Boys swimming: Stevenson swims to pair of titles at Patriot Relays
Enzo Desviat is, without a doubt, closely following this year's World Cup soccer tournament.
The Libertyville swimmer, a freshman, was born in Switzerland, and then moved to Spain when he was 4 years old.
"I'm cheering for both teams," said Desviat, who came with his family to the USA at age 10 due to a change in his father's job. "Mostly for Spain, though."
He's also excelling in the pool for the Wildcats, as he showed Saturday at the Patriot Relays at Stevenson.
In the 50-yard varsity freestyle (the only individual event on the card), the frosh won the Green division with a 22.20 time, and was third in the overall 50 competition (the final swim-off) with a 21.74.
Stevenson fielded teams in both invitational divisions, the Green and the Gold (each consisting of 8 squads), and was the winner of both (284 points in the Gold, 247 in the Green.)
Desviat said that he's had no trouble fitting in with the Wildcats team despite his freshman status.
"My teammates are helping me out, cheering me on, it's a good environment," he said. "When we moved here, my mom heard that this was a really good school, so we settled in."
He also appreciates the experience he's been getting against top competition in the area.
"(Overseas) it's a little bit less of a level because there, swimming wasn't as big as a sport. It was mostly soccer."
"My goals now are to get faster, help the team go faster, and maybe place at state."
The champion Patriots were led by junior Colin Zhang, last year's three-time state champion (individually in the 100 breaststroke at 54.79, and also as a part of the winning 200 medley and 200 free relay teams.)
"It's a lot more fun swimming relays," said Zhang, talking about Saturday's event. "We just go out and swim as fast as we can, get ready for the rest of the season, and mostly just try to have fun."
Regarding his stellar performance last season at the state meet at FMC Natatorium, the junior said that he "met expectations -- maybe exceeded them."
"I was a little nervous, and actually I did want to go faster. This year I want to (break) state records, and do that I've got to train hard, eat well, and get ready. We lost a couple of guys on the team (to graduation), but we all know each other really well."
Stevenson coach Doug Lillydahl said that "Colin has been a base for our team to build on."
"He's consistent, and his leadership in the pool and by example are exceptional. That allows our team to reach high and aim high. He's also been an excellent age group swimmer. A lot of kids are, but it's all about how they transition to the bigger stage of high school meets. Colin has proven that he belongs."
New Trier (225) finished second in the Gold, while Cary-Grove (159) was third. In the Green, Plainfield (224) was runner-up followed by Libertyville (185).
Some of the top performances from Stevenson in Lincolnshire included the 400 medley team (first at 3:30, Jonny Farber, Zhang, Michael Wywrocki, and David Kohan), and the 500 free team of Samuel Rahimzadeh, Liam Plautz, Jack Curtin, and Jack Motl at 4:18.32.
Palatine senior Cayden Hilgers took the third place medal in the Green 50 free in the time of 22.96.
"On the block (for the 50)," said Hilgers, "I was visualizing the strokes I was going to make, I got a PR, so everything went according to plan. I talked to my coach (Katie Mroz) and she definitely thinks I have a couple of things to work on, which is great.
"I love to improve on anything I can so that at the end of the year, I'll be swimming faster and faster."