By Marty Farmer
Although neither squad won the state title or finished in the top 10 in the team standings at the boys swimming state finals, Saturday, both the Oak Park and River Forest and Fenwick boys swim teams swam well in Evanston. In fact, the Huskies and Friars indirectly renewed their rivalry on the scoreboard as OPRF finished 14th with 29 points, followed closely by Fenwick at 16th with 26 points.
OPRF senior Mark Hallman turned in the best performance among local swimmers, taking fourth in the 100-yard freestyle (46.19) and sixth in the 50 free (21.22). He also swam the anchor leg on the Huskies' 200-yard freestyle relay team with junior Will McNiel, senior James Kelly and senior Chris Brandt, which tied Evanston for eighth place with a time of 1:26.76.
Junior Mike Hill recorded the Friars' highest finish in the individual events with an eighth-place showing in the 50 free (21.56). Promising sophomore Cavan Smith touched the wall at 51.35 in the 100 butterfly to notch a 12th-place finish. Fenwick also performed well in the relays, finishing sixth in the 200 medley and 12th in the 200 free. The 200 medley quartet of Hill, senior Conor Fabian, Smith and senior Zach Tieke timed out at 1:35.15 for sixth. In the 200 free, Smith, Hill, junior Andrew Bertschy and Tieke took 12th with a time of 1:27.48.
Prior to the state finals, Fenwick saw its streak of 10 consecutive sectional titles snapped by Riverside-Brookfield on Feb. 22. The Bulldogs claimed their first-ever sectional title at Fenwick with 294 points, followed by the Friars (253 points) and OPRF (231 points).