In his final race as a high school swimmer, Alex Reinbrecht didn't want to leave anything to chance.
So the Jacobs senior let loose with every ounce of energy left in him after a long weekend of competition, and the result was the finest performance of a storied high school career.
Reinbrecht won the consolation heat of the 500-yard freestyle in the boys swimming state meet finals Saturday at Evanston Township High School, trimming a full three seconds off his previous best time after touching the wall at 4:34.53.
"I'm just like, 'This is it -- senior year, no more races after this one, just let it all go,' " he said with a grin.
Reinbrecht's time, had he done it in Friday's preliminaries, would have comfortably qualified him for the championship heat. But that wasn't bothering him much after the fact on Saturday as he donned his seventh-place medallion.
"I don't mind," he said. "Nobody can take that time away."
Competing for the District 300 Jacobs co-op team has its fair share of challenges. The team practices in the meters pool at the Dundee Rec Center, and in odd time slots, which includes 8-10 p.m. slots on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
That limits the amount of yardage coach Rick Andresen can dish out to his swimmers -- less important to sprinters, but a definite limiting factor to a distance-oriented swimmer such as Reinbrecht.
So, after disappointing season-ending efforts the past two years at the state meet, the two went with a slightly different approach this year. It included as much yardage as possible through the heart of the season, coupled with slightly less taper time at the end.
"We have a great relationship," said Reinbrecht of his bond with Andresen. "I trust him, always, 100 percent, and I know he trusts me."
Earlier in the meet, Reinbrecht finished ninth in the 200 freestyle in 1:43.21.
His two finishes gave Jacobs a 29th-place team finish, which is fitting.
"I mean, I've got him swimming distance, but he was really important on our relays all year," said Andresen. "He's never the kind of person to look at anything negatively. Having a guy like him on a team like ours is important."
Reinbrecht is committed to swimming at the collegiate level, and his 500 free performance on Saturday will probably help give him a few more options.
Normal University and coach Michelle Meyer made some history at Evanston, as the aptly named Pioneers became the first non-Chicago area school to win a boys swimming team championship, and only the second team in the meet's history to win a championship with a female coach.
With victories in both freestyle relays and a double individual winner in Jake Miller (200 IM, 500 freestyle), Normal University finished with 123 points to edge runner-up Libertyville.
Miller, a junior, set a state record in the 200 IM (1:48.08), topping Champaign Central's Dan Trupin, and won the 500 free in 4:28.36. Senior teammate Adam Drury also won the 200 free in 1:38.96.
Another downstate force, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin's Ryan Held, broke both sprint freestyle state records. He finished the 50 free in 19.76, erasing the mark set by Mundelein's Connor Black last year. In the 100 free, Held finished in 43.73, trumping the record of Neuqua Valley's Kevin Overholt.
Libertyville's Alex Snarski, Bobby Snader, Matt Harrington and Atticus Rush won the medley relay in a state record 1:31.55, helping the Wildcats to a best-ever team finish with 120 points. Snarski won the 100 back in 48.99, and junior Matt Harrington was second in the 100 fly in 48.73.