West Chicago has a nice history in boys swimming -- but the Wildcats haven't a state medalist since Jeff Lesniak finished 10th in the 100-yard breaststroke in 2004.
That doesn't mean that Jack Eichenberger is going to earn a medal at next week's state meet in New Trier. But the first thing to reaching a goal is to have a goal -- and Eichenberger heads to the state finals after winning the 50 freestyle and placing second in the 100 freestyle at Saturday's St. Charles East sectional.
"I've been trying the last four years to do this and so to do it feels really great," the senior said. "I made both varsity records, so that feels great."
The 50 freestyle is the race that allows for no mistakes given its brevity, and Eichenberger was as flawless as any at St. Charles East.
"Once that starter's block goes off, you've got to explode and keep it going," Eichenberger said.
While the 50-100 freestyle combination is hardly rare, it still requires a swimmer to recover quickly after the 50 freestyle in order to be ready for the 100.
"I warmed down right away after the 50 and had a pretty significant amount of rest. I was ready to go," Eichenberger said.
With qualification taken care of, Eichenberger can set his sights on his next goal.
"I want to be the first guy in a very long time from West Chicago to place at state," he said. "I'm going to have to go a lot faster than I did and see if I can come back and swim on Saturday."