The Fenwick boys' swim team found little to stop them at the Oak Park Sectional Saturday in front of a packed home crowd, many of them Fenwick fans, as the Friars advanced swimmers and divers to State in nine of 12 events and captured the sectional title with a score of 328.
"It was a good day for Fenwick," said head coach Dave Perry. "Tommy Parolin definitely had the day for us." Parolin, a sophomore, won the 200-yard freestyle by more than two seconds, with a time of 1:45.73. He was also Fenwick's top finisher and a State qualifier in the 100-yard butterfly, which he swam in 53.6 seconds, finishing second.
Luke Baldwin finished third in the 100-yard butterfly for Fenwick and also qualified for State. Parolin and Baldwin were both members of State qualifying relays for Fenwick. Parolin, along with John Barrett, Dan Wolak, and Mike Brown, won the 400-yard freestyle relay in decisive manner, beating second place finisher St. Patrick by nearly 10 seconds.
Baldwin also was the front end of a 1-2 finish for Fenwick in the 100-yard backstroke. Baldwin had a time of 54.44 seconds, and Matt Meyer finished in 55.23 seconds. Both Fenwick swimmers qualified for State, as did OPRF swimmer Taylor Rasley, who finished third in 55.98 seconds.
Fenwick also took the top two spots in diving. Chris Jones automatically qualified by winning the event with a score of 362.8, and Leo Galvez-Roldan's score of 280.9 was good enough to earn him one of 32 at-large spots for the State tournament.
Fenwick's 200-yard medley relay team, comprised of Baldwin, Barrett, Brown, and Pat Lloyd, qualified for State with a time of 1:40.15 and a second place finish. They were barely a tenth of a second behind OPRF's team of Jack Anderson, Scott Dunlavey, Paul Lohmann, and Rasley, who had a time of 1:40.04.
Anderson and Lohmann were two of OPRF's best performers on the day. The Huskies, who finished second with 271 points, were similarly satisfied with their effort. They qualified individual swimmers in four events and as well as two relays for State.
"We had a great meet," said OPRF head coach Peter Quinn. "All the guys that qualified individually and the two relays had great meets. We dropped four seconds in the 200 medley and 200 free relay. For the most part, we did what we needed to move on to next week."
Lohmann blew away the competition in the 100-yard breaststroke, winning the event by more than three seconds with a time of 1:00.45.
"Paul Lohmann is ranked fifth [in state] in 100 breaststroke. He could score a lot of points for us at State," said Rasley.
Anderson won two individual events in addition to the relay win. In the 100-yard freestyle, he just barely edged out Fenwick's Brown for a win with a time of 49.55 seconds. Brown, who also qualified for State in this event, was just .04 seconds behind, at 49.59. Anderson also placed first in the 50-yard freestyle, with a time of 22.19 seconds. Fenwick finished second here, too. Dan Wolak finished in 22.4 seconds and also advanced to State.
The two teams have somewhat different outlooks right now concerning State this weekend.
"Our goals are to see if we can get in the top five," said Perry. "It's pretty lofty, but if we've done things right, everybody should go a little bit faster."
Virtually all of Fenwick's swimmers have yet to fully taper, or reduce their practice load so that they are fully rested for competition.
"We're looking to place all of our relays and hopefully finish top five," Brown reemphasized.
The Huskies, on the other hand, have just begun to look at State and their strategy there. "Our focus was this meet," said Quinn. "We will focus on State next week in practice."