With only 11 swimmers and without a superstar, Cary-Grove boys swimming coach Rick Schaefer realized it would take a team effort for the Trojans to claim top honors at Saturday's Fox Valley Conference Invitational hosted by Woodstock North.
Spearheaded by a first-place effort by Adam Eibel in the 200-yard intermediate, the Trojans, who host the District 155 co-op team that includes athletes from Prairie Ridge, Crystal Lake Central and Crystal Lake South, were champions of the conference with a score of 283. Huntley was the runner-up with 255 followed by the District 300 co-op which includes Jacobs, Dundee-Crown and Hampshire with 255.
Eibel won the 200 IMs with time of 2:04.00 followed by teammate Mitch Robak, who was second with a clocking of 2:05.9.
Eibel was also second in the 100 breaststroke and was on the second place 200 freestyle relay team along with Robak, Chase Castro and Cooper Langanis. Adam Eibel, along with Scott Eibel, Robak and Ethan Hare placed third in the 200 medley relay.
"This year was a little different because we were not the clear cut favorites to win the conference," said Eibel. "We couldn't rely on one or two swimmers to carry us. Everybody swam out of their minds and contributed to this championship."
Schaefer was ecstatic with Adam Eibel's effort and the team's performance.
'We swam very well as a team," said Schaefer. "We had every member of the team contribute. We had a lot of personal bests. I was very happy for Adam Eibel. Adam Eibel is a very hard worker and I sometimes have to slow him down."
Third place medals for Cary-Grove went to Langanis (200 freestyle), Jacob Naatz (50 freestyle), Hare (100 butterfly), Robak (100 backstroke) and Jason Wisser (100 breaststroke).
Bringing home fourth place finishes were the 400 freestyle relay team of Langanis, Scott Eibel. Castro and Hare as well as Castro (200 freestyle, 100 freestyle), Naatz (100 butterfly), Langanis (500 freestyle) and Scott Eibel (100 backstroke). Hare placed fifth in the 500 freestyle while Wisser (50 freestyle) and Scott Eibel (100 freestyle) were sixth.
Huntley, which was second, was led by a first-place finish from the 200 medley relay team along with John Cazel, who took top honors in the 100 breaststroke.
The winning 200 medley relay team of John Cazel, Ben Cazel, Ryan Czarnecki and Bryan Haage covered the course in a winning time of 1:40.92 while John Cazel grabbed individual gold with a time of 1:00.27.
Second place efforts for the Red Raiders came from Czarnecki (100 butterfly), Haage (100 freestyle, 100 backstroke) and Ben Cazel (500 freestyle). Placing third was Czarnecki (500 freestyle), the 200 freestyle relay (Alvin Wong, Aaron Vandy, Jack Weidner and Nick LoPiccolo), and the 400 freestyle relay (Ben Cazel, John Cazel, Czarnecki, Haage). Huntley got fourth place efforts from Wong (200 IM) and fifth place finishes from LoPiccolo (200 freestyle), John Cazel (50 freestyle), Wong (100 butterfly), Ben Cazel (100 backstroke) and Zach Hede (100 breaststroke). Gaining sixth place honors was Vandy in the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly.
'We swam out of our minds," said Huntley coach George Keenan. "We feel good going into the sectionals next week. We think we can get some kids to state."
District 300, with co-Most Valuable Swimmers Alex Reinbrecht and Francis Ogaban, placed third. Reinbrecht and Ogaban each won two events and were on a championship relay team.
Reinbrecht captured top honors in the 200 freestyle in a conference record-setting time of 1:43.92 and the 500 freestyle in 4:43.07.
His new conference record in the 500 freestyle broke his own record from last year which was 4:48.69.
"I swam very relaxed and had a lot of fun," said Reinbrecht. "I don't worry about the records. I am looking forward to the sectionals next week."
Ogaban was also impressive in winning the 100 freestyle (48.79) and 100 backstroke (54. 05)
Ogaban and Reinbrecht along with Carter Slack and Caleb Knottnerus placed first in the meet ending 400 relay in a clocking of 3:19.47 while Ogaban, Reinbrecht, Slack and Martin Hoyas were runner-up in 200 medley relay.
"Alex and Francis were both outstanding," said District 300 coach Rick Andresen. "They were both consistent through all their races. I look forward to how they will do next week."
Knottnerus was second in the 50 freestyle and fifth in the 100 freestyle. The 200 freestyle relay team of Knottnerus, Hoyos, Matt Bujno and Hayden Limbach placed fourth while Slack (50 freestyle) and Hoyos (100 breaststroke) grabbed individual fourths. Placing sixth were Hoyos (200 IM) and Cole Guenther (500 freestyle).