Boys Swimming: New Trier dominates sectional2/18/12. Winnetka. Loyola's Ben Pasquesi swims the 200 Freestyle at the New Trier Sectional. | Tracy Allen~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 18, 2012 6:26PM
New Trier is in its 100th season of boys swimming, and the Trevians are hoping to celebrate their centennial by repeating as IHSA state champions next week.
Favorites for the crown all season, New Trier looked like champions-elect Saturday as they cruised to victory in the sectional, which they hosted.
The Trevians qualified 17 individuals and three relays for next weeks state meet, which will be hosted by Evanston. Two New Trier swimmers qualified in each individual swimming event. The team is still waiting to find out if it qualified a second diver.
“It did (go according to plan). We took some chances here and there, and the guys came through,” Trevians head coach Mark Onstott said. “Nobody shaved and tapered and all the swimmers got through. We kind of have to wait on our second diver. It was a great day. Everybody did what they needed to do.”
Individual winners for NT were: senior diver Jordan Sacks (530.95), senior Sam Skinner in the 200 freestyle (1:42.75), junior Reed Malone in the 200 IM (1:53.81) and 500 free (4:35.39), junior Jack Mangan in the 100 backstroke (51.18) and senior Max Grodecki in the 50 free (21.19) and the 100 fee (46.81). Grodecki is the defending state champ in the latter race.
The Trevians also won all three relays.
Although the Winnetka team enters next week’s State Meet as heavy favorites, Onstott said he has reminded his swimmers that nothing is guaranteed. Just two seasons ago, the Trevs had similar expectations, only to finish third, five points behind champion Naperville Central.
“That’s been something we thought about last year, and it’s still on our minds,” Onstott said. “At the end of the day, we can’t just show up and expect it to go our way. We have to make it happen. These are a bunch of guys who are ready to do that. They are ready to go in there next week and do their jobs and contribute to the team.”
Another notable story entering the sectional was that Loyola junior Andrew Jovanovic, the defending state champion in the 50 free and 100 butterfly, had chosen to forgo one individual event in order to swim three relays, all of which were expected to reach State.
The plot took an unexpected turn however, when Loyola’s 200 free relay team finished fourth (1:28.58), slightly off the qualifying time of 1:28.39.
Jovanovic did win the 100 fly (51.29) and was part of the qualifying 200 medley relay and 400 free relay teams.
“I don’t want to talk about (the 200 free relay),” Loyola head coach Mike Hengelmann said. “We just have to swim faster (in that race). But we did some good things today.”
One of the highlights for Loyola was the performance of senior diver Michael Nash, who finished second (508.65) and broke a 30-year school record. The Ramblers (169 points) finished fourth at the meet.
Evanston was second overall (260.00). The Wildkits qualified 11 individuals, all three relays and expect to have both their divers reach State.
Wildkits senior Wesley Marberry had the top time in the 100 breaststroke (59.41), despite not swimming in the fastest heat. Though, his nearly-four-second time drop had not been unexpected.
“(All our swimmers) knew they were going to be close (to qualifying). I said to them ‘It’s going to come down to, a good touch, good turn and a lot of heart,’ Evanston head coach Kevin Auger said. “Obviously they showed a lot of heart today.”
Niles North finished fourth (190.50) continuing its recent rise. The Vikings qualified six swimmers and three relays. Juniors Javed Avdic and Karol Mlynarski each qualified on two individual events and two relays.
Highland Park came in fifth (97.00), qualifying senior Jake Zuckerman in the 50 free (5th, 21.79) and the 200 medley relay.
Chicago Waldorf senior Keven Henley qualified in the 100 free (seventh, 48.18) and the 100 backstroke (4th, 54.40).