Boys swimming: Boecker, Wheaton co-op race to title at West Chicago’s Winter Splash

Eight area high schools converged on the West Chicago Community High School pool Saturday morning for their Winter Splash Invite.

With a 9 a.m. starting time for the first of 11 events it made for both coaches and competitors alike to undergo varying degrees of pre-meet preparation.

"About two days before, I make sure I get at least 8 hours of sleep because I find that if I do it the night before, I'm still a little bit tired," Wheaton co-op senior swimmer Reese Boecker said. "(Also) the night before I make sure to drink as much water as I can. I like to wake up an hour and a half before I have to be here and I make sure to get good mix of protein and carbs in. I try to limit the fats (and) keep my hydration up. I gotta make sure that blood is flowing right (through my legs)."

After the meet's completion, it looked like everything was flowing near perfect for both Boecker and his teammates as the co-operative between Wheaton North and Wheaton Warrenville South swam past their competition taking top team honors with a total of 258 points with wins in five events.

Invite host West Chicago, who has a co-op with Batavia and Geneva (198), took the silver medal while the Joliet co-op took the bronze (194) on the strength of three victories: senior Thomas Tate (1:57.39) in the 200 freestyle, junior Ben Clark (51.70) in the 100 freestyle, and a win in the 200 freestyle relay (1:36.54).

Wheaton captured a pair of relay titles: the 200 medley (1:47.06) and the 400 freestyle (3:25.39).

In addition, it won a trio of individual races led by Boecker's victory in the 100 butterfly (53.89) and triumphs by juniors Luca Zdravkov (23.25) in the 50 freestyle and Austin Kirkman (5:16.19) in the 500 freestyle.

"It's been a great meet," Wheaton coach Angela Shaw said. "We're just a week away from the (DuKane) conference (meet), so today some of our varsity guys are just swimming some different events to have some fun and round out their season."

We-Go senior Alejandro Jacob led the host school to its runner-up finish with his win in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.66).

He described his approach to racing versus the competition.

"When I first dive in, if I'm in the lead I try to keep the lead and push myself through. If I'm the back, I try to push my way to the front and best everyone else. The turns is where I look around and see where I stand."

Elgin senior Alex Xayachanla stood out as the only winner of two individual events: the 200 IM (2:07.50) and the 100 breaststroke (57.04).

In his first race, the 200 IM, Xayachanla emphasized improving during the middle portion which he feels the need to get better at.

"I usually try to take it out decently fast and try and keep up with them,“ Zayachanla said. ”(I then) try and take the lead after my backstroke and just try and hold it during the breaststroke split. I've been working a lot on my closing speed this season."

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