Boys Swimming: State’s ‘big stage’ beckons area standouts
By Tim Tierney For Sun-Times Media February 20, 2013 10:14PM
Jake Pearson, of Lincoln-Way North. | Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Swimming & Diving
When: Diving preliminaries and semifinals, 9 a.m. Friday; swimming preliminaries, 3:30 p.m. Friday; swimming and diving finals, 1 p.m. Saturday
Where: New Trier High School,
385 Winnetka Ave., Winnetka
Diving: Joe Cifelli, Marian Catholic (501.25); Tyler Pastore, Lockport (494.80); Jake Voltarel, Lockport (458.20); Dominic Senese, Stagg (435.80); Dean Boures, Sandburg (429.45); Kasjusz Kordylewicz, Stagg (424.15); Ryan Kojder, Lincoln-Way Central (419.25).
200 Medley Relay: Lincoln-Way North (1:36.47); Lincoln-Way East (1:38.08); Lockport (1:38.13).
200 Freestyle: Jake Pearson, Lincoln-Way North (1:42.82); Kyle Fitzgerald, Andrew (1:43.33); Trevor Winans, Sandburg (1:43.85); Dan Oldendorf, Lockport (1:44.24).
200 Individual Medley: Mitch Strahlman, Brother Rice (1:55.91); David Apps, Sandburg (1:56.60); Kevin Kuchta, H-F (1:57.07).
50 Freestyle: Tony Mikrut, Lincoln-Way North (21.71); Mike O’Malley, Sandburg (21.99).
100 Butterfly: Tony Mikrut, Lincoln-Way North (51.76); Zack Amendola, Stagg (52.66).
100 Freestyle: Kyle Fitzgerald, Andrew (47.45); Jake Knowles, Lockport (47.82).
500 Freestyle: Jake Pearson, Lincoln-Way North (4:40.06); Mitch Strahlman, Brother Rice (4:40.94); Trevor Winans, Sandburg (4:43.77).
200 Free Relay: Sandburg (1:26.80); Lockport (1:27.62); Andrew (1:28.62).
100 Backstroke: Cody Moris, Lincoln-Way Central (51.94); Zack Amendola, Stagg (53.06); Evan Surma, Lincoln-Way North (53.63).
100 Breaststroke: Jake Knowles, Lockport (58.94); Harlan Long, Stagg (59.45); James Ryan, Brother Rice (59.50); Andy Gramont, Lincoln-Way East (1:00.40); Kevin Kuchta, H-F (1:00.44).
400 Free Relay: Andrew (3:11.94); Sandburg (3:12.13); Lincoln-Way North (3:12.72).
Updated: March 22, 2013 10:28AM
The curtain is about to go up, and Lincoln-Way North’s Jake Pearson says he knows all of his lines.
“Conference and sectionals was kind of like practice for state, the big stage,” the senior standout said.
For swimmers from Lincoln-Way North, Sandburg, Andrew and other schools in the Southland, the “big stage” is the state swimming meet that unfolds Friday and Saturday at New Trier.
“My goal this whole season has been to medal at state,” Pearson said of finishing among the top 12 in order to earn a medal and All-State status.
Pearson’s sectional times rank among the top 15 in the 200-yard freestyle (1 minute, 42.82 seconds) and 500 free (4:40.06). Teammate Tony Mikrut will chase points in the 50 free and 100 butterfly. Both of them will join Evan Surma and Anthony Burt on the medley relay (1:36.47) that could crack the top 12.
“Our medley relay has always been something I wanted to do good in all year,” North coach Pat Shaughnessy said.
Sandburg graduated a lot of talent from the team that tied Hinsdale Central for fourth place at the 2012 state meet, but the Eagles aren’t without scoring potential this year.
Sandburg’s 200 free relay, Trevor Winans (200 free), David Apps (200 individual medley) and diver Dean Boures could be busy at New Trier.
One of the state’s most promising divers is Marian Catholic sophomore Joe Cifelli, who finished 10th last year and ranks third (501.25) going into this meet.
Another top individual is Brother Rice junior Mitch Strahlman, who ranks 10th in the 200 individual medley (1:55.91).
A young Andrew team has some point potential, led by the 400 free relay of Kyle Fitzgerald, Michael Tamulonis, Zach Rentner and Rick Osty that ended the Lincoln-Way North Sectional with a pool record (3:11.94).
The trip to the meet will be a little more crowded this season for Lockport. Along with returning qualifiers Jake Knowles, Dan Oldendorf and diver Tyler Pastore, the Porters also advanced their 200 medley and 200 free relays.
“It gives some kids who weren’t able to qualify as an individual to still have the opportunity to participate in the state meet, which is the ultimate goal,” Lockport coach Grant Ferkaluk said of the two relays.
Earlier this season, Lincoln-Way Central sophomore Cody Moris said he wants to do more than just qualify for the state meet during his high school career.
“I’d like to place at state, come in the top six, make the finals,” said Moris, who earned a second straight sectional title in the backstroke last week. His time of 51.94 ranks 13th going into the state meet.
Homewood-Flossmoor senior Kevin Kuchta, a three-time sectional champion in the IM, knows what it takes just to advance to the state meet.
“You could slip on the block, leave early, not get a good touch off the wall,” Kuchta said.
Now it’s time to perform on the “big stage.”