The Lyons Township High School and Riverside-Brookfield High School boys swimming teams finished first and third, respectively, at the York Sectional on Saturday. The Lions scored 326 points and advanced all three relays along with at least one or more swimmer in each individual event to the state meet hosted by New Trier this weekend.
Hinsdale Central (271.5), RBHS (170.5), Hinsdale South (110) and Lake Park (106) rounded out the top five sectional finishers.
The Lions swept the relays with contributions from an impressive array of swimmers. Freshman Spencer Walker, junior Weston Credit, freshman Henry Claesson and sophomore Matt Linden won the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1 minute, 33.78 seconds.
Linden, senior Lucas O’Bryan, Claesson and junior Ben Breitenbucher teamed up to win the 200 freestyle relay (1:25.96), while senior Nick Bonneville, Breitenbucher, Credit and Linden notched the 400 freestyle relay title with a time of 3:07.61.
LTHS also performed well in the individual events as Bonneville won both the 100-yard and 200-yard freestyle. In the 100 free, he swam a top time of 46.65 seconds, and he touched the wall in 1:41.35 to claim the 200 free title.
Credit also notched two titles, winning the 200-yard individual medley (1:55.25) and the 100-yard breaststroke (57.61). Senior Ben Hewett swam a time of 4:35.77 to win the 500-yard freestyle and garnered second in the 200 free (1:43.75).
Several underclassmen made their mark for the Lions as well, highlighted by Walker who won the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 52.11. He finished second behind Hewett in the 500 free (4:41.36). Sophomore Seamus Scott advanced to state by winning the diving competition with a score of 498.65.
“Things have worked out well with our underclassmen so we’re very fortunate looking ahead to the future,” LTHS coach Scott Walker said. “The last two years have been about rebuilding the program to the point where it’s ready to explode. The upperclassmen have played a big role in our progress as well. The younger swimmers will gain valuable experience at the state meet and it can snowball into next season.”
Other state qualifiers for LTHS included: Linden (21.68/5th place in the 50 free), Chris Phillips (59.37/2nd in the 100 breast; 1:57.31/3rd in the 200 IM), Jack Garrow (53.31/4th in the 100 back).
The Lions broke six pool records and four school records.
“It was a perfect meet for us,” Walker said. “I can’t remember a state-qualifying meet like this one where all 12 boys walked around the deck so relaxed and confident. At the state meet, I just hope the boys swim well and continue to have fun.”
Walker earned Sectional Coach of the Year recognition for the 22nd time.
“It’s an honor because the other coaches pick the recipient,” Walker said. “If not for the kids, however, no coach wins this award, so I view it really as a team honor.”
Iowa-bound Quinn Risley led RBHS with strong showings in the sprint races. Risley touched the wall at 21.43 to win the 50 free, and he tied Hinsdale Central’s Brian Cortland for second in the 100 free with a time of 47.05.
The Bulldogs advanced two relays to the state meet. The senior quarter of Tim Walsh, Christian Chavez, Kevin Garza and Risley finished as a runner-up (1:36.62) to LTHS (1:33.78) in the 200-yard medley relay. Garza, Hernandez, Joey Rosa and Risley posted a time of 1:26.59 to claim third in the 200 free relay.
Garza also qualified as an individual in the 100 butterfly, finishing second with a time of 50.94.
“We’re pleased with how we swam at the sectional,” RBHS coach Todd Fridrych said. “We’re looking for our best performance at state, especially from our seniors. They have been the backbone of the program over the past four years.”