You have to love those one-man teams in swimming. Such as, Kyle Falkstrom of Carmel Catholic.
"I'm it," said Falkstrom, a junior. "This makes it even better, because we are under the radar."
Falkstrom won the 200-yard IM (1:53.65) and also qualified for state in the 100 breaststroke (58.49) in the Lake Forest sectional on Saturday.
Grayslake Central freshman Sami Moussally also advanced. He wasn't quite as lonely as Falkstrom, but he was a two-time winner on Saturday. Moussally took top honors in both the 100 free and 200 free.
"I started swimming when I was 8 years old," Moussally said. "At 10, I took it seriously. I was always good in the 200 free. It takes intelligence and understanding to swim that event."
Moussally dabbled in basketball but knows his future is in the pool.
The sectional is not a team event but Libertyville did manage a team win. The Wildcats won with 234.60 points, host Lake Forest was second with 212 and Mundelein was third (188.50).
A pool record was broken in the 200 medley relay thanks to the Libertyville foursome of Billy Bennett, Sean Coughlin, Austin Stevenson and Nathan Valley. They touched in 1:26.45.
"We had a tough year to start," Coughlin said. "But we have picked it up."
Coughlin also qualified in the 100 free (47.62). He was second to Moussally.
"In that race, I missed my last wall," said Coughlin, a senior who plans to study computer science at Illinois.
Falkstrom couldn't grasp how he won the 200 IM.
"I'm in utter shock," he said. "I thought I might be able to qualify. This was my best race."
Vernon Hills senior Calvin Yoon took first place in the 100 butterfly (51.68).
"This came out of nowhere," Yoon said. "I really didn't expect to make the state cut. I swam the fly at my club and had a good time. I just swam as fast as I could."
Yoon will also swim the 100 breaststroke at state. He hit the time of 59.18 to do it. Libertyville's Bennett was the sectional champ in the breaststroke (57.86). Warren had a sectional winner as well, as Brian Tabourot won the 100 backstroke (52.10). Libertyville's Stevenson was first in the 50 free (21.84), and the senior also made it in the 100 breaststroke (58.63).
Grayslake Central will have another swimmer to state. Charles Schober qualified in the 200 IM (1:57.36)
Mundelein senior Kyle Ehemann won the diving (369.85). Kevin Diaz of Vernon Hills was second (335.8).