Boys swimming: Mundelein nabs first Lake County title

  • Mundelein's Aaron Anastos swims the 200-yard freestyle during the Lake County boys swimming meet at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire Saturday.

    Mundelein's Aaron Anastos swims the 200-yard freestyle during the Lake County boys swimming meet at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Vernon Hills' Ethan Phua swims freestyle in the 200-yard individual medley during the Lake County boys swimming meet at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire Saturday.

    Vernon Hills' Ethan Phua swims freestyle in the 200-yard individual medley during the Lake County boys swimming meet at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Libertyville's Lawrence Wang swims the 100-yard butterfly during the Lake County boys swimming meet at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire Saturday.

    Libertyville's Lawrence Wang swims the 100-yard butterfly during the Lake County boys swimming meet at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Mundelein's Omar Fathallah, right, bumps fists with Highland Park's Kevin Obochi at the conclusion of the 50-yard freestyle during the Lake County boys swimming meet at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire Saturday.

    Mundelein's Omar Fathallah, right, bumps fists with Highland Park's Kevin Obochi at the conclusion of the 50-yard freestyle during the Lake County boys swimming meet at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Mundelein's Michael Romero swims the 100-yard butterfly during the Lake County boys swimming meet at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire Saturday.

    Mundelein's Michael Romero swims the 100-yard butterfly during the Lake County boys swimming meet at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Barrington's Griffin O'Leary swims backstroke in the 200-yard medley relay during the Lake County boys swimming meet at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire Saturday.

    Barrington's Griffin O'Leary swims backstroke in the 200-yard medley relay during the Lake County boys swimming meet at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Barrington's Daniel Langlois swims breaststroke in the 200-yard individual medley during the Lake County boys swimming meet at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire Saturday.

    Barrington's Daniel Langlois swims breaststroke in the 200-yard individual medley during the Lake County boys swimming meet at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
By Dick Quagliano
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 2/20/2021 6:18 PM

It was checkmate for Mundelein Saturday in Lincolnshire.

On their bus ride to the Stevenson for the Lake County Invitational, many of the Mustangs' boys swimmers were playing a quick game of chess. The Mustangs had their own version of the "Queen's Gambit," winning the prestigious Lake County Invitational for the first time in school history.

 

Mundelein won four events and easily outdistanced the field with 381 points. Highland Park was second with 287 and Lake Forest third with 286.

"It is a first for us," said Mundelein coach Rahul Sethna, whose team is unbeaten in four dual meets this season.

"And it is the only invite these guys get. They are excited. We won sectionals last year and we thought this is one of our better teams returning."

Omar Fathallah won two events while Aaron Anastos won an individual event and helped the Mustangs in a relay victory.

"It was a very good day," said Fathallah, who won the 50-yard freestyle in 21.49, the 100 freestyle in 47.50 and had a spectacular comeback, swimming anchor to help the Mustangs win the 400 freestyle relay.

"I was hugging the lane in the 100 and trying to keep with Kevin (Long)," Fathallah said. "I almost missed the touch pad. I was a little too far off to the left, but I still got it."

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Anastos anchored the 200 medley relay that won in a time of 1:39.08. Jack Long, who was third in the 100 and second in the 100 backstroke; Cale Sethna, who was fifth in the 50; and Michael Romero, who was second in the butterfly, also swan in the event.

"Both of my individual events were solid," said Anastos, who was third in the 200 freestyle and second in the 500 freestyle.

"The chess is a good bonding experience for us. We have fun with it."

Edwin Serrano was fourth in the 500 freestyle and fifth in the 200 freestyle for the Mustangs.

Unfortunately for Stevenson, COVID protocols shut down the Patriots' varsity squad. Stevenson had its JV swimmers compete and they stepped up quite nicely, according to coach Doug Lillydahl.

"They did a nice job," Lillydahl said. "The kids want opportunities and they got it."

Barrington finished fourth in the meet with 279 points, with Daniel Langlois and Griffin O'Leary each winning two individual events.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The Fordham-bound Langlois won the 200 individual medley in 1:57.22 and the 100 breaststroke in 59.66. O'Leary won the 100 butterfly in a sizzling 50.29 and the 100 backstroke in 49.72.

"I just wanted to come and make sure my fly felt good and it did," O'Leary said. "I was pretty comfortable with my training and I have been working hard and been pushed by my teammates."

Vernon Hills was fifth with 244 points. The Cougars were led by Ethan Phua, who was second in the breaststroke and Edward Zhao, who was third in the backstroke and fourth in the 100 freestyle.

Libertyville was seventh with 177 points. Lawrence Wang was the Wildcats' top finisher with a fourth-place finish in the 200 individual medley.

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