Lyons Township High School senior Colin Bade and junior Quinn Collins staged another of their classic 100-yard backstroke swimming battles during the IHSA Sectional at LTHS on Feb. 19.
This time, Bade won the title with Collins second, only .02 seconds behind.
“All season it’s been working together, fighting back and forth, getting first and second place, who wins over who,” Bade said. “It’s been a great training opportunity being able to swim next to him in practice.”
They were among the Lions’ numerous great performances that earned nine berths to the state meet with sectional victories or by achieving state cuts at sectionals. The state meet is Feb. 25-26 at the FAC Natatorium in Westmont, where girls state was held for the first time in November.
LTHS (277 points) finished second to rival Hinsdale Central (304) at sectionals.
Riverside-Brookfield High School (128) was fifth and qualified senior Harrison Nolan, who won diving (604.95 points) with the state’s second-highest sectional score, and sophomore Drew Rosa, whose third-place 200 individual medley (1:56.70) beat the 1:56.89 cut.
LTHS’ 200 medley relay of Collins, senior Aidan Foley, Bade and senior Jack Wanless (1:31.78) won with the state’s fastest sectional time. Wanless, Collins and seniors A.J. Vitek and Graeme Gantt won both the 200 freestyle relay (1:25.14) and 400 free relay (3:07.63) with the third fastest sectional times in those events.
Top six are considered first-team all-state.
“Definitely motivation [for the relays]. It also gives us a sense we have to defend we’re worth those seeds,” Vitek said. “This is my last year. This is it, last week. A lot of the boys were half rested for sectionals so we’re not even at our final form yet.”
Bade won his 100 back (51.08) while Collins (51.10) beat the 52.90 cut. Other LTHS individual qualifiers were second-place Foley (100 breaststroke in 57.41) and Wanless (100 free in 46.59), who comfortably bested the respective 59.35 and 47.71 cuts. Both divers — senior Alec Paras (3rd, 452.90) and sophomore Matt Adler (6th, 425.25) – also advanced.
Bade and Wanless are seeded No. 8 and Collins and Foley are No. 10. Just missing additional state berths were fourth-place Rosa (100 breast in 59.39) and seventh-place Vitek (100 free in 47.75) by .04 each.
“Personally, the most stressful part is the sectional meet and just getting them through,” LTHS coach Erin Rodriguez said. “Then state is just having fun and getting your hand to the wall first.”
This will be Bade’s state meet debut, along with Gantt, Collins and Adler, a first-year diver. Nazareth Academy freshman diver Cooper Kosanovich also advanced with his seventh-place 403.35.
Bade started this season contributing the opening backstroke leg of the medley relay. After a great butterfly at a “random invite,” Bade was switched to fly and the comparable Collins handled backstroke.
“[State] is something I’ve been looking forward to be a part of,” Bade said. “Being a part of the medley that is seeded first is really exciting and I’m looking forward to the see how much better we do at state, and hopefully win.”