Boys swimming and diving: Stevenson captures own sectional
Twelve boys swimming teams joined sectional host Stevenson Saturday with one basic goal in mind: qualify as many individuals as possible for next weekend's IHSA state finals at Evanston High School.
Of course, there was also the possibility of attempting to procure a nice rectangular team sectional title plaque also.
The host school used that formula to near-perfection as 13 Patriots turned in qualifying efforts en route to winning six of the 12 events to capture its 13th team title with 299 points.
Barrington (210) took second followed by the four-school Fox Valley Conference co-op of Cary-Grove and the trio of Crystal Lake high schools (Central, South, and Prairie Ridge) in third with 194 points. Palatine (146) and the Woodstock/Woodstock North co-op (116) rounded out the top five.
"I think this group has shown what youth can do," Stevenson coach Doug Lillydahl said. "Our young kids believe. They put in the work. I'm just really proud of them.
A 1-2 finish by sophomore Jack White (504.20) and freshman Danny Silverstein (456.40) in the diving competition got things going for the host school. Buffalo Grove freshman Ryan Dumrauf (434.15) placed third.
"My challenge this year has been being consistent," White said. "I haven't had a meet of hitting all 11 dives good, so that was the goal coming into this meet."
Stevenson then followed it up with three more individual triumphs as senior Ari Zaritsky (57.65) in the 100-yard breaststroke and sophomore Josh Song (49.50) in the 100 butterfly joined White in setting new team individual marks. The Patriots' 200 medley relay squad set both a new team and pool record with their time of 1:31.78.
Senior Jack Zhang's win in the 200 individual medley (1:54.96) and the 200 freestyle relay team's triumph (1:26.15) capped off the Patriots' successful day.
Mid-Suburban League champion Barrington qualified 10 swimmers for next weekend, winning a pair of events -- the 400 freestyle relay (3:09.20) and senior Shawn Ujiiye's qualifying triumph in the 100 freestyle as his time of 47.62 was the lone qualifier in the event to his surprise.
"Honestly, I was not expecting to come in first," a tired Ujiiye said. "I came in looking for a best time to make state and I definitely got more than I expected."
Palatine qualified six swimmers, led by a pair of third-place finishes by junior Henry Gabriel in the 100 breaststroke (58.97) and in the 200 medley relay (1:36.71), while junior Alex Santiago led Buffalo Grove's trio of qualifiers with a win in the 50 freestyle (21.41) as he only sought to improve his time over last year.
"I was going into it and it worked," Santiago said. "All the support from everybody was great."