Krames' record diving effort sets tone for improving Stevenson

 
By John Phelps
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 1/26/2017 10:10 PM
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  • Stevenson diver Matthew Krames heads for victory with a 6-dive team record score of 307.10 on Thursday against visiting Waukegan.

      Stevenson diver Matthew Krames heads for victory with a 6-dive team record score of 307.10 on Thursday against visiting Waukegan. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Stevenson's Nathan Gates swims the backstroke as he competes in the 200-yard IM during Thursday's meet against Waukegan.

      Stevenson's Nathan Gates swims the backstroke as he competes in the 200-yard IM during Thursday's meet against Waukegan. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Stevenson swimmer Daniel Mikrut competes in the 200-yard freestyle during Thursday's meet against Waukegan.

      Stevenson swimmer Daniel Mikrut competes in the 200-yard freestyle during Thursday's meet against Waukegan. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Stevenson's Varun Ganush swims the breaststroke leg of the 200-yard medley relay against Waukegan on Thursday.

      Stevenson's Varun Ganush swims the breaststroke leg of the 200-yard medley relay against Waukegan on Thursday. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

He knew it when he stuck his final dive, an inward two-and-a-half tuck.

And everyone in attendance cheered, as they knew it too.

Stevenson senior diver Matthew Krames had just broken his own 6-dive school record with 307.10 points. He had set the previous record just last week with 285.5.

"It feels great. The adrenaline was going," said Krames, who looks to make a third trip to the state meet at New Trier in a month's time. "It was a goal of mine since the start of the season to get over 300. I knew if I hit all six dives, I'd have a chance."

Krames' efforts helped put an exclamation point on a 147-30 North Suburban Conference victory over visiting Waukegan on Thursday night.

It was also a special night as the Patriots honored their senior members for the last home meet of the season.

"Definitely an awesome evening," said Krames, who is undecided about his post-high school athletics future. "There was a little pressure to perform well, but we were too excited about it."

Stevenson bettered its unblemished record in the conference to 6-0 with only an away meet at Warren looming next Tuesday. The Patriots are also undefeated against all Illinois schools it has competed against this season.

"We were unranked to start the season," said coach Doug Lillydahl, whose troops will invade Wisconsin for the first time when it competes in the Madison West Invitational on Saturday. "Now we're up to eighth. That's the first time that's happened (a top-10 ranking) in at least a dozen years. We're rounding into top-level form."

Another senior that's looking to go out with a bang is Andrew Shashin, who is no stranger to the water polo state finals but surprisingly has never competed at the state swimming meet.

Shashin's main events are the 50- and 100-yard freestyles. Lillydahl said Sashin is a possibility to swim on the 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams in the postseason.

"It's been a pretty smooth transition," said Shashin, who started off both relays against Waukegan. "I've been focusing less on yardage and more on the technique. The longer events have helped me swim faster in my other events."

Shashin competed on only the two relays, with the 200 freestyle relay taking third after he teamed with Daniel Mikrut, Zach Hede and Dan Maleski to swim a 1:41.55. The Pats' quartet of Niccolo Comini, Jack Zhang, Varun Ganesh and Michael Lee won that event with a time of 1:32.91.

Niccolo had quite an evening. He also paired with John Roh, Phoon Lertsinsongserm and Maxim Ryaguzov to win the 200 medley relay in 1:42.57.

He later posted a victory in the 200 freestyle (1:57.96). Jacob Minin picked up victories in the 100 butterfly (1:00.23) and 100 backstroke (1:01.00).

Ryaguzov also won the 500 freestyle (5:09.62) and anchored the first-place 400 freestyle relay (3:25.69), which also included Joseph Song, Jacob Rosenkranz and Roh.

Senior Topher Stensby won the 100 breaststroke (1:07.24), while Matthew Han took first in the 100 freestyle (52.02).

Nathan Gates picked up a victory in the 200 IM (2:06.08), Richard Lee won the 50 freestyle (24.07), and Comini also picked up a win in the 200 freestyle (1:57.96).

"We're excited and looking forward to last part of the season," Shashin said. "It's been amazing to see the connectivity develop between everyone since my freshman year. We all push each other. It's the first time in my four years that the entire team (all levels) has bonded. It's one big family."

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