Cary-Grove senior Michael Hamann came into his final weekend of swimming for the Trojans with one very simple philosophy.
"The way I look at it," the Penn-bound Hamann said, "if you have a lane you have a shot and I have just that now, a shot."
The 200 individual medley was the race that Hamann figured would be his best opportunity for a finals swim and after the prelims of the 82nd state swimming and diving championships at New Trier, Hamann has his shot.
In the final preliminary heat of the race, Hamann swam second to Nick Zito of Addison Trail, swimming a personal best 1:51.53 seeding him third for Saturday's finals. Hamann, who is trying to become the first three-time medalist in school history, is just .31 out of the top spot.
"Being third is a good spot and is right where I want to be," Hamann said. "I'm right in the middle of the pool so I am in a great spot."
Hamann was the only Trojan to get through Friday during a lightning-fast preliminary session. Four state records fell during the prelim session including the butterfly event. Hamann just missed the finals finishing 13th overall in 50.52.
Cary-Grove also competed in a pair of relays Friday. The team of Adam Eibel, Tyler King, and Andrew Brierton joined Hamann for the 200 medley relay which finished 15th. To end the day, King, Brierton and Hamann were joined by Adam Gaynor for a new school record effort of 3:12.87 in the 400 free relay. Cary-Grove finished 17th.
South Elgin senior Nick Hasemann had his own day of ups and downs during the state prelims. Though he qualified for the finals in both his races, the Louisville-bound Hasemann still felt like there was much more in the tank for Saturday's finals.
"Today was definitely not the way I wanted to swim," Hasemann said. "I feel like I have a lot left and can do better tomorrow."
In the fourth heat of a record-setting 200 freestyle prelim, Hasemann finished third in his heat, improving on his seed time from sectionals a week ago (1:40.91). He will race in the consolation finals after finishing ninth overall.
Looking for a bit of redemption, Hasemann found it in his next event, the 100 backstroke.
This time the race went more according to plan for Hasemann. He took the lead early and never looked back in winning his heat in a school record time of 50.22. He will be seeded fourth into the finals on Saturday.
"I just didn't feel like myself at all today," Hasemann said. "There are some things I need to fix for tomorrow that will make me faster."
Other South Elgin swimmers that raced in the prelims on Friday included Alex Duffy, who competed in the 200 IM and 100 butterfly, and Taylor Headley who also raced in the 100 fly.
Huntley senior Matthew Haage raced in the 50 freestyle and Jacobs had numerous swimmers in the prelims. Junior Alex Reinbrecht raced in the 200 and 500 freestyle, and Josh DeDina competed in the 200 IM and the 100 breaststroke.