Senior Murphy Regan (above competing in the 100-yard breaststroke) participated in his first RBHS Invite on Jan. 14, where the Bulldogs finished fourth in a 12-team field. | Ian McLeod

Senior Murphy Regan completed a memorable week for the Riverside-Brookfield High School boys swimming and diving team with a breakthrough.

The four-year team member competed at the 64th annual RBHS Invitational on Jan. 14 for the first time.

“This is only a varsity invite so last year I didn’t necessarily make the cut to swim what I wanted,” Regan said. “With COVID, I was on the team but I didn’t get to swim as much. I’m really just trying to get back to the standards that I’ve gotten.”

The Bulldogs (170 points) finished fourth behind Oak Park and River Forest (247), St. Ignatius (225) and Oswego East (220).

RBHS junior Drew Rosa was a close second twice – the 100-yard butterfly (53.36) to Oswego East’s Tanner Stumpenhorst (53.12) and the 100 breaststroke (1:01.82) to Oak Park and River Forest’s Adan Pedraza (1:01.53).

At the RBHS Invite, Rosa did not compete in the 200 individual medley, which he won in 2022 and was his qualifying event for the state meet.

Andrew Rosa (RBHS) competes in 100 yard breaststroke. | Ian McLeod

Rosa also was part of the third-place 200 medley relay (1:42.93) and 200 free relay (1:31.28) both with Lucas Hedrich, Aiden Pankros and Hayden Marrs.

Rosa’s 27.12 (50 breast) and 21.96 (50 free) were season-best relay splits.

“I wanted to be a little faster in my races today, but I think that overall I’m in a pretty good spot,” Rosa said. “I’m definitely going a lot faster than I did at this meet last year. I think I’m satisfied with where I’m at, but I know I can be better.” 

Cooper Marrs (56.41) and Hedrich (57.18) were 4-5 in the 100 back. Diver Oscar Bursua (337.75 points) was fourth and Hayden Marrs (50 free in 23.21) and Cooper Marrs (500 free in 5:10.91) were fifth.

The Bulldogs also celebrated Senior Night on Jan. 11 against OPRF for six swimmers – four-year members Zack Gaynor, Ciaran Mathews, David Ricco and Regan, third-year member Bradley Ruska and newcomer Augustus Mendoza.

The Bulldogs lost the meet 118-68. Event champions were Rosa in the 200 IM (1:59.78) and 100 fly (56.03) and the 200 free relay (Hayden Marrs, Cooper Marrs, Aiden Pankros and Rosa in 1:31.36). Bursua (203.85) and Nate Kissel (199.15) went 1-2 in diving.

“[The seniors] are a good group. They’re like most kids in our school. They’re multisport athletes, so they come in from other things,” RBHS swim coach Mike Laurich said. 

Regan said he swims to prepare for his fourth season in boys water polo, where he often is a left-handed perimeter shooter.

“[Swimming] gets me in good shape for water polo, just getting used to the water, but I definitely like the friendships that have grown on the swim team,” Regan said. “I did really feel much better [Wednesday], knowing it was Senior Night, just walking across the pool getting recognized in front of everyone.”

Once an Academy Bullets youth swimmer, Ruska has been a full-time swimmer the past two seasons. He initially tried to juggle swimming with wrestling.

“I just kind of took a break [from swimming] for two, three years and then I came back to it and I ended up loving it again. It was pretty much a rebirth,” Ruska said. “[Laurich] made it pretty easy, welcoming to come back into here, just a lot of fun.”