Although the Fenwick High School boys swim team placed first in six events, visiting Loyola emerged with a 106-79 win over the Friars last week.
"It was disappointing to not win the meet," Fenwick coach Luke McGuire said. "We had some good swims, but [Loyola] was just able to beat us on depth."
The 200-yard medley relay of junior Mike Hill, senior Connor Fabian, sophomore Cavan Smith, and senior Zach Tieke recorded a season-best time of 1:39.51 to notch first place. The Friars also claimed top honors in the 200 free relay with Smith, Hill, Tieke, and junior Andrew Bertschy finishing the race in 1:29.24 (another season-best time).
The Friars have several swimmers on the cusp of a state-qualifying time in their respective events, and McGuire is confident that his swimmers can make the cut.
"We've been practicing really hard," McGuire said. "The fact that they're swimming these fast times in-season in the midst of practicing hard is reassuring."
Fabian took first in the 200 individual medley (2:06.85) and earned second in the 100 breaststroke (1:03.42). Tieke won two individual races, the 50 free (21.92) and the 100 free (48.09). Hill finished in 22.59 seconds to take second place in the 50 individual medley and also earned a runner-up finish in the 100 free with a time of 48.97 seconds. Smith won the 100 butterfly in 53.7, while sophomore Chez Daggs clocked a time of 1:05.33 in that event.
The Friars' fast times overall are a positive trend as the postseason draws closer.
"It's nice to win meets, but ultimately it's swimming fast times in-season that's the most important," McGuire said. "It's how fast you go in sectionals and at state that's really important. One of the harder things about our sport is that you do all this training and it comes down to one or two competitions.
"You like to see fast times and win meets during the season, but that's not the prize. The prize is to swim well the Friday of the state meet. As far as that goes, I think we're doing a pretty good job of keeping our eyes on the prize."
With the Men's Catholic Athletic Conference meet coming up on Feb. 8, the Friars are looking for faster times with the end goal of a strong performance at the state meet. Fenwick also hosts its annual sectional on Feb. 22.
"We hope that our core group of guys can get psyched up and swim fast in the [MCAC] meet," McGuire said, "but they know that the goal is to get guys to the state meet and doing well there."