Stevenson Wins IHSA Boys Team Title; Aleksej Filipovic Nearly Downs IM Record

2022 IHSA Boys State Championships

  • February 25-26, 2022
  • FMC Aquatic Center, Westmont, IL
  • SCY (25 yards)
  • Results

Final Team Standings (Top 10)

  1. Lincolnshire (Stevenson) – 167
  2. Hinsdale (Central) – 117.50
  3. LaGrange (Lyons) – 99
  4. Wilmette (Loyola Academy) – 84.50
  5. Winnetka (New Trier) – 62
  6. Oak Park (Op-River Forest) – 58
  7. West Chicago (Hs) [coop] – 55
  8. St Charles (North) – 50
  9. Aurora (Waubonsie Valley) – 47
  10. Oak Park (Fenwick) – 36

The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) held its boys swimming & diving state championships the last weekend of February at the FMC Aquatic Center in Westmont. Lincolnshire (Stevenson) won the team title by a considerable 49.50-point margin. Hinsdale Central was the only other team to crack 100 points this year. This is tangential, but it’s interesting that despite the fact IHSA is now hosting this meet in a 9-lane pool, they’re still limiting finals to 6 swimmers per heat. It’s not particularly important in terms of the results, just something I find curious.

If I’m choosing a swimmer of the meet, I would give it to St. Charles North senior and Texas recruit Aleksej Filipovic. Filipovic won the 200 IM and 100 fly, nearly breaking the IHSA Record in the IM. Swimming a new personal best of 1:46.14, Filipovic established a massive early lead thanks to field-leading splits of 23.19 and 26.36 on fly and back, putting him at the halfway point of the race in a blistering 49.55. He then tacked on a very solid 30.98 breast split, and brough it home in 25.61, the fastest free split in the field. He was just off the IHSA Record, which stands at 1:46.02 from now-Arizona alumni Sam Iida in 2017.

Filipovic would go on to win the 100 fly, clocking a 47.60. He touched ahead of Barrington’s Griffin O’Leary (47.99), leading the race wire-to-wire. His swim was just off his personal best of 47.21, which he posted back in 2021. O’Leary went on to win the 100 back, swimming a 47.83.

Filipovic was just as exceptional on his relays. Leading off St. Charles North’s 200 free relay, which would finish 6th, Filipovic swam a 20.22, a time which would have been fast enough to win the 50 free individually earlier in the meet. He also led off the 200 medley relay in 22.40, the 2nd-fastest backstroke split in the field by 0.01 seconds, although St. Charles North’s relay would end up getting DQ’d.

Oak Park (Fenwick) senior Michael Flynn was another 2-time event winner on the day, taking the 200 free and 500 free. In the 200 free, Flynn, a Notre Dame recruit, swam a 1:37.03 to win the 200 free comfortably. The swim was just off his personal best of 1:36.91, which he swam in March of 2021. He took over on the 3rd 50 of the race, splitting 25.02, which led everyone in the field by half a second.

Flynn went on to win the 500 in 4:27.66, leading from the beginning, and never really looking like he was in danger of losing the lead. That swim was also off his personal best, which stands at 4:26.11 from last March as well.

Elmhurst (York) senior Connor Groya was the only other double event winner on the day, sweeping the sprint free events. The Minnesota recruit kicked things off with a new personal best in the 50 free, speeding to a 20.27 to win the event. He then went on to post a 44.69 to win the 100 free. That swim was just a hair off his personal best of  44.57, which he swam in December.

After taking 2nd in the 200 IM (1:49.40), Lincolnshire (Stevenson) senior Colin Zhang won the 100 breast in 54.79. He beat out Hinsdale Central freshman Joshua Bey, who touched 2nd in 54.96. Zhang out-split Bey just slightly on both 50s to grab the win.

Zhang was also a member of two winning Stevenson relays. On the 200 medley relay, Zhang provided a 24.94 breast split. Michael Wywrocki led the team off in 23.39, Josh Song provided a critical 21.46 on the fly leg, and David Kohan anchored the team in 20.14. Stevenson finished in 1:29.93, coming up just short of the IHSA Record of 1:29.53 from 2018.

In the 200 free relay, Kohan (20.89), Jack Curtin (20.95), Zhang (21.25), and Brandon Xiong (20.35) teamed up for a 1:23.44, winning the race. Loyola Academy made it a race at the end, with senior Andy Kelly anchoring in a blistering 19.99. They would end up just shy, however, finishing 2nd in 1:23.47.

In the 400 free relay, Kelly was also phenomenal, anchor Loyola Academy to victory with a sizzling 43.99. PJ Spagnolo led off in 47.80, followed by Lachlan Andrew in 45.53, then Demetri Zemenides in 46.67. The team combined for a 3:03.99.

Harrison Nolan (Riverside-Brookfield) won diving, racking 569.50 points to break the IHSA Record, which was held by Joey Cifelli. Nolan is a Kentucky recruit.

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7 months ago

This is tangential, but it’s interesting that despite the fact IHSA is now hosting this meet in a 9-lane pool, they’re still limiting finals to 6 swimmers per heat. It’s not particularly important in terms of the results, just something I find curious.

Yeah… me too.
Either it’s too complicated to change the meet format in Meet Manager, or maybe the IHSA board wants to save on printer toner. I would argue it’s important to the athletes to be in Finals, A or B, and having 6 more make it would spread a lot of joy around.

Surely this is a convention leftover from the not-too-distant past where every IHSA swimming championship had been rotated for decades between two… Read more »

Last edited 7 months ago by John
Reply to  John
7 months ago

Too late to edit

The good news… starting 2023 IHSA will have 18 swimmers in finals.

Reply to  John
1 month ago

Not true

1 year ago

Nice school. Nice swimming traditions. One of the first school with Olympic size swimming pool. So many memories. Congratulations!!

No Hope
1 year ago

although 1:46.0 is the “State Record”, the fastest Illinois high school swim comes from Sam’s brother at a conference meet last year (1:44.8) when state was canceled in Illinois