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The Fenwick boys swim team and its area rival OPRF will be well represented at the IHSA Swimming and Diving State championships.
The Friars placed first overall in the sectional championship at Fenwick on Saturday with 412 points, and will send seven swimmers and a diver to the state finals next weekend at New Trier High School.
"We're feeling really great," said Fenwick senior Justin White, who placed second in the 200-yard freestyle (1:44.60) and third in the 100-yard freestyle (47.77 seconds). "We definitely changed things up from last year, and it seems to be paying off. We're a lot more confident with our swims and about how we will perform at state next week."
Fenwick took second in the 200-yard medley relay (1:35.97) as well as the 400-yard medley relay (3:09.41). Senior Jimmy Mullen was the lone qualifier in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1:59.89, while sophomore Mike Hill placed second in the 50-yard freestyle (21.90) and freshman Cavan Smith finished third in the 100-yard butterfly (52.76). Junior Zach Tiecke placed second in the 100-yard freestyle (47.36), while senior Tommy McGuire (59.32) and junior Connor Fabian (1:00.77) finished first and second respectively in the 100-yard breaststroke.
In diving, Fenwick sophomore Max Showalter took first place with 423.50 points, while junior David Durkin placed second with 369.15 points.
White and his Friar teammates are excited for the chance to compete at state, and know what to focus on in the week ahead as they get ready.
"We'll be working on tapering and our relay starts," said the Fenwick swimmer. "We'll definitely get the relay chemistry together because there are a lot of new guys who have really performed well, and we're excited for that."
The Huskies placed second overall in Saturday's sectional championship with 387 points, as head coach Clyde Lundgren was named Coach of the Year. Senior Nikita Bondarenko, senior Kyle Patnode, and junior Mark Hallman will represent OPRF in individual events at state.
"We needed to set ourselves up for the state finals and be smart about what we're doing this weekend," Patnode said. "We did just that, and I think we really got ourselves ready for next weekend."
The Huskies placed first in the 200-yard medley relay (1:34.44), as well as the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:09.10). Bondarenko finished first in the 200-yard freestyle (1:41.65) and 500-yard freestyle (4:39.93), while Patnode took first in the 100-yard butterfly (50.48) and 100-yard backstroke (51.16). Hallman placed first in the 100-yard freestyle (47.01).
Patnode said the Huskies will fine-tune their swims this week leading up to the state championships, while making sure they get a chance to rest as well.
"We'll get all the rest that we can and cool down our legs," said Patnode. "We'll really be focusing on the little things that matter now like our technique, and we'll really be gathering our energy and getting excited for state."