Drew Rosa

Riverside-Brookfield High School junior Drew Rosa might not return to the boys swimming and diving state meet in the 200-yard individual medley this season.

Rosa, instead, could focus instead of qualifying in the 100 butterfly and 100 breaststroke, which he barely missed in 2021.

“I look forward to switching [events] up a little. I’m just really excited for that,” Rosa said. “I definitely think I’ve made some progress and I think there’s some big things to come when I’m tapered and rested. I think for the whole team we’ve got some bit things to come this season.”

The Bulldogs’ goal is to have individuals and relays join Rosa at state this time behind several returnees from last year’s lineup that finished third at the Southwest Prairie Conference Meet and fifth at the Lyons Township Sectional. The Bulldogs’ other state qualifier was state diving champion Harrison Nolan, who graduated last spring.

Lucas Hedrich

Juniors Cooper Marrs, Hayden Marrs and Lucas Hedrich, sophomore Aiden Pankros and sophomore diver Nate Kissel also return. Varsity newcomers include junior Alex Jacobs, a former basketball player, and freshmen Jake Kocourek and diver Oscar Bursua.

“We’d like to get [Rosa] and maybe a couple of others in the state meet, maybe get a relay qualified or two, and just be competitive in conference,” RBHS coach Mike Laurich said.

In 2021, Rosa finished 25th at state in the 200 IM (1:56.30) by again breaking the sophomore school record he set at sectionals with his third-place 1:56.70. Rosa’s fourth-place 59.39 at sectionals in the 100 breast was .04 seconds from the state cut. At the SPC Meet, Rosa won the 200 IM (2:00.26) and was second in the 100 breast (1:01.11).

Rosa said he has been pleased with his progress this past club season for FMC Aquatic, which trains at the Westmont site of the state meet. And he’s thinking of switching the 200 IM for the 100 butterfly, because at the 2022 state meet the top five finishers in that event were seniors.

“I’ve really been working on [butterfly] with and just based on the competition, I think my best shot [for state finals] is in the 100 fly,” Rosa said. “[Last season] definitely has motivated me, especially the sectional.” 

Kissel scored a personal-best 329.95 points at sectionals after a second-place 314.95 at conference. RBHS diving coach Amy Phillips was last year’s Illinois State Diving Association’s Coach of the Year.

The relays also impressed at the SPC Meet. The 200 medley relay with Cooper Marrs, Rosa and Hayden Marrs was second (1:41.48) and the 200 free relay with Hayden Marrs, Pankros and Rosa (1:39.59) and 400 free relay with Hedrich, Pankros and Cooper Marrs (3:34.35) were third.