Boys swimming and diving: St. Charles East, St. Charles North make their move

  • St. Charles North coach Rob Rooney encourages Srboljub Filipovic as he competes in the 200-yard individual medley at the state boys swimming preliminaries in Evanston on Friday.

      St. Charles North coach Rob Rooney encourages Srboljub Filipovic as he competes in the 200-yard individual medley at the state boys swimming preliminaries in Evanston on Friday. John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
By Bill Esbrook
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 2/28/2020 9:55 PM

St. Charles East's Calvin Windle made his third consecutive trip to the boys state swimming finals Friday, but the junior said that the experience never gets old.

"Every year it's nerve-wracking," said Windle. "Coming over on the bus there's a lot of excitement, and being here with your fans and your team makes it even more exciting."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The junior made sure his performance in Evanston at Friday's state prelims was a successful one, as Windle finished second in the 200 free in the time of 1:38.62, and took third in the 100 back at 48.99 to put himself in a great position heading into Saturday's finals.

It was a stellar day as well for teammate Leo Czerwinski. The freshman, competing in the one-day Athletes with Disabilities events, placed second in the 200 free (2:40.80), fourth in the 100 free (1:15.23) and fifth in the 50 free with a 33.96.

"I hadn't swam competitively until this year," said Czerwinski. "I have a lot of motivation and it's great to have my teammates be so supportive -- we encourage each other a lot. I definitely didn't expect it (being at the finals) in the beginning of the season and I feel like it's a gift."

West Chicago advances to day two in the 200 medley relay (Kyle Wolford, Teegan Cook, Will Herwig and Brian Culloton), the 200 free relay (Cook, Wolford, Culloton and Gavin McCullough), and individually, Cook in the 100 fly.

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St. Charles North made waves as well Friday as both individuals and relay teams posted big swims.

The North Stars will head to the final day in 3 relay events; the 200 freestyle relay, where they placed second (1:23.12) with Srboljub Filipovic, Aleksej Filipovic, Daniel Kowaleski and Ricky Williams; the 200 medley relay (fourth place, 1:32.93, behind the Filipovics, Kowaleski and Nathaniel Baxter); and the 400 free relay (Srboljub Filipovic, Baxter, Williams and Kowaleski).

"It is a little stressful (in the prelims)," said Srboljub Filipovic, "because you want to get moving and swim fast to get the placement in the finals that you're looking for.

"I've been to this meet all four years though, so with that I feel like there's not that much stress on me. Maybe a little at the beginning (of the meet) but you get used to it and for a veteran swimmer like me, it's not much of a problem."

On the individual side, finals qualifiers for the North Stars were Aleksej Filipovic (second in the 500 free at 20:31 and first in the 100 fly (48.41); Ricky Williams in the 500 free with a time of 4:31.42, and in the 200 free (eighth at 1:40.34) and Srboljub Filipovic, sixth in the 200 IM (1:51.96).

"I felt really good in the IM," said Srboljub Filipovic. "My breast stroke is my strongest suit and that's usually what I catch up on and it felt great. And in the (freestyle), after the first turn, the first 25, my legs started giving out a little. I just had to keep pushing on and get rid of the pain."

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