Boys swimming: Stevenson takes top honors at Barrington sectional
The Barrington boys swimming sectional Saturday was a good preview for the state championship finals next weekend at New Trier. The competition was fierce, as swimmers from various different conferences came together to earn themselves spots at the state event.
Seizing the sectional victory was Stevenson, whose stellar individual and relay finishes pushed it ahead of the competition, finishing the meet with a score of 268 points. Following behind was Barrington in second place and Cary-Grove in third, scoring 211 and 152 points respectively. Fremd (134), Conant (90), Buffalo Grove (86), Palatine (73), Jacobs co-op (66), Woodstock North (63), Lake Zurich (21), Hoffman Estates (18), McHenry (17), and Schaumburg (10) rounded out the team standings.
Stevenson's 200-yard medley (1:35.98), its event-winning and pool record crushing 200 free relay, and its 400 free relay all qualified for the state meet, showcasing the strength and depth of this Stevenson team.
The Patriots' Josh Song and teammate Topher Stensby won their individual events, while crushing the qualifying times. Song swam 100-yard butterfly in 46.64, while Stensby swam the 50 (20.90) and 100 freestyles (46.64).
Other state qualifiers from Stevenson included AJ Corollo in the 200 freestyle (1:44.14), Max Ryaguzov in the 200 IM (1:55.23), Richard Lee in the 50 free (21.38), Jake Kim in the 100 free (47.46), Nathan Gates (4:42.03) and Ethan Ross (4:43.79) in the 500 free, Jack Zhang (52.28), and Joseph Song, who placed first in the 200 IM in a time of 1:54.90 and second in the 100 -yard breaststroke (58.09).
Barrington built upon its phenomenal Mid-Suburban League meet performance and had many of its athletes finish with qualifying times.
The medley relay team of Griffin O'Leary, Jack Hoppe, Sam Burrell, and Steven Fischer got things rolling for the Broncos with an impressive qualifying time of 1:34.11.
Hoppe placed second in the 200 free (1:42.20) but his qualifications would not end there. He would then go on to win the 100-yard breaststroke in a state-qualifying time of 57.71, breaking both school and pool records alike.
Another standout for the Broncos was freshman O'Leary, who placed second in the 100-yard butterfly in a time of 51.40 and winning the 100 backstroke in a time of 50.95.
Burrell, Fischer, and teammate Daniel Langlois were also integral to the Broncos' success. Burrell qualified in the 100 free (47.43), Fischer snagged state cuts in the 50 free (21.40) and 100 back (52.08), and Langlois qualified in the 200-yard IM (1:57.34) and 500-yard free (4:43.19).
The Broncos also did exceptional in their relay races. The 200-yard free relay team of Burrell, Hoppe, Shawn Ujiiye, and Fischer placed second, earning them a spot at the state meet with their qualifying time of 1:26.04.
Securing the final state cut was the Broncos' 400-yard freestyle relay team of Burrell, Langlois, Ujiiye and O'Leary, who closed the meet with their commanding first-place finish in a time of 3:11.18.
"We've come together as a more cohesive team this year," said Broncos coach John Valentine, "One of the reasons we've been able to have so much success is that the boys are willing to make individual sacrifices if it means helping the team as whole."
Fremd had a strong showing and managed to send a relay and an individual qualifier to the state meet.
The 200 medley relay team of Paul Ponte, Yoochan Lee, Evan Stegall and Alex Reed would finish fourth, making the state cut in a time of 1:36.61.
Ponte swam the 100-yard free (49.49) dropping time and earning him a spot in the top six, while Lee would also break into the top six finishers in the breaststroke (59.79)
Stegall would qualify individually for the butterfly (52.09) and backstroke.
Also heading to state is Buffalo Grove's Daniel Verdico, who qualified in both the 200 and 500 freestyles. Verdico placed third in the 200 (1:43.80) and had an exceptional 500, placing first with an impressive time of 4:40.84.
Conant's Justin Lim is excited to have another chance to swim at the IHSA state meet this year after his state-qualifying butterfly performance, earning himself third overall and getting a time of 52.08.
"When I first went it was a new pool, new school, and overall new experience, but this is my senior year so I'm ready to just give it my all at state," said Lim, "I've got a great coach and great teammates supporting me and I'm feeling confident that I can do well."
Henry Gabriel of Palatine had a great breaststroke swim and managed to claim a spot on the podium, earning himself sixth place in an impressive time of 1:01.46.