Last season, the Riverside-Brookfield High School boys swim team broke six school records and qualified all three relays to the state meet for the first time in school history.
Needless to say, despite the loss of state-medalist Sean DeMuro (12th in the 50-yard freestyle) and John Copp to graduation, the Bulldogs enter this campaign brimming with confidence.
A superb sophomore crop of swimmers including Kevin Garza, Quinn Risley, Anthony Colon, Tim Walsh and Dominic Rosa sets up the Bulldogs well for this season and beyond.
The talent pool goes even younger, factoring in the addition of promising freshman Christian Hernandez. Seniors Luke Keller (team captain) and Dan Somers offer upperclassmen balance in the lineup. Most importantly, the team appears as cohesive as it is talented.
“We have great chemistry from a team standpoint,” coach Todd Frydrich said. “Our freshmen [class] and upperclassmen things didn’t quite jell last year, probably because of the age discrepancy. I think guys know their roles better and this group is really coming together well, which bodes well for the season.”
Risley swam on all three relays, which shattered school records and he also qualified for state in the 100-yard breaststroke (breaking another school record). Garza was on two of the relay teams and also qualified for state in the 100 butterfly setting yet another new school record time.
“Quinn and Kevin are both very well-rounded swimmers,” Frydrich said. “Quinn had a few health issues [last year], so we’re focusing on sprint events with him. He has a great personality and a lot of ability. Kevin is another guy loaded with talent who we feel has the potential to medal at state.”
In addition to leading the relays, Risley will compete in the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle, while the versatile Garza figures to see action in the 200 individual medley, 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly. Colon (100 backstroke, 100 butterfly), Walsh (100 backstroke, distance free), Keller (50 free) and Rosa (100 breaststroke) along with the experienced Somers provide Frydrich plenty of options.
“We’re shooting for a top-three finish at the sectional and to be in the hunt for our conference meet title,” Frydrich said. “Obviously, we also want to qualify as many swimmers as possible for state. We have lofty aspirations for this team.”
On Dec. 7, the Bulldogs’ varsity finished second with 109 points behind triangular host/winner Oak Park-River Forest (155), while Downers Grove South took third place (63).