Boys swimming and diving: West Chicago claims title at Buffalo Grove

By Bill Esbrook
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 1/25/2020 7:05 PM

A snowy day in late January is a great day to be indoors at the pool.

Especially for competitors like Tim Hays of Prospect.


Hays, a Knights sophomore, won the 200-yard individual medley Saturday at the Buffalo Grove Varsity Invite in a time of 1:56.81.

"I really like this pool and this meet has great competition," said Hays. "I just wanted to stay focused today and try to remember that the training will pay off, just swim my race and not worry about too much else."

"Tim is a really talented swimmer," said Prospect coach Alfonso Lopez, "in just about every event. He's flexible and can basically do anything on the events list, but the 200 IM is the one he's most focused on."

West Chicago won the invitational with a score of 338, besting Highland Park (2nd, 306) and Mundelein (3rd, 271.5)

Cary-Grove finished fourth and Prospect took fifth place in the 15-team invitational.

"I expected a fast meet, and the kids exceeded my expectations today," said West Chicago coach Troy Murray.

The Wildcats won two individual events, as Gavin McCullough triumphed in the 200 free in the time of 1:46.60, and Teegan Cook was victorious in the 100 fly (51.64).

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West Chicago also claimed victory in two relays, the 200 medley (1:36.98) with Kyle Wolford, Tom Crum, Will Herwig and Cook, and the 200 free (1:27.13) with Cook, McCullough, Wolford and Brian Culloton.

"We were under the state qualifying time in two relays, which was great to see," added Murray. "We just need to work hard the next two weeks to be ready to go for sectionals and the state meet."

Lake Park senior Benjamin Kimmel was first in the 100 back, posting a time of 51.95.

"He's been our leader for four years now," said Lancers coach Dan Witteveen of Kimmel, who will attend IUPUI this fall on a swimming scholarship. "I think it's starting to hit him that it (his final prep season) is coming to an end. He enjoys the group of guys he competes with, they like to play around but they also like to work hard. We're really going to miss him (after graduation). He's so talented and it's been fun to have him around."

Mundelein's Aaron Anastos posted a win in the 500 free in the time of 4:55.20.

"It's about what you'd expect," said the sophomore of the grueling race. "A lot of pain, but then a lot of satisfaction at the end."


Anastos also put together a second-place finish in the 200 free, while teammate Michael Romero (1:01.61) won the 100 yard breaststroke.

Cary-Grove's Ben Castro finished runner-up in the 100 fly with a 51.74, while Rolling Meadows was second at the BG pool in three events -- the 50 free (Sam Keeley), the 200 free relay (Keeley, Jacob Hardt, Lukas Slifierz, and Vlad Molin), and the 200 medley relay (Slifierz, Keely, Hardt and Molin).

Prospect diver Jack Epperson made a big contribution to the Knights' success Saturday with a second-place finish in the 1-meter diving event (395.55)

"A great day," said Prospect coach Lopez. "We had some times that were very impressive and we made some real breakthroughs in some individual events and relays. I'm excited about how we performed."

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