Boys swimming and diving: Stevenson dominates against Libertyville

By John Phelps
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 12/12/2019 9:13 PM

Good things happen when you follow the blueprint.

For the Stevenson boys swimming and diving team, dominance in the North Suburban Conference continued when the Patriots opened the dual portion of the season with a 108-74 victory over visiting Libertyville on Thursday evening.


The Patriots, who have won five conference titles in a row, swam to victories in all but one event.

"I don't think we've lost a dual meet in conference in the five years I've been here," said Pats coach Doug Lillydahl, whose team started the season last weekend with a victory in the Patriot Relays.

And they did it against a Wildcats team with some new faces, which is where the blueprint starts.

"Good things happen when you work hard and dedicate to the system," Lillydahl said. "We have great leadership for the younger kids. And they all strive for doing well as a team and really push each other."

One of those new faces that has started buying into the system is freshman Jonny Farber.

Farber lit it up on Thursday, swimming to victories in the 200 freestyle (1:52.97) and 100-backstroke (55.48). Safe to say, those were personal best times.

He also led off the winning 200 freestyle relay where he joined forces with Jack Zhang, Ari Zaritsky, and Denis Curtin to touch in 1:31.94.

"This is really exciting and a lot different than club," said Farber. "We have great leaders and we have a good incoming freshman class."

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Zhang was also a multiple event winner, taking the 100 butterfly (53.64) while participating on all three winning relays.

He first paired with Jake Kim, Denis Zakabluk, and Dima Kobets to finish in 1:44.49. Zhang then swam the 200 free relay before finishing the night leading off the 400 freestyle relay, where he joined Brandon Xiong, Michael Wywrocki, and Kim to win in a time of 3:22.35.

Kim also won the 200 IM in 2:05.48 to inch out Libertyville's Lawrence Wang (2:078.30), while Kobets won the 50 freestyle (23.60), Wywrocki the 100 freestyle (52.03), and Lance Bi the 100 breaststroke (1:05.05). Jack White also won the diving portion with 249.95 points over six dives.

The lone event winner for the Cats was Wang, a two-time state qualifier in the butterfly and relays.

On Thursday, Wang stepped outside of his comfort zone to swim the 500 freestyle.

"Coach decided to have fun and let us pick our events tonight," said Wang. "I don't have the mentality for distance events, so I was really surprised I won. I've been really pushing myself and want to get back to state and the finals Saturday is the goal."

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