Strong start and finish for Stevenson
He's never false-started in a race, so there was plenty of banter and grief from his teammates.
Stevenson junior Jake Kim was lined up for the start of the 50-yard freestyle Thursday evening when the Patriots visited Mundelein for a key North Suburban Conference swimming and diving dual meet.
All of a sudden, oohs echoed throughout the pool. Kim had leaned but couldn't hold up. The official announced the dreaded, "Stand up."
"My arms wouldn't let me stay on the block so I ended up doing a flip (from the false start)," said Kim, who shared a laugh with Mundelein's Jack Long, who also false started and ended up in the water. "Yeah, I caught a little teasing from the guys. But that's our team. We push and kiddingly harass each other. It's the energy from that that makes us try and swim faster."
After the blunder, Kim collected his bearings and went on to win that event in 22.36 ticks.
But his biggest value perhaps has been leading off the relays, specifically the 400.
"He works hard and is reliable, and he earned that spot (on the relays)," said coach Doug Lillydahl, whose Patriots are ranked third in the state and improved to 3-0 in the NSC with their 138-48 win over the Mustangs. "We're definitely high on him."
Kim swam the second leg of the 200 free relay, joining Richard Lee, Nathan Gates and Topher Stensby in touching first (1:27.58).
Kim also took second behind Gates (54.49) in the 100 butterfly, touching in 55.69. Gates also won the 200 IM in 2:05.69.
Foster Swanson also had a good night for Stevenson, winning the 200 freestyle (1:51.10). Max Ryaguzov took top honors in the 100 freestyle (49.30). Ryaguzov and Carollo joined forces with Stensby and Beno Maya on the winning 200 medley relay (1:39.72).
Stevenson's Jack Zhang won the 100 breaststroke (1:04.57), and teammate Joseph Song was victorious in the 100 backstroke (57.85). The 400 freestyle relay of Carollo, Ethan Ross, Stensby and Zhang touched first in 3:15.76.
Patriots diver Jack White had a career night, hitting all of his six dives en route to top honors in 1-meter diving. He amassed a lifetime-best 242.20 points.
Mundelein has enjoyed a solid campaign and always rises to the challenge when it tangles with the Patriots.
"We're doing well. We've been in the top three in every invite we've been in," said coach Rahul Sethna, whose Mustangs dropped to 2-1 in NSC duals. "Stevenson is a perennial top-five program, and it's always a nice gauge to see where we measure up to them. That's where we aspire to be."
Sethna was quick to mention Aaron Anastos and Matt Allore as swimmers on the rise and dropping time.
"They had a great first half of the season and winter training," Sethna said.
Anastos took second behind Kim in the 50 free (22.62) and also led off the 200 free relay. He, Ryan Zentz, Hunter Magee and Michael Romero touched second in 1:35.04.
Magee was also second (2:05.69) in the 200 IM and third (5:18.54) in the 500 freestyle (5:18.54), while Parker Geary was fourth (2:12.92) in the 200 IM.
Magee, Anastos, Omar Fathallah and Geary took third (3:23.77) in the 400 free relay.