Scouting sectional swimming
What: State meet qualification at 16 sites through the state.
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When: Diving at 9 a.m., swimming at 1 p.m.
Advancement: Team scores will be kept, but only individual entries advance to the state meet. In diving, the sectional champ automatically advances, with the remaining state berths awarded on an at-large basis from scores throughout the state. In swimming, event winners automatically advance, along with entrants who equal or better the qualifying standard.
The state meet is next weekend at Evanston, with preliminaries on Friday and finals on Saturday.
at StevensonMid-Suburban League champ Barrington and North Suburban Conference runner-up Stevenson figure to lead the way here, with multiple opportunities to send swimmers along to state. Broncos seniors Sebastian Piekarski and Sam Miseyka both have great chances to advance in their individual events -- both of them in the 50 free, Piekarski in the 100 free, Miseyka in the 100 breast -- and on relays. Mitch Gavars isn't far from the state cut in the 500 free, while freshmen Colin Cross (100 back) and Colin O'Leary (100 fly) are also on the verge of advancing. There are enough quality competitors in the Broncos' lineup -- such as Will Hobbs and Andrew Fish -- that it seems likely they'll also have a pleasant surprise or two. Stevenson's top performers in last weekend's conference meet effort were Allen Feng, Andrew LeFebvre and Nick Koto; the Patriots were nearly able to keep up with meet winner and state meet trophy hopeful Libertyville, so expect a very competitive showing from Stevenson. Fremd, the MSL's third-place finisher, had the league's runner-up 400 and 200 free relays at the conference meet and is within reach of qualifying for state in both. Freshman Nick Seroni is also close in the 200 IM and 100 fly. Palatine's best chance is freshman Alex Bartosik in the 200 IM and 100 breast, but the Pirates also have freestyle relay chances with Marcus Carter-Buckman, Jordan Kalina and Jacob Baran combining with Bartosik. Rolling Meadows looks to add to a remarkable year and has a prime state meet candidate in MSL 100 breaststroke champ Jake Barson, who was under the state cut at the conference meet by more than a second. Buffalo Grove's best chances at state are Brandon Hausfeld (100 back, 100 fly) and KC Lotzer (100 fly). Jacobs senior Alex Reinbrecht will be a force in the 200 and 500 freestyles, and Fox Valley Conference champ Cary-Grove will feature strong relays and Adam Eibel (200 IM, 100 breast). Schaumburg's top qualifying chances comes from divers Mat Sigler and Adam Maslowski, who finished first and fourth, respectively, at the MSL meet, and Hoffman Estates rounds out the picture for the MSL teams competing.
at Glenbrook NorthIt's shaping up as an incredibly strong field here, owing partly to the inclusion of defending state champion New Trier, but also because the area teams competing have taken huge strides and will have bunches of qualification chances. MSL runner-up Wheeling is strong throughout the lineup. Sophomore Jake Noel won both the 200 IM and 100 back at the conference meet and is likely to advance to state in both. Junior Bryce Maczko is close in the freestyles, and Kyle Noel is getting close in both the 200 free and 100 breast. Nate Reiff and Justin Loquercio give Wheeling strong relays, and coach Tod Schwager is hopeful to send an even stronger group to state this season. Prospect has a returning state qualifier in senior Nathanael Ginnodo, and the Knights aim to provide him with some company this year as the medley of Sam Gabriel, Ginnodo, Michael Morikado and Carter Mau were just a shade off the cut while winning at the conference meet. Ginnodo also could advance in the 200 IM, while Morikado (100 fly) and Gabriel (100 back) are within range in individual races as well. Elk Grove junior Colin Williams has been well under the state meet cut in the 100 fly, could also advance in another event and will help make the Grenadiers' freestyle relays something special. The Grens also have a state shot in Krystian Szczepaniak (100 breast, 200 IM) and in senior diver Joe Kraemer, the MSL's runner-up. Maine West senior Michael Connor won both the 200 free (1:44.54) and 100 fly (52.97) at last weekend's CSL North meet, bettering the state standard in both races. Hersey's best chance at advancement is probably the 200 free relay, where the time by Jack Caroll, Paul Kim, Michael Buffa and Connor Reynolds was just over two seconds off the state standard. Glenbrook North, Glenbrook South, Highland Park, and of course New Trier and defending 200 IM and 100 breast state champ Jae Park will provide great racing throughout the meet.
-- Aaron Gabriel