Lions, Friars finish second in boys swimming sectionals

Walsh (LTHS), Rosa (RBHS) and Hutchinson (Fenwick) excel

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By Marty Farmer

Sports Editor

Five of the top eight boys swimming teams at Saturday's York Sectional came from the West Suburban Conference Silver Division. Silver squads Hinsdale Central (271 points), Lyons Township (263) and host York (161) took the top three spots.

Representing the Metro Suburban Conference, Riverside-Brookfield came in fifth with a score of 122.

Senior Michael Rosa qualified for state in two events, the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1 minute, 56.22 seconds and the 100-yard breaststroke at 57.24 seconds for the Bulldogs. Freshman diver Nolan Harrison also advanced to the state meet with a score of 560.15, good for second place.

RBHS junior Nolan Downing earned fifth in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:54.86. Sophomore Noah Breit finished sixth in the 100-yard backstroke, touching the wall at 53.98. The Bulldogs' 200-yard freestyle relay team of senior Peter Baartman, Rosa, Dowling and Noah took sixth place at 1:30.98.

LTHS placed second in the state last season and won two straight state titles in 2016 and 2017. The Lions lost several outstanding swimmers like Spencer Walker (Alabama) and Henry Claesson (Virginia Tech) to graduation and coach Scott Walker to retirement.

Nevertheless, the Lions have remained very competitive this season under new head coach Erin Rodriguez.

Senior Michael Walsh set the tone at York by qualifying for the IHSA state finals in four events (2 individual races/2 relay races). He won the the 50-yard freestyle in 20.98 and the 100 breast in 56.16.

Juniors Bryson Breitenbucher took second in the 100-yard freestyle (46.29) and Jack Thorell was third in the 50 free (21.30).

LTHS dominated the relays, winning all three races over runner-up/rival Hinsdale Central. The Lions recorded the following winning times: 1:31.28 in the 200-yard medley, 1:23.26 in the 200 free and 3:08.26 in the 400-yard freestyle.

Hutchinson, relays power Fenwick

It's called the Fenwick Sectional, but a more accurate description of Saturday's boys swimming competition would have been Friars-Huskies Round 2.

With 15 teams competing for IHSA state final berths, Fenwick and OPRF produced every relay team and individual swimmer (except Argo senior diver Ryan Rogers) that will compete at state hosted by New Trier on Feb. 22-23.

Talk about a select pool of teams.

True to the nature of the crosstown rivalry, the Huskies exacted a measure of revenge by outscoring the host Friars 315-304 to win the sectional team title. In the first meeting on Dec. 4 this season, Fenwick defeated visiting OPRF 107-78 in a nonconference dual meet.

In the most anticipated race of the day, Fenwick senior Liam Hutchinson edged Raidt (both state contenders) in the 200-yard freestyle. Hutchinson touched the wall at 1:40.88, followed closely by Raidt at 1:41.13. Fenwick freshman Mike Flynn advanced to state in the 200 free as well with a time of 1:42.36.

In the 500 free, Fenwick qualified two swimmers in Hutchinson (4:36.52) and Flynn (4:39.99). Sophomore Connor McCarthy recorded a time of 1:56.43 to claim the 200 individual medley title.

The Friars' other state qualifiers included Alex Figus (2nd place in 50 free; 21.57), Dan Lynch (2nd in 100 breast; 59.65) and McCarthy (3rd in 100 fly; 52.01).

Fenwick also advanced all three teams to state. The Friars won the 200- and 400-yard freestyle races at 1:26.02 and 3:07.65, respectively, while Fenwick's 200 medley moves on to New Trier as well.

The IHSA state finals take place at New Trier High School in Winnetka on Feb. 22-23. Preliminaries are Friday and the finals are Saturday.

Contact:
Email: marty@rblandmark.com

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