By James Kay
On Jan. 23, Lyons Township High School swim team took it to their conference foes, beating Downers Grove North 140-12 in a dual meet on the road.
After dealing with a bout of the flu and some swimmers having outside-the-program events to attend, LTHS seems back on track to following its impressive postseason run last year. It wasn't until Jan. 16 in a dual meet versus Hinsdale Central when Lions head coach Erin Rodriguez had her full squad back together.
"We have a very young team that is learning a lot from our older boys," said Rodriguez. "We have a lot coming up in the next few weeks, so everyone is getting a little more focused, taking it a bit more serious as they try to finish out the rest of the season as best they can."
In the 200-yard medley relay, LTHS' Colin Bade, Henry Siegelman, Henry Olenec and Jack Wanless won the event with a time of 1 minute, 43.95 seconds. Their teammates AJ Vitek, Mitchell Johnson, Tomas Samuolis and Bryson Breitenbucher finished second at 1:44.00.
Wanless, Breitenbucher, Olenec also joined teammate Paul Racanelli in the 200-yard freestyle relay, wining with a time of 1:33.17. The Lions ended their day with a first place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a time of 3:31.70 behind the performance of Wanless, Samuolis, Olenec, and Breitenbucher.
"In the past few weeks, we have had our relays together, so we felt confident [going against Downers Grove North]," said Rodriguez. "I was a little nervous against Hinsdale Central since they hadn't been together in a while but they did a great job then and have only gotten better since then."
In the 200-yard freestyle, LTHS' John McCarty and Ethan Baum finished first and second with respective times of 1:54.85 and 1:56.15. Racanelli won the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2:12.85, while Vitek finished second at 2:15.90. Baum also participated in the 500-yard freestyle and finished on top with a time of 5:15.08. Olenec won the 100-yard butterfly at 57.35.
The Lions' Mitchell Johnson placed first in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:03.70) and the 50-yard freestyle (23.25). Breitenbucher finished with a time of 49.52 in the 100-yard freestyle and won the event.
With sectionals coming in less than a month, the Lions have two more events to prepare for the postseason. They are hosting an invitational on Feb. 1 at home (south campus) before they head to York High School for the West Suburban Silver championships on Feb. 7. Sectionals take place on Feb. 22.