Libertyville, Warren swimmers honor teammate who died

  • Alane and Tom Church take a moment during a moment of silence for their recently deceased son, Joshua Church, in Thursday's high school boys swimming meet at Libertyville. Libertyville swimmers presented the Church's with flowers and a memorial for the Warren swimmer, who died suddenly after a swimming practice with the Cats Aquatic Team of Vernon Hills last month.

      Alane and Tom Church take a moment during a moment of silence for their recently deceased son, Joshua Church, in Thursday's high school boys swimming meet at Libertyville. Libertyville swimmers presented the Church's with flowers and a memorial for the Warren swimmer, who died suddenly after a swimming practice with the Cats Aquatic Team of Vernon Hills last month. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Libertyville's Eric Turner wins the 50-yard freestyle during Thursday's meet against visiting Warren.

      Libertyville's Eric Turner wins the 50-yard freestyle during Thursday's meet against visiting Warren. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Warren Satya Arcot, left, battles Libertyville's Billy Bennett in the breaststroke during the 200-yard medley relay Thursday at Libertyville.

      Warren Satya Arcot, left, battles Libertyville's Billy Bennett in the breaststroke during the 200-yard medley relay Thursday at Libertyville. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Libertyville swimmer Austin Stevenson, top, beats Warren swimmer Brian Tabourot in the 200-yard freestyle during Thursday's meet at Libertyville.

      Libertyville swimmer Austin Stevenson, top, beats Warren swimmer Brian Tabourot in the 200-yard freestyle during Thursday's meet at Libertyville. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
By John Phelps
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 12/9/2016 10:02 AM

It still stings, and will for a long time.

Warren standout swimmer Josh Church was taken suddenly and too soon when he collapsed and passed away during a club swim meet last month.

 

Libertyville tried to eased the pain when Warren visited for a North Suburban Conference dual meet Thursday evening. Libertyville's swimmers and fans donned blue T-shirts with "Josh Eklund Church" in an effort to honor him.

"Our guys wanted to show their appreciation for him," said Libertyville first-year coach Amanda Pechauer, whose team also presented flowers to the Church family and wore blue swim caps with the initials "JC" on the side. "We needed to pay our respects to a fallen member of the swimming community and family."

It was also senior night at Libertyville, and not only did the Wildcats honor their own, they paid homage to the Warren seniors as well.

"That was all Libertyville as far as the T-shirts and honoring Josh," Warren coach Chris Bertana coach. "Very classy. It was a hard night to keep emotions in check, but we really appreciate Libertyville doing something like that."

Libertyville won the meet 123-63, as state-veteran Eric Turner helped lead the way. Turner, who's committed to the Marines, won both the 50 freestyle (22.68) and 100 butterfly (55.67) and was part of two winning relays.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

In the 200 freestyle relay, he joined forces with Austin Stevenson, Billy Bennett and Sean Coughlin to swim a 1:31.41. He then teamed up with Stevenson, Coughlin and Richi Rush in winning the last event of the evening, the 400 freestyle relay in 3:25.83.

"It was one of those emotional nights with a lot going on, and you're going to swim really well or not the best," said Turner, a three-time state qualifier. "Overall, I swam OK tonight. I've been working in practice trying to have a higher kick rate, especially in the freestyle and fly. I think we're where we want to be for this point early in the season."

Stevenson also picked up a victory in the 200 freestyle (1:57.74), while Rush also won the 200 IM (2:06.67).

Coughlin also won the 100 freestyle (50.87), Lucas Vla took the 500 freestyle (5:35.28), and Bennett touched first the 100 breaststroke (1:04.01). Jacob Reichert captured diving with 218.60 points.

Warren sophomore Brian Tabourot picked up a victory in the 100 backstroke (56.79). Warren's divers fared well too, as Nicholas Hoppe (214.20) finished second while Zack Bongratz (186.10) was third.

"Our diving is really coming along," Bertana said. "Our guys finished 1-2 in the first two invitationals. We're just trying to have as much fun as possible and swim with a lot of heart and for Josh."

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.