By Marty Farmer
Michael Walsh took his turn this season. After Spencer Walker and Henry Claesson led the Lyons Township High School swimming team to a runner-up finish at the 2018 state finals, Walsh took home four medals during Saturday's state meet at New Trier.
His signature performance powered the Lions to fifth place in the state, capping off a season in which many characterized LTHS in a relative rebuilding mode.
Prior to this season, the Lions won state championships in 2016 and 2017 coupled with the aforementioned second place-showing in 2018.
On Saturday in Winnetka, Walsh finished second in the 100-yard breaststroke (55.93 seconds) and third in the 50-yard freestyle (20.65), while also swimming a leg on the Lions' state title-winning 200-yard medley relay and fourth-place 400-yard relay.
The 200 medley team of Jack Thorell, Walsh, Will Duerr and Bryson Breitbucher recorded a time of 1 minute, 31.46 seconds. Walsh, Ben Lynch, Thorell and Breitenbucher swam the 200 free relay in 1:24.09, good for fourth place. The Lions closed out a terrific day for their relays as Thorell, Lynch, Duerr and Breitenbucher earned ninth in the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:06.71).
In other individual events, Breitenbucher earned eighth in the 100-yard freestyle (46.41) and Thorell was 11th in the 50-yard freestyle (21.11).
Two Bulldogs medal at state
RBHS freshman diver Nolan Harrison capped off his excellent debut campaign with a fifth-place score of 480.25. Senior Michael Rosa touched the wall at 57.78 to claim 10th in the 100-yard breaststroke.
The Bulldogs tied Downers Grove North and Woodstock North for 23rd place with 13 points apiece.