Boys swimming: Lake Park takes title at St. Charles North in Witteveen's final season
Dan Witteveen had every reason to smile.
The Lake Park coach, who will retire after next week's state meet, watched as his team claimed Saturday's St. Charles North sectional team title.
The Lancers scored 248.5 to take top honors. St. Charles North was second with 237 points followed by St. Charles East with 234 points.
The Lancers won the 400 freestyle, the final race of the day, to claim the sectional title.
The team of Dominick Perkowski, Alex Gordecki, Matthew Karasek and Jacob Drozd crossed the finish line with a clocking of 3:09.46.
"These are great kids and everybody contributed," said Witteveen, the Sectional Coach of the Meet.
"To beat great programs like St. Charles East and St. Charles North is quite an accomplishment. It was a lot of fun."
Drozd, who will be making his fourth appearance at the state meet, led the Lancers with a first place effort in the 50 freestyle (20.87) and 100 freestyle (47.36).
"There is a lot of pressure next weekend, but I am going to have fun," said Drozd. "I want to make it a memorable weekend. My mindset is to help the team do well."
Karasek, a freshman for the Lancers, won the 200 intermediate in a time of 1:56.68.
"I was really nervous," said Karasek. "It is exciting to be swimming in the state meet."
The Lancers were first in the 200 freestyle relay in a state qualifying time of 1:26.78. The title team was comprised of Drozd, Perkowski, Karasek and Gordecki.
Perkowski also qualified in the 200 freestyle.
The North Stars were paced by senior Kriz Kane, who won the 100 breaststroke in 58.07. Kane narrowly missed qualifying in the 100 butterfly with a second-place finish time of 52.33. The state qualifying time is 51.90.
"I would like to have qualified in two events," said Kane. "I was glad I was able to bounce back and win the 100 breaststroke. It has been a challenging four years."
Other state qualifiers for the Stars include William Deutmeyer (200 freestyle, 500 freestyle) and Stephen DelBello (100 backstroke). The 200 medley relay of DelBello, Kane, Matt Stratton and Brady Nightlinger qualified for the state meet along with the 400 freestyle relay team Deutmeyer, DelBello, Nightlinger and Robby Kemp.
The third-place Saints were paced by Kyle Algrim, who won the 500 freestyle in 4:38.93.
"I tried to pace myself," said Algrim. "I am looking forward to next weekend."
Algrim also qualified in the 200 freestyle.
Algrim will be joined at the state meet by Ben Stevens, who qualified in the 500 freestyle.
The Saints' 200 freestyle relay team (Chris Souk, Will Murray, Ryan Medus, Algrim) and 400 freestyle team of Stevens, Algrim, Souk, Will Murray qualified for the state meet.
In the athletes with disabilities division, the Saints' Leo Czerwinski won the 200 freestyle (2:24.22), 100 freestyle (1:06.24). 50 freestyle (30.01) and 100 breaststroke (1:33.9).
In the 1 meter diving, St. Charles East's Jake Scalise was first with 465.45 points and Skyler Bell of St. Charles North was second with 395.80 points. Both qualified for the state meet.
Conant was fourth with 188.5 points. The Cougars were led by Bryce Loeger, who was second in the 50 freestyle (21.50) and was runner-up in the 100 backstroke (52,00). Both were state qualifying times.
"It is nice to qualify for the state meet again," said Loeger. "I am looking for a Top 12 finish at the state meet next week."
Schaumburg was fifth with a 181.5 points.
The Saxons were paced by Szymon Mieczkowski who won the 200 freestyle in a time of 1:41.34 and 100 backstroke (49.77).
"My training was focused on training for big events," said Mieczkowski. "I am looking forward to the state meet next week."
The Saxons' 200 medley relay team was first with a time of 1:36.05. Members were Mieczowksi, Andrew Georgescu, Patrick Dima and Dennis Bobiv.
Bartlett, sixth with a 102 points, was led by Isaac Scherman who won the 100 butterfly in a time of 51.73.
"I wanted to make sure I was focused and I dictated the race," said Scherman. "It was nice to prove everybody wrong."