The Black Eyed Peas’ still-cool, blood-pumping “I Gotta Feeling” blared during a break in the Vernon Hills boys swimming and diving sectional.
The tune, however, seemed superfluous.
Super swimming sufficed.
“We don’t need no music for this,” said a smiling Libertyville junior Bobby Snader, standing poolside after he and teammates Justin Fu, Atticus Rush and Eric Boynton ripped off a 1:26.94 to win the 200 free relay.
“We all came ready to swim,” Snader said. “We’re swimming great as a team. The atmosphere right now is unbelievable. This place is pounding.”
When the walls stopped shaking Saturday, seven pools record had fallen, and Lake Forest had amassed 263 points to edge Libertyville (256). Warren (239) and Mundelein (161) swam third and fourth.
Mundelein star Connor Black burned off a 20.43 to win the 50 freestyle, bettering the pool mark of 20.60 he set last year. The Stanford recruit then edged Matt Harrington in the 100 butterfly, clocking 49.29 to the Libertyville sophomore’s 49.48. Both times were faster than the previous pool record of 50.40 posted by Stevenson’s Steve Wimmer in 2010.
And while Lakes may not have a swimming team, Eagles senior Kyle Aerne took down the pool record of former Lakes swimmer Daniel Le in the 100 breaststroke. Aerne, who earlier won the 200 individual medley (1:55.52), swam a winning 56.74. Le went 57.29 as a sophomore two years ago.
“That was probably one of my biggest goals this week,” said the thickly built Aerne, who placed fifth in the breaststroke at state last year.
Le moved to North Carolina after his sophomore year and will be Black’s Stanford teammate in the fall. Aerne, who will swim for Eastern Michigan, still keeps in touch with Le, who’s come back to visit his old friends.
“We were real good buds,” Aerne said. “I wanted to go under 57 (seconds), and I really wanted to chase Daniel’s record. He was always faster than me. I think that if he wanted anyone to do it, it would be me, one of his best friends.”
For the second time this season, Libertyville junior Alex Snarski broke a pool record that belonged to 2012 Olympian Matt Grevers of Lake Forest. Snarski won the 100 backstroke in 50.04. Grevers, who held the Libertyville pool record in the backstroke until Snarski bettered it this season, went 50.56 in 2003.
“I just wanted to go under 51 (seconds),” Snarski said. “So I guess I accomplished my goal.
“I was just really excited for this meet because it’s so much fun. You get so pumped up.”
Libertyville went 3-for-3 in the relays. The Wildcats opened the meet by clocking a school-record 1:35.39 in winning the 200 medley with Snarski, Snader, Harrington and Fu.
Libertyville then sandwiched its state-qualifying effort in the 200 free relay with another in the 400 relay. The team of Fu, Snarski, Rush and Harrington went 3:09.06, good for a runner-up finish to Lake Forest. Scouts Colin Rowe, Bogdan Balteanu, Daniel Smith and Iowa-bound Peter Grumhaus clocked a pool-record 3:08.70.
After just missing state berths in the 200 medley and 200 free relays, Warren delivered in the 400 free relay. North Carolina-bound Matt Conway and juniors Ashwin Sanzgiri, Austin Salisbury and Garrett Zenner swam a state-qualifying and season-best 3:12.89 (third).
“It was great,” said Zenner, who will be swimming at state for the first time. “It was an excellent race. I’m pumped (about going to state).”
Conway earned individual state berths in the 200 free (second, 1:42.65) and 100 butterfly (third, 50.90), as well.
Grayslake Central junior Kirk Dickson will be competing at state for the third straight year after swimming 1:44.86 (fourth) in the 200 free and 52.52 (third) in the 100 backstroke. It will be Dickson’s first time swimming the 200 free at state.
Grayslake North sophomore Brenden Bolman will head to state in the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke. He touched out Lake Forest seniors Rowe (47.53) and Balteanu (47.80) in the 100 free, clocking 47.19 despite swimming in Lane 6.
“Off the block, I saw I was ahead,” Bolman said. “I started kicking and felt really good. After the second 50, usually I feel like I’m dying and my legs start giving out. But I saw that I was ahead and the adrenaline just kept going up because I knew I had a shot to win.”
The 6-foot-1 Bolman then qualified for state for the second straight year in the 100 backstroke. He finished second to Snarski, going 51.35. Juniors Nathan Mack and Chris Newby also represented Grayslake North, which does not have a team.
Vernon Hills senior Alex Zuniga racked up a pool-record 470.80 points to win diving. Mundelein advanced its medley relay team of Nick Arendt, Aryton Kasemets, Black and Jason Rehor (1:38.19, third). Kasemets also sped to state-qualifying times in the 200 IM (1:56.55, second) and 100 breaststroke (59.15, second).
Lake Forest’s Grumhaus won both the 200 free (1:40.61) and 500 free (pool-record 4:35.31). Libertyville also got through Pat King in the 200 free (1:45.31, fifth), Rush in the 200 IM (1:58.02, third) and Harrington in the 100 butterfly (49.48, second). Harrington and Snarski were double individual state qualifiers. Snarski placed fourth in the 100 butterfly (50.98).
Faster times are ahead at New Trier on Friday.
“It’s going to be very exciting at state,” Snader said.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.