After a successful second place finish in the Central Suburban League North Division Meet Feb. 11, it will be all about the individuals today for the Deerfield High School swimmers at the Glenbrook North Sectional Meet in Northbrook.
The Warriors will be trying to place as many individuals and relay teams in the State Meet Feb. 24 and 25 in Evanston as possible. Some swimmers have already met the qualifying standards and others are on the cusp.
During the league competition, Coach John Sullivan arranged a lineup to produce the largest amount of team points at the expense of some potential personal performances. This time it will be about letting the individuals shine.
“In the conference it’s all about the team,” Sullivan said. “Now it’s about the individuals, trying to get as many people to State as possible.” The winner of each event and those swimming the required standard set by the Illinois High School Association make the cut.
At the league meet, Mark Stern was asked to swim the 100-yard butterfly, rest for a race and then compete in the 500 freestyle. “We needed the points and he never questioned it,” Sullivan said. That will not be the case at Sectionals.
Saturday Stern will swimming butterfly both as an individual and part of the 200 medley relay team in an effort to reach the State Finals. There will be no 500 freestyle.
Swimmer Kevin Ewing and diver Sean Scarry are the two most likely Warriors to swim a week from today in Evanston. Swimmers Stern and Chris Roberts along with diver Ryan Church have a state berth within their grasp.
Ewing will compete in the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke. He set league and Deerfield pool records a week ago in both events easily bettering the qualifying standard for the State Meet.
Roberts, who needs just a slightly better swim than he has had this season to reach the State Meet in the 50 and 100 freestyle, knows what he has to do to shave a few tenths of a second off his time.
“I have to hit my turns, especially in the 50,” Roberts said. “It’s really important to me.” His winning time in the league meet was 22.1 and he must swim 21.98 to reach Evanston. “I’ll do it at Sectional.”
According to Sullivan, the team’s best hope of putting a relay in the State Meet is the 200 medley relay quartet of Ewing (backstroke), Roberts (freestyle), Stern (butterfly) and Dan Perlovsky (breaststroke).
The foursome has been close to the 1:38.88 qualifying time and knows teamwork and proper expectation will make the difference.
“We have to concentrate on our exchanges,” Ewing said. “A good exchange is worth three tenths (of a second) and a bad one can cost you five tenths (or disqualification). There is no time during the race to watch a teammate touch the wall. Anticipation is the key.
“We get synched up,” Roberts said. “We know when they should touch and are in synch with that.”
Like swimming, the winning diver advances to the State Finals but the rest of the field will come from the 32 best Sectional scores posted around Illinois Saturday. Scarry’s performances are near the top of those in Illinois this year while Church will be in the thick of the competition for a slot, according to Sullivan.
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