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updated: 2/23/2014 9:45 AM

Bolman comes up big; Libertyville right on track

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By Bill Pemstein
Daily Herald Correspondent

How hard is it to build a pool, anyway? Dig a hole and fill it full of water, and then dive in.

Doesn't two-time sectional winner Brendan Bolman of Grayslake North deserve a pool and a team to cheer him on? How about state qualifier Kirk Dickson of Grayslake Central?

Actually, Dickson had some ideas on how to remedy the situation.

"I was considering getting an apartment in Libertyville,'' Dickson joked. "Or maybe I could be a roommate of Alex (Snarski)."

The Lake Forest sectional not only brought in powerhouse Libertyville but also swimmers who don't have a home pool to their name, from schools such as Antioch, Carmel and the two Grayslakes. And those so-called lonely swimmers certainly contended.

Libertyville prevailed as a group and will send most of its team to the state meet in Evanston next weekend. The team scores found the Cats up front with 294, while Lake Forest was second (275.50) and surprising Warren was third (203).

At a place like Lake Forest, it's quite something to set a pool record. However, a record fell early by the foursome of Snarski, Matt Harrington, Bobby Snader and Justin Fu in the 200 medley relay.

The dynamic duo of Harrington and Snarski shined throughout the meet, but if there was a surprise hero for Libertyville it came from Pat King. He won in both the 200 free (1:44.45) and 500 free (4:46.62).

"I felt good going into the race,'' King said of the 200 free. "I was tested at the beginning of the race."

King edged Grayslake Central's Dickson to take top honors. Dickson did not qualify for state in this race.

"Kirk is good friends with us,'' King said. "I'd say he's probably disappointed."

While Dickson may have fallen short in this race, he regrouped and came back to swim a state-qualifying mark in the 100 backstroke (52.95).

"I was a little disappointed with the 200,'' Dickson said. "I wanted to take that to state. I didn't rest much this week so I'm a little surprised I made it in the backstroke."

Mundelein's star on this day was not a surprise. Ayrton Kasemets won two races, the 100 breaststroke and the 200 IM. He also broke a pool record with his time of 57.91 in the 100 breaststroke. And he's not done by any means.

"I still have more in me,'' Kasemets said. "I have a little more experience this year and more of a veteran mentality. I want to have my best time at state and get myself in the top 12."

Bolman, of pool-less Grayslake North, took top honors in both the 100 freestyle (47.40) and the 50 free (21.54). He doesn't dwell on things he has no control over, like having a pool at the school.

"My school treats me pretty well,'' Bolman said. "Really, extra special. But I have been swimming club for years. This feels pretty good. I really like swimming the 50 free. It's the fastest event and the crowd really gets into it."

Warren's Ashwin Sanzgirl, Tanner Nash, Matthew Rastovac and Garrett Zenner topped Libertyville in winning the 200 free relay (1:26.53). And Zenner came from a slower heat to win a state spot in the 100 free (47.69).

"I'm very excited,'' Zenner said. "I was very confident that I was going to make the cut."

Still, the spoils of the day went to the winning Cats, who have a solid shot at a state title next week.

"I'm really proud of this team,'' Harrington said. "We had a lot guys step up. Pat King had a couple of great races."

Harrington and star teammate Snarski went one-on-one in the 100 butterfly. Snarski won it (49.42) while Harrington was second (49.82).

"I wanted to swim well in that race,'' Harrington said. "It was all about the time. Next week we just want to perform as well as we can and get as many points as we can."

Another pool record fell in the 400 freestyle relay, as the Libertyville foursome of Snarski, King, Harrington and Atticus Rush won in 3:09.37.

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