Boys swimming: St. Charles North wins close race for DuKane title
St. Charles North scored 235 points to win its fifth straight DuKane Conference championship Saturday afternoon at St. Charles East. The North Stars have won all five DuKane titles.
This one was not easy.
St. Charles East was 3 points back in second place with 232 points. In coach Dan Wittenveen's final season, Lake Park was third with 220 points.
"We were getting our tails kicked all season," said St. Charles North coach Rob Rooney. "This year we wanted to rejuvenate the program and rebuild trust."
Senior Kriz Kane spearheaded the North Stars' charge to the conference title.
Kane won the 200 intermediate in a clocking of 1:56.69 and won his second conference title in the 100 breaststroke (58.10).
The talented senior was also on the winning 200 medley relay with Brady Nightlinger, Stephen DelBello and Matt Stratton (1:37.23).
"It is an amazing privilege to be a leader on this team," said Kane. "It has helped me with my confidence."
Other first place efforts for the Stars came from Nightlinger (100 butterfly, 54.02) and DelBello (100 backstroke, 52.63).
"I felt my turns were good," said DelBello. "I was super tired and I had to be tough mentally."
The runner-up Saints were led by Kyle Algrim who won the 200 freestyle (1:44.47) and 500 freestyle (4:45.92).
"I just wanted to stay relaxed and dictate my plan," said Algrim. "I had plenty of energy and push."
Coach Adam Musial praised Algrim's efforts.
"I am lucky to have Kyle on the team," said Musial. "His work effort is through the roof. He is an absolute beast."
Musial thinks his team is ready for the St. Charles North sectional on Feb. 18.
"I am not disappointed with second," said Musial. "We can control ourselves and put ourselves in position to win. We were a few points short tonight. We will move forward. We will be ready for the competitive sectional. It will be exciting. We want to get the guys rest now and will be ready for racing for state qualifications."
Jake Scalise won the 1 meter dive with 445.75 points.
in Wittenveen's last year as a coach, the Lancers were a solid third.
"It was a fun meet," said Wittenveen. "This is a phenomenal group of kids who work so hard."
Senior standout Jacob Drozd paced the Lancers. Drozd, who was third in the state in the 50 freestyle a year ago, won the conference 50 freestyle (21.36) for the fourth straight season.
"I have really worked on my underwater explosion," said Drozd. "There was a lot of weight training."
Drozd came back to win his fourth straight conference 100 freestyle in a time of 47.92. The runner-up was Drozd's teammate junior Dominick Perkowski, who was a close second with a time of 48.05.
"Dominick pushes me every day in practice," said Drozd. "He is one of the reasons I have had the success I have had."
Perkowski looks up to Drozd.
"He is like a big brother to me," said Perkowski. "I have been looking up to him since middle school."
The Lancers won the 200 freestyle relay (1:27.63) with Perkowski, Drozd, Matthew Karasek and Alexander Grodecki.
With the same four swimmers, the Lancers ended the meet by winning the 400 freestyle relay in a time of 3:13.61.
All of the conference coaches were wearing T-shirts commemorating Wittenveen's last season as Lake Park swimming coach.
"It was a total surprise," said the Lancers coach. "There are a great group of coaches in this conference."