Boys swimming: Glenbrook South, Maine South finish 1-2 at Niles North sectional

Maine South will send qualifiers from 11 of the 12 events at the Niles North boys swimming sectional Saturday — including a quartet of first-place finishers — to next week’s state meet.

The effort landed the Hawks in second in the team standings with 225 points just three behind first-place Glenbrook South (228). Loyola Academy (209), Evanston (204) and Niles West (142) rounded out the top five at Niles North's Skokie campus.

All Saturday’s qualifiers advance to next weekend's state finals at FMC Natatorium in Westmont.

The Titans will send qualifiers from 10 of the 12 events highlighted by the Chen brothers, senior Henry and sophomore Noah, who each won a pair of events that lifted GBS to their first team title since 2020 and its 10th in school history.

Henry Chen captured gold in both the 200 freestyle (1:41.03) and 200 IM (1:53.60) while Noah took home top honors in the 100 breaststroke (56.54) and 500 freestyle (4:37.73). That left coach Keith MacDonald positively impressed on not just both of them but his team's performance.

"Noah and Henry (each) had a tremendous meet. They've looked good all season, so this is just exciting for them and for the team," MacDonald said.

"We (also) had a couple of guys swim sensational for us. Overall, it was tremendous. I couldn't be happier."

Maine South scored two of its wins in relay competition capturing both the 200 (1:23.77) and 400 freestyle relay (3:06.58).

It could also lay claim to having arguably one of the meet's faster swimmers in senior Dominic Mazurek who captured both the 50 (20.68) and 100 (45.27) freestyle.

Mazurek credited his successes to being able to get off to a good start in both of his events.

"There's definitely a lot of fast people (competing)," Mazurek joked. "I try to do the best I can. I feel like I was able to nail my start and my turn to get an edge on those I was racing (today)."

Hersey's Jacob Koclanis captured the first event of the day in the diving competition with a score of 515.70. The senior beat out Glenbrook South freshman Taylor Isaac (484.35) and his Hersey teammate junior Nathan Mabry, last year's state all-around boys gymnastics champion (483.50).

Maine South's Graham Arteta (456.15) turned in a fourth-place effort that just may land the Hawk senior one of the 16 at-large berths for next weekend. Those will be announced in Monday.

Koclanis, who placed 16th last winter, spoke of using a simple formula to get himself prepared prior to competing Saturday morning.

"I go to bed (the night before) earlier than I usually do and then wake up and have a pretty good breakfast and then I just came over here."

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