Scouting boys swimming sectionals
Timetable: Diving begins at 9 a.m.; swimming begins at 1 p.m.
Advancement: The top diver and all race winners earn automatic advancement to next weekend's state meet at New Trier. More divers will advance on an at-large basis after all the sectional scores are in; any swimmers equaling the state time standard also move on.
Top teams: Barrington, Stevenson, Cary-Grove, Fremd, Buffalo Grove, Jacobs
Outlook: This setting brings together much of the Mid-Suburban League, including champion Barrington and runner-up Fremd, against excellent competition from North Suburban Conference co-champ Stevenson along with quality teams from Cary-Grove and Jacobs.
The mission for every team here is to qualify as many competitors as possible to the state meet. In Barrington's case, anything short of all three relays and a whole bunch of individuals will be a disappointment. Both Broncos free relays have been comfortably under the state cut already; the medley relay of Brandon Baranowski, Sam Miseyka, Kyle Ujiye and Sebastian Piekarski was awfully close to it in winning last week's conference meet. Senior Jack Strauss is among the state's elite 100 and 200 freestylers; likewise for Ujiye, also a senior, in the 100 fly. There are plenty of Barrington swimmers who will need lifetime bests to make the state meet as individuals, and recent history under coach John Valentine suggests they'll be ready. Within range of earning individual state cuts are swimmers such as Sebastian Piekarski, Miseyka, Baranowski, Chris Vega, Nathan Bosse, Sean Rodney and Connor Kobida.
Stevenson's James Lichtenstein and Blake Ripes are terrific divers, and distance freestyler Nick Koto is within range of a state time in the 500 free. The Patriots have an exceptionally deep lineup, so relay advancement and more individual state qualifiers are a strong likelihood.
Fremd had a great weekend at the conference meet and looks to extend that success with returning state qualifiers Dennis Kostidis and Andrew King. The Vikings' freestyle relays are also very strong and have great chances to advance. Hoffman Estates seniors Nick Jessee and Sang Han have both been below the state cut in their best events this year and figure to earn repeat state meet swims.
Cary-Grove senior Michael Hamann has been a fixture in the 200 IM and 100 fly and is already a three-time state qualifier. Tyler King, Michael Schaefer and Jake Betz give the Trojans additional individual and relay possibilities. Jacobs is led by a pair of state hopefuls, middle distance standout Alex Reinbrecht and IM/breaststroker Josh DeDina.
Buffalo Grove senior Matt Schulstad has already been under the state cut in both the 200 IM and 100 breast. Rolling Meadows sophomore Jake Barson is close in the 100 breaststroke, and diver Matt Crigler should be one of the best on hand. Palatine senior Robert Hank isn't far off in the 100 back. Schaumburg's Matt Sigler was fourth in diving at the MSL meet.
at Glenbrook North
Top teams: Conant, Wheeling, Glenbrook North, Maine South, Prospect
Outlook:Conant has three special swimmers in Jonathan Burke, Alex Shozda and Martin Pozniak. All have state meet experience under their belts and will have legs on the Cougars' freestyle relays, which are within range of state-qualifying times. Burke has already reached the state finals in the 500 free as a junior last year and was a double winner with close to lifetime bests in last weekend's MSL meet. Shozda's individual events are the 100 free and 100 back, and Pozniak will swim the 200 IM and 100 fly. Diver Bartek Turek placed second at the MSL meet.
Prospect junior Nathanael Ginnodo has been steadily improving all season. He's on the verge of making state in the 100 breast after winning it at the conference meet, and advancement in the 200 IM isn't out of the question for him, either. The Knights' medley relay also has a shot at advancing. Wheeling freshman Jake Noel had a breakthrough effort at the conference meet, where lifetime bests put him within state meet range in the 200 IM and 100 back. Bryce Maczko had strong efforts in the sprint freestyles at the conference meet.
Hersey has a very strong medley relay, and Jamey Hill (backstroke, 200 free) and Samuel Kim (50 free, 100 fly) could advance as individuals. The Huskies have a terrific 1-2 diving punch from MSL champ Mat Obstoj and Jake Kintzle.
St. Viator's young lineup has a quartet hoping to earn another week's worth of swims in Sean McDermott, Charlie Wood, Brennan McGuire and Keegan Finn.
Maine West's Brian Wasicak is looking for a repeat trip to the state meet and has been steady in is best race, the 100 breaststroke. Middle-distance freestyler Mike Connor is also within range of trip to state. Elk Grove sophomore Colin Williams is closing in on a state cut in the 100 fly.
-- Aaron Gabriel