM

Boys swimming: Scouting Lake County

text size: AAA

LIBERTYVILLE

COACH: Bob Groseth

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RETURNEES: Sr. Eric Boynton, So. Mark Boynton, So. Justin Fu, So. Matt Harrington, Jr. Pat King, Jr. Atticus Rush, Sr. Austin Skoog, Jr. Alex Snarski

OUTLOOK: Coaching Wildcats is nothing new to Libertyville's new head coach. Bob Groseth stepped down at Northwestern University in 2009 after 20 seasons as the Wildcats' new coach. He was a three-time Big Ten coach of the year and in 2005 was named NCAA co-coach of the year. Groseth replaces Kevin Zakrzewski, who took over the age-group team associated with Northwestern. Groseth guided NU to nine-straight NCAA appearances, during which time his squad boasted future Olympian Matt Grevers of Lake Forest. Groseth had been serving as a volunteer assistant coach at NU since his retirement, as well as serving as executive director of the College Swim Coaches Association. Groseth's 2012-13 Libertyville Wildcats have their share of fast and state-tested swimmers. Junior Alex Snarski wore a pair of medals at state last February, finishing 10th in both the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke. Sophomore Matt Harrington qualified individually for state last season in the 100 and 200 freestyles. Justin Fu, Pat King, Atticus Rush and Austin Skoog swam relays at state. The Wildcats opened their season with the Patriot Relays at Stevenson last Saturday and won three races, while finishing third overall. "They've really responded weill to the stuff I've given them," Groseth said. "With the athletic tradition at Libertyville and the efforts that Kevin put in the last couple of years, there's something to work with." Groseth's coaching career started at Fenwick High School. He later had stops at Tulane, Cincinnati and Iowa State, as well. "To me, (the Libertyville position) is getting back to the reason why I got into coaching in the first place," Groseth said. "Being at a place like Libertyville, where the kids have responded so well and the support has been so good, has been a lot of fun."

MUNDELEIN

COACH: Rahul Sethna

RETURNEES: Sr. Connor Black, Jr. Kevin Franz, Jr. Art Kasemets, Sr. Theo Vergis, Nick Arendt, Jason Rehor, Jason Begrowicz

OUTLOOK: Connor Black is back. Which means the Mustangs will still have a formidable attack. Black, the 2011-12 state runner-up in the 50 and 100 freestyles, recently signed with Stanford University. He's not the only Mustang with state-meet experience, though. Junior Art Kasemets swam the 100 breaststroke at state, while diver Kevin Franz also competed in the state meet. Kasemets won a state medal as part of the Mustangs' runner-up 200 medley relay. Black was also a member of that foursome. The Mustangs opened North Suburban action Thursday with a 110-76 loss to Warren, despite wins from Black (200 free), Franz (diving) and Kasemets (100 butterfly, 100 breaststroke).

STEVENSON

COACH: Greg Hartman

RETURNEES: So. Allen Feng, Sr. Patrick Galas, Sr. James Lichtenstein

NEWCOMERS: So. Nick Koto, So. Dimitriy Pelutis

OUTLOOK: The Patriots graduated what coach Greg Hartman called a "deep" class that included Langston Fitts, Chris Hodges, Ryota Kuwahara and Daniel Shtivelberg, all of whom swam at state. Fitts placed fourth in both the 50 and 100 freestyles, while Hodges (200 IM, 100 breaststroke), Kuwahara (200 free, 100 backstroke) and Shtivelberg (100 free) also swam individual events. Collectively, they earned an 11th-place medal in the 200 free relay. The Patriots' returning talent includes Notre Dame-bound diver James Lichtenstein, who placed third in the state winter, as well as senior Patrick Galas and sophomore Allen Feng. Galas earned a state berth last season in the 200 free. "The seasoned veteran has seen his big share of big swims" in his three seasons, Hartman said. Feng qualified for state in the 100 backstroke as a freshman. "(He) could topple a school record," Hartman said. Sophomore Nick Koto surpasssed state-qualifying standards in the 500 freestyle during the club season, Hartman said. Dimitriy Pelutis is another sophomore who will add depth. "Don't be surprised if you see this young freestyler at the IHSA state championships," Hartman said. The Patriots finished 10th at state last season, and they likely will be well represented at the state meet again this season. Hartman believs his team might be down due to its youth, but definitely not out. "Everyone loves an underdog," Hartman said.

VERNON HILLS

COACH: Adam Lueken

RETURNEES: Sr. Brandon Zuniga, Sr. Kelvin Wang, Sr. Shivon Shah, Sr. Alexey Revinski, Sr. Dmyto Myronenko, Sr. Kevin Knapp, Sr. Daniel Bai

OUTLOOK: The Cougars have a young squad, but one of their veterans is a good one. Senior diver Brandon Zuniga qualified for state last season.

WARREN

COACH: Chris Bertana

RETURNEES: Sr. Matt Conway, Sr. Matt Sweet, Sr. Garrett Zenner, Sr. Luke Hassemer, Jr. Austin Salisbury, Jr. Ashwin Sanzgiri, Tanner Nash, Sean Stockwell

OUTLOOK: The Blue Devils may have graduated the Conway twins, Danny (Purdue) and Sean (St. Louis), but they return Matt, who's now a senior. Also gone is speedy Chad Church, who placed third in the 100 breaststroke at state last season. Danny Conway was the state runner-up in the 200 IM and placed third in the 500 free. The Blue Devils' third-place 200 medley relay featured all three Conways and Church. Warren got its 2012-13 campaign off to a good start Thursday, defeating Mundelein 110-76. They got two wins apiece from juniors Austin Salisberry (200 IM, 500 free) and Ashwin Sanzgiri (50 free, 100 free). In the 100 backstroke, Matt Conway (52.89) touched out Stanford-bound Connor Black (52.92).

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