Downers Grove North's Sullivan breaks pool mark

By Stan Goff
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 2/16/2019 8:08 PM

Saturday was a good day to set a pool record at the York boys swimming sectional.

Downers Grove North diver Kevin Sullivan, a defending state champion headed to Penn State, set a pool record with a score of 597.80, and Lake Park state-placer Ben Kimmel set a pool record with a time of 50.07 in the 100 butterfly, one of two victories for the Lancer, who also helped his team reach state in the 200 medley relay.

"I just felt really confident today for the first time of the season," said Sullivan, who was slowed by a back injury early in the season. "It was just good to be out there and really trust in my diving."

You can't claim a state title at a sectional swimming meet, but you can certainly put yourself in a nice position and that's exactly what Hinsdale Central did.

The Red Devils, who last won a state title in 2014-2015, edged fellow state power Lyons Township 271 to 263 for the sectional team crown. More importantly the Red Devils qualified swimmers in every race. Hinsdale Central took second to Lyons in all three relays, but all that matters is that those relays are all headed to state.

"The eyes are on next week now. It's obviously the more important of the two meets," said Red Devils junior Cullen Cochlan, who qualified in the 50-yard freestyle along with teammate Donovan Lahmann and also moves on in three relays. "Beating the cross-town rival is always fun. We have some good friendly competition going there, and you know coming away with a win is always a huge accomplishment."

The Red Devils have been pushed hard by Lyons for years and their rivals won back-to-back state titles before placing second to New Trier last season. Hinsdale Central, meanwhile, is looking to lead the pack at next week's state finals.

"I do know that these kids have represented the program very well and they're in the position to possibly do that again," Hinsdale Central coach Bob Barber said. "You want to have enough energy to be able to get through today, but you don't want to leave it all in this pool. You want to be able to bring it to the next one. I feel like we positioned ourselves really well, and these guys, they've got their eye on the prize, so hopefully we can do that."

Lahmann won the 100 free in 45.87, qualified after taking second to Lyons' Michael Walsh in the 50 free, and also helped both the 200 and 400 free relays advance.

York was third in the team standings with 161 points and the Dukes' Jay Jensen won the 500 free at 4:41.32. Hinsdale South's Will Gallagher also made the state cut in the event after placing third. He was even better while winning the 200 free with a clocking of 1:43.53. In the 200 IM, Hornets junior Tommy Matulis topped a fast field with a winning time of 1:52.91 in an event that featured five state qualifiers, including a pair of Red Devils.

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