St. Charles North wins sectional title
Brains. Heart. Courage.
Those three words were emblazoned on the back of the T-shirts worn by the St Charles North swimmers.
The North Stars certainly swam with those characteristics in mind. With 271 points, North swam its way to Saturday's St. Charles East sectional championship held at the Norris Recreation Center Natatorium.
"It's the Wizard of Oz and a trip down the yellow brick road," said St Charles North coach Rob Rooney. "The kids believe in each other. My boys are not looking at history. They just want to be the best they can be. Loyola and Glenbrook South have been the best teams all year round."
The host Saints, sixth at the state meet a year ago, placed second with 237 points.
The state meet will be held next weekend at New Trier High School.
The North Stars won three individual titles and placed first in two relays.
Alexsej Filipovic paced the defending state champs with first place finishes in the 50 freestyle (pool record, 20.71) and 100 butterfly (48.98).
Senior Srboljib Filipovic will make his fourth trip to the state finals winning the 200 intermediate with a clocking of 1:54.76.
"I always depend on my breaststroke and I was happy with it today," said Filipovoc. "I am ready to have some fun at the state meet next week."
Both Filipovics were part of the winning 200 medley relay team with Nathaniel Baxter and Daniel Kowaleski in a time of 1:33.32.
With the Filipovics, Kowaleski and Ricky Williams, the Stars won the 200 freestyle relay in 1:24.94.
St. Charles North finished second in the 400 freestyle relay with Williams, Baxter, Kowaleski and Srboljub Filipovic qualifing for the state meet.
Other quailfiers for the state meet for North were Williams (200 freestyle, 500 freestyle), Kowaleski (50 freestyle), Baxter (100 breaststroke) and Jared McIntosh (diving).
Calvin Windle's stellar effort spearheaded the Saints' second-place effort.
Windle won the 200 freestyle in a pool record time of 1:39.21 and missed the pool record by less than a second in the 100 backstroke with a first-place time of 49.95. It will be Windle's third trip to the state finals.
"I was shooting for both pool records and got one," said the Saints talented junior. "I had enough energy and kick in both races. The state meet is always nerve wracking but I will be ready."
Windle will also be part of the of the Saints' 400 freestyle relay team. With Braden Clarke, Owen Mruk and Sean Yetter the Saints claimed the sectional title in a clocking of 3:08.27 which is a pool record.
Joey Scimeca won the diving competition with 484.70 points. Yetter won the 100 breaststroke in a time of 59.31.
St. Charles East, with Yetter, Windle, Clarke and Jack Redden, qualified for the state meet in the 200 medley relay. The 200 freestyle relay team consisting of Redden, Clarke, Connor Drury and Matthew Boryk will make the trek to Winnetka.
Other qualifiers for the state for the Saints were Mruk (200 freestyle, 500 freestyle), Clarke (100 freestyle) and Yetter (500 freestyle).
"With the way St Charles North has been swimming we thought we would finish second," said East coach Adam Musial. "We have been pushing each other all season long. Our guys are excited for the state meet. Calvin (Windle) was outstanding and I look for him to have a great state meet, Sean (Yetter) showed his endurance racing in some many tough races in a short period of time. His awesome training paid off."
West Chicago was third with 168 points.
The top performer for the Wildcats was Teegan Cook who was second in the 100 butterfly.
"I am looking forward to my second trip to the state meet," said Cook. "I was really focused on my underwater work. My endurance was good. My goal is to finish in the Top 12."
The West Chicago 200 medley relay team of Cook, Brian Culloton, Will Herwig and Kyle Wolford qualified for state with a second place finish. The Wildcats 200 freestyle was runner-up and qualified for state. Cook, Wolford, Culloton and Gavin McCullough made up the team.
Individual qualifiers were Herwig (200 intermediate, 100 butterfly), Culloton (500 freestyle) and Wofford (100 backstroke).
Huntley, fourth with 138 points, qualified Ben Rocks (second, 100 freestyle).
South Elgin was fifth 131 points. Alexander Schlueter, despite a cut foot, finished first in the 100 freestyle in 45.72 second in the 50 freestyle and qualified with a time of 21.06.
"When I was in the water it didn't hurt," said Schlueter. "I was able to focus. It hurts now. Looking forward to the state meet."
Wheaton co-op was seventh with 125 points. Qualifiers were Dylan Burau (200 intermediate, 1:55.06) and Mitchell Hogan (50 freestyle, 100 freestyle). The 200 medley (Burau, Hogan, Will Mixter, Andrew Rogers) along with the 200 freestyle (Burau, Rogers, Hogan Marek Lang) teams qualified for the state meet.