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updated: 2/15/2014 7:53 PM

Plenty of highlights as Libertyville wins NSC

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  • Libertyville's Bobby Snader swims breaststroke in the 200-yard medley relay during the North Suburban Conference boys swimming meet at Vernon Hills on Saturday.

       Libertyville's Bobby Snader swims breaststroke in the 200-yard medley relay during the North Suburban Conference boys swimming meet at Vernon Hills on Saturday.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • Stevenson's Nick Koto swims the 200-yard freestyle during the North Suburban Conference boys swimming meet at Vernon Hills on Saturday.

       Stevenson's Nick Koto swims the 200-yard freestyle during the North Suburban Conference boys swimming meet at Vernon Hills on Saturday.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • Libertyville's Matt Harrington acknowledges fans after winning the 200-yard freestyle in 1:42.32 during the North Suburban Conference boys swimming meet at Vernon Hills on Saturday.

       Libertyville's Matt Harrington acknowledges fans after winning the 200-yard freestyle in 1:42.32 during the North Suburban Conference boys swimming meet at Vernon Hills on Saturday.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • Libertyville's Alex Snarski swims butterfly in the 200-yard individual medley during the North Suburban Conference boys swimming meet at Vernon Hills on Saturday.

       Libertyville's Alex Snarski swims butterfly in the 200-yard individual medley during the North Suburban Conference boys swimming meet at Vernon Hills on Saturday.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • Mundelein's Ayrton Kasemets swims breaststroke in the 200-yard individual medley during the North Suburban Conference boys swimming meet at Vernon Hills on Saturday.

       Mundelein's Ayrton Kasemets swims breaststroke in the 200-yard individual medley during the North Suburban Conference boys swimming meet at Vernon Hills on Saturday.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

 
By Bill Pemstein
Daily Herald Correspondent

Of course, blondes have more fun.

However, suppose you are a blonde for a week or so and then found out it was not reversible, and you have to be a blonde the rest of your life.

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Libertyville star swimmer, Alex Snarski, turned up blonde for the North Suburban Conference swimming meet Saturday at Vernon Hills High School. And after edging Olympic hero Matt Grevers' league record in the 100 backstroke, he considered this delicate hypothetical question.

"I think it would be all right,'' Snarski said.

Now, wait a second. All the Libertyville swimmers showed up in their new blonde locks, but there was the latest cult hero at Libertyville, coach Bob Groseth, still sporting his usual darkish hues.

"I'd be afraid all my hair would fall out,'' Groseth said.

OK, hats off to Stevenson and its great depth. Lake Forest still has talent. Warren is improving daily. But no one is touching this Wildcats squad.

In another step toward the state meet, Libertyville, to no one's surprise, took home the NSC trophy. And the Wildcats took turns excelling in different events.

Libertyville chalked up 314 points to stop second-place Stevenson (299). Lake Forest was third (269),Warren was fourth (152) and Mundelein rounded out the top five (126).

At Libertyville it wasn't that hard to change hair color for this event. That's because Matt Harrington's mom stepped up.

"My mom is a hair stylist,'' Harrington said. "This is a swimming thing. We like to do it as a tradition. About a week ago, the whole team bleached their hair. Kids at school would go, 'You're not a blonde.' I would say no sir."

Harrington, a sprinter by nature, took on the 500 free and came home a victor. He edged out Stevenson sophomore Andrew Lefebvre for top honors in 4:45.85. Harrington had a more convincing win in the 200 free (1:42.32) as Nick Koto of Stevenson was second (1:46.09).

"Obviously, I am a sprinter,'' Harrington said. "I won't be swimming those at state.''

Stevenson took second and coach Greg Hartman was happy with his sophomores' performances. But he also saluted the pride of the conference, Libertyville.

"They can win a state title,'' Hartman said. "And it would be a first in school history."

Stevenson had no winners but plenty of second-place finishes. Allen Feng was second in the 200 IM (1:57.70) as Snarski took top honors (1:55.55), and the the Patriots were second to the Wildcats in both the 200 and 400 relays.

"I'm very pleased with the boys,'' Hartman said. "We scored very strongly. It might have looked insurmountable but we kept it competitive."

Third-place Lake Forest had a winner, as Daniel Smith took the 100 free (48.50) ahead of Libertyville's Atticus Rush (48.90).

Warren got a boost from senior Ashwin Sanzgiri, who placed second in the 50 free (22.50) behind Libertyville's Bobby Snader (22.16).

And Sanzgiri also came to this event as a blonde.

"We went to a pasta party,'' Sanzgiri said. "It's the first time we've done this as a team."

He was kind of surprised to find himself in second place.

"I'm very happy,'' said Sanzgiri, who plans to head to Michigan State next year and concentrate on Pre-Law. "We had an old team last year and we are rebuilding this year.''

Mundelein's breaststroke expert, Ayrton Kasemets, lived up to his billing and took top honors in 59.23, just missing the conference record. Stevenson's Feng was second (1:00.63) and Libertyville got third-place points from Mark Boynton (1:00.63).

It's clear the conference winner is headed for bigger and better things as sectional week approaches.

"This is the best team we've ever had,'' Snarski said. "It has all come together this year."

Harrington, a junior, is savoring the moment.

"We are extremely fortunate to have this,'' Harrington said. "We are getting better every day. It's a great group of people. We can win state if the stars are aligned for us."

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