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The Hinsdale Central boys have been a force in Illinois since the beginning of IHSA swimming. Their history includes 17 (and now 18) team titles, highlighted by a 12-year win streak which stretched from the 1966-67 season to the 1977-78 season. This marks their first win since 1989, when they won it with a score of 130 points. The recent rise of the Red Devils started in 2011 with a 10th place finish. Under coach Corky King, they moved up to 4th in 2012, 2nd in 2013, and then 3rd last year. King has since retired, and Bobby Barber now runs the storied program.
This year, Hinsdale Central was led by sophomore Franco Reyes and seniors Adam Pircon, Brian Portland, and Brian Powell. Reyes blasted a 47.72 in finals after going 49.01 to earn the top seed in prelims in the 100 butterfly, coming within 1.01 seconds of the great Connor Black (46.71), who set state and national public records two years ago. He also won the B final of the 200 IM in 1:52.75, while providing a 20.69 lead off split on their 200 free relay and a dirty 21.55 fly split on their 200 medley relay. The Red Devils took 2nd place in both of those relays, and 5th in the 400 free relay, earning them more than half of their total points.
Pircon grabbed two top-6 finishes, placing 5th in the 200 free (1:41.59/1:40.71 prelims) and 2nd in the 500 (4:34.01), while Portland posted two B final swims in the 50 free (21.42/20.91p) and 100 free (46.36/46.06p). Powell was 13th in the 50 free, just missing scoring potential, but was a key part of all three of their top-6 relays. Hinsdale Central took the team title with a final score of 126 points.
Finishing in 2nd place was Peoria Notre Dame with 114 points, making it the 2nd straight year that a non-Chicagoland area team has earned a trophy. Last year, Normal won the meet, marking the first time a “down state” team has won it since 1933 when Rockford took the title, although the IHSA website doesn’t list final scores from that year. Notre Dame was powered by a solid core of dynamic freestylers and a couple other B finalists put together with some impressive freestyle relays.
Matt Kamin, a senior, had a break out meet with two top-6 finishes, touching 2nd in both the 200 free (1:39.10/1:38.32p) and 100 free (45.34/45.21p). Joining Kamin with two A final swims was junior Sam Neaveill, who was 4th in both the 50 free (20.86/20.65p) and the 100 free (45.52). Notre Dame also grabbed some B final points with junior Grant Streid‘s 9th place finish in the 200 IM (1:53.81/1:53.64p) and junior Keegan Paulson‘s 10th place finish in the 100 back (52.10/51.96p). ND scored two top 6 finishes in the free relays, as Neaveill and Kamin both provided sub-21 splits on the 200 free relay and Kamin blasted a 44.67 anchor leg on the final relay to help them to a win in that event. Kamin is committed to swim for the Iowa Hawkeyes next fall.
Teams from Naperville Central and Glenbrook South TIED for third place with 113 points, just one point from making a three-way tie with Notre Dame for 2nd. NC had three A finalists, junior Scott Piper in the 200 IM (4th, 1:51.41), junior Jimmy Fox in the 500 free (6th, 4:40.87/4:37.11p), and sophomore Phillip Sajaev in the 100 breast (3rd, 57.19/57.17p). They scored top 6 in all relays, while winning the 200 free relay outright thanks to three sub-21 splits. GBS was led by 50 freestyle winner (20.52, winning by just one hundredth over Whitney Young senior Mossimo Chavez) and Wisconsin commit Jon Salomon, who also placed 3rd in the 100 free (45.40) and led off their 200 free relay (20.32) and anchored their 400 free relay (44.77), both of which placed 3rd. The Titans also fed off of a 500 free victory from sophomore Sam Iida (4:31.13), who also placed 2nd in the 200 IM (1:50.91). Iida was joined by junior Tommy Hagerty in the 500 free A final, as his time of 4:38.57 was good for 5th place.
The team race came down to the 400 free relay, in which Naperville Central held a 4 point lead over GBS going into. GBS needed to outscore them by 3 places if they wanted to solidify 3rd place, but they were 3rd to NC’s 5th, resulting in the tie. GBS was .23 away from 2nd place New Trier, which had they been 2nd, would have given them sole possession of 3rd place.
While Notre Dame brought the freestyle firepower in the 50 through the 500, New Trier senior and Princeton commit Murphy McQuet was the freestyler to beat. He had a break out meet and was the only double winner of Saturday’s finals session. McQuet took the 200 free in 1:37.71, and came back to win the 100 free in 44.79, although he was a touch faster at 44.58 in prelims. As the butterfly leg of their 3rd place 200 medley relay squad, he blasted a 21.32 split, actually going faster than their free leg, along with two other free legs in that A final. McQuet was a 44.21 on the end of the Trevians’ 2nd place 400 free relay, but threw down a 43.89 anchor leg during prelims. New Trier finished in 5th place with 103 points.
Rounding out the top 6 was Metea Valley, a team which featured the two best breaststrokers in the state. This year, Jordan O’Brien repeated as the 100 breast champion after edging his teammate Matt Salerno by a hundredth last year. O’Brien, a Missouri commit, touched at 55.39 in finals ahead of Salerno, an Arizona commit, who was 2nd in 56.04 after going a 55.49 in the morning. MV won the 200 medley relay earlier in the meet, riding on the 24.43 breast split from O’Brien. Salerno, who is also a sprint freestyler, split a 20.28 to anchor that relay. He then finished 3rd in the individual 50 free (20.66), while O’Brien touched 3rd in the 200 IM (1:50.93). MV got help from junior Alex Dillman, who grabbed 4th in the 100 fly (49.48). They sat in 2nd place going into the final relay, but they were unable to qualify their 400 free relay for finals, which set them back to 6th.
OTHER NOTABLE PERFORMANCES
- 100 BACKSTROKE: Max St. George of Wheaton North broke the state record of 48.21 by Andrew Jovanovic with a 48.07 in prelims. The senior was under the old record again in finals, winning the event in 48.20. He is committed to Duke University.
- 200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY: Senior Sean Workman of O’Fallon, who is headed to Virginia Tech next year, scared the 200 IM record of 1:48.08 with a 1:48.23 in prelims. He couldn’t repeat his fire from prelims with a 1:49.38 in finals, but he still t0ok the title and was the only swimmer in prelims or finals to break 1:50.
- 50, 100, 200 FREE AND 100 BREAST FOR ATHLETES WITH DISABILITIES: All four of these records were broken for both A and B classifications. Maine West junior Anthony Alonzi nabbed his own 50 free and 100 breast records from last year in the A classification with a 26.11 in the 50 free and a 1:15.24 in the 100 breast. Niles West junior Cameron Lee shattered the 100 and 200 free A classification records with times of 1:02.19 and 2:20.33, respectively. New Trier junior Charlie Gentzkow obliterated his own records in each race for the B classification. He had times of 29.00 in the 50 free, 1:02.91 in the 100 free, 2:21.65 in the 200 free, and 1:30.54 in the 100 breast.
- ONE METER DIVING: Marian Catholic senior Joey Cifelli, with a score of 555.40, destroyed the state mark of 537.72 set all the way back in 1976 by Hinsdale Central’s Dave Boldebuck. Cifelli, who won last year’s diving with a score of 474.05, won the event by almost 80 points.
- 200 MEDLEY RELAY: 19.76 anchor leg from Mossimo Chavez of Whitney Young in the B final. That is all.
- State records, titles, past champions, and more