Boys swimming: Record-setting Johnson helps West Chicago win SCE sectional

West Chicago coach Troy Murray had every reason to smile.

Murray's Wildcats claimed first place in the talent-laden St. Charles East sectional with 256 points. St. Charles North was the runner-up with a score of 224 while host East was third with 208 points. Conant took fourth with 196 points.

“We were second in the sectionals last year and that left a sour taste in our mouth as a program.” said Murray. “There are some great teams and programs in this sectional. It was a great team performance. Everybody contributed.”

Individually, Arizona State recruit Brady Johnson set a pool record in the 100 freestyle with a time of 44.11 in finishing first.

“I have felt great the last couple of days,” said Johnson. “With all the talent in this meet I knew I had to be at my best.”

The Wildcats ended the meet with an exclamation point by winning the 400 freestyle relay in a pool record of 3:07.30. The winning team consisted of Johnson, Brady Jordan, Ryan Fors and Nathan Lindstrom. West Chicago also won the 200 medley relay (1:32.64) with the team of Fors, Johnson, Lindstrom and Sam Ortiz.

Other state qualifiers for the sectional champs include Lindstrom (200 freestyle, 1:43.17), Fors (200 IM, 1:54.68, 100 butterfly, 50.86), Johnson (100 backstroke, 47.74, pool record); Tommy Eng (100 breastroke, 59.10), and Wyatt Gross (100 breaststroke, 59.10).

The runner-up North Stars were led by freshman Thomas McMillan who won the 100 butterfly in 50.06 and Matt Stratton who won the 100 breaststroke in 58.46.

“I had slight nerves,” said McMillan. “I am confident going into the state meet.”

McMillan also qualified in the 100 backstroke with a third-place time of 50.75. Other state qualifiers for St. Charles North were Binghamton recruit William Duetmeyer (200 freestyle, 1:42.29, 500 freestyle, 4:40.17) and Brady Nightlinger (100 butterfly, 51.65, 100 backstroke, 52.01).

North's 200 medley relay team with McMillan, Nightlinger, Stratton and Walker Hornstrom qualified for the state meet with a time of 1:34.95. Freshman diver Axel Anderson will make the trip to Westmont with a qualifying score of 358 points.

The Saints were led by Virginia Tech recruit Kyle Algrim who won the 200 IM with a clocking of 1:51.70 and the 500 freestyle (4:34.76).

Senior Jake Scalise won the 1-meter diving with a pool record of 538 points. The Saints senior was 13th in the state a year ago as a junior.

“I want to finish in the top six next week at the state meet,” said Scalise. “I woke up and was ready to go.”

Scalise's teammate Jamie Heuser qualified for the state finals with a score of 454 points.

The Saints’ 400 freestyle team of Ben Stevens, Chris Souk, Connor Lougheed and Algrim qualified with a time of 3:11.07.

Stevens qualified in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:42.07.

Conant's fourth-place finish was propelled by senior Bryce Loeger. Loeger, who will go to Dartmouth on a baseball scholarship, won the 50 freestyle in 21.01.

“I got off to a fast start and it was a fun different energy and atmosphere,” said Loeger. “The competition was great.”

Loeger joined Dominik Kurek, Ayden Woo and Alex Seeman on the winning 200 freestyle relay team in 1:26.77. The 400 freestyle relay team of Loeger, Woo, Seeman and Yimmy Caicedo qualified in 3:09.76.

Kurek qualified in the 100 breaststroke in 58.59.

Schaumburg, paced by Kentucky-bound Szymon Mieczkowski, was fifth with a 162 points.

Mieczkowski won the 200 freestyle in 1:39.37 and 100 backstroke in 47.56.

“It was nice to have great competition today,” said the Schaumburg senior. “Looking forward to my third trip to the state finals. I really want to win a state title.”

Other qualifiers for the Saxons were Dennis Bobiv (50 freestyle, 21.49) and the 200 freestyle relay (Bobiv, Mieczkowski, James Bredfield, Octavio Zemaitaiti) with a qualifying time of 1:27.35.

Lake Park garnered a sixth place effort with 124 points.

The Lancers’ Dominick Perkowski qualified in the 200 freestyle (1:42.99) and 100 freestyle (47.04). It is Perkowski's second trip to the state meet

“I wanted to get out fast,” said Perkowski. “Looking forward to another state finals.”

Perkowski will be joined at the state meet by teammate Matthew Karasek (200 IM, 1:54.96; 100 freestyle, 47.04).

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