Quinn Collins placed second in the 100 backstroke (above) and 200 individual medley at the LTHS Invitational on Jan. 28 in Western Springs. | Ian McLeod
Quinn Collins

Lyons Township High School senior Quinn Collins once again made the finals in all four of his events at the boys swimming and diving state finals. 

After being part of last season’s third-place state trophy team, this time Collins was the veteran who helped the Lions achieve more than they might have imagined at the FMC Natatorium in Westmont.

“I’m glad I got a year where we got third at state. This year, I really had to step up and be a good leader for the people around me,” Collins said. 

Collins’ four top-12, all-state medals on Feb. 25 followed the school record for the 200-yard individual medley he set in the Feb. 24 preliminaries (1:50.77).

He finished a first-team, all-state fifth in the 100 backstroke (50.48) and 12th in the 200 IM (1:52.38) and was part of the 200 medley relay with junior Jack Dillon and seniors Garrett Walls and Marko Trajanovski that tied for 11th (1:34.86) and 12th-place 400 free relay with junior Peter Smith, Walls and Trajanovski (3:08.69).

As a team, LTHS finished tied for 21st place.

The only returnees from last year’s state lineup were Collins and junior diver Matt Adler, who was 15th in the preliminaries to reach the top-16 semifinals (302.70 points for 8 dives).

“I’m really glad I got the [200 IM] record. That’s a goal I’ve had since freshman year,” Collins said.

Trajanovski emerged as a strong freestyle anchor with sub-21 and 47-second splits at state, including a team-best 46.90 in the finals. He also reached state in the 50 free (22nd, 21.40). 

“Coming into the season, I wasn’t so sure about how state would go. Now that I’m more experienced, I was more comfortable swimming at a higher level,” Trajanovski said. 

In the 400 relay, Walls cut another .37 for a 46.94 split. Smith went from 49.31 at sectionals to 47.69 Saturday.

“It was my first time here. A lot of it was surreal. Definitely happy with how I swam,” Walls said.

Adler also is motivated for next season after improving from 23rd at state (203.30 for 5 dives) in his first year as a diver. He was just 17.90 points from a top-12 finals berth.

“[Just missing finals] was a little disappointing but I still accomplished my goal [semifinals] so that was pretty cool,” Adler said.

Rosa notches personal bests at state

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

Another boys swimming and diving state meet Friday truly brought out the best in Riverside-Brookfield High School junior Drew Rosa.

Now it’s time to become even faster.

Rosa just missed reaching the top-12 finals with his preliminary times but did so with lifetime competitive bests, including his club seasons.

Rosa was 14th in the 100-yard butterfly (50.73) and 15th in the 100 breaststroke (57.53). The cuts for Saturday’s consolation finals were 50.55 and 57.26.

“It was pretty good overall, but I know I can do better,” Rosa said. 

“I did want to be a little bit faster in both of my events, especially the 100 fly. I wanted to be 49 and 56 in the 100 breast. However, I did drop in both events (from sectionals) and I really can’t complain about lifetime bests.” 

Rosa improved upon his sectional times that had him the No. 15 seed in the 100 fly (50.95) and No. 27 in the 100 breast (58.50). He continues to inch closer to older brother Michael’s 57.14 school record for the 100 breast.

Also encouraging is that Rosa was beaten by seven seniors in the 100 fly and six in the 100 breast.

“I’ve already set my (2024) goal. My goal for next year is to make a final in both of my events,” Rosa said. 

At least for now, the quest toward improving and swimming in college continues without a break. For club competition, Rosa has the Illinois Swimming Senior Championships March 2-5 at FMC and the National Club Swimming Association Spring Nationals March 14-18 in Orlando, Fla.

Rosa got the taste of swimming with expectations at state after taking 25th in the 200 individual medley (1:56.30) as a sophomore. 

“I thought actually (this) was a little more intimidating because last year I wasn’t really seeded as high so there wasn’t a huge pressure to make finals,” Rosa said. “Obviously I was trying to make finals (as a sophomore) but it was a little more out of reach. This was right there. I was a little more excited.”