Swim relay wins state


Medley relay team posing with their medals after winning the state title at New Trier on Feb. 23 (Donatelli).

Grace DeKoker, Editor-in-Chief

LT boys’ swim have garnered state titles, broken records, and maintained a standard of athletic excellence for the past four years. Going into the 2018-19 season, they were expected to slow down, and lose momentum. Their 200 yard medley relay was expected to just squeak into the top twelve at state.

No one could have predicted that the team of Jack Thorell ‘20, Michael Walsh ‘19. Will Duerr ‘19 and Bryson Breitenbucher ‘20 would swim the seventh-fastest time in state history, capturing a state title in the process.

“For sectionals, we came out and were so hyped up,” Walsh said. “We posted a really fast time there; we all had good splits and were really amped for state. There was a lot of excitement about our relay.”

The relay broke the pool record at York High School at sectionals, with each swimmer going personal best split times. They entered the state meet as the fastest team, Thorell said. The first day of the state meet, swimmers need to place in the top 12 to swim at finals. Only five swimmers from LT qualified to swim the second day of state in varied events, and the 200 medley relay went in as the second fastest team, Walsh said.

“Behind the blocks [on Saturday] I knew our boys had a lot of confidence,” head coach Erin Rodriguez said. “We were swimming with a chip on our shoulder, proving that our good years weren’t over.”

The team was not in the lead initially, Thorell said. It was not until Breitenbucher dove in and was ten yards from the finish that they overtook St. Charles North and Naperville Central, winning the event by 0.12 seconds.

“Our medley was hurt the most by [graduating] seniors last year, so being able to pull this off was absolutely incredible,” Thorell said.

Key seniors like Jeff Vitek ‘18, Henry Claesson ‘18 and Spencer Walker ‘18 left big shoes to fill, Thorell said. More seniors will be graduating this year, but the team remains optimistic that the underclassmen will rise to the occasion.

The team finished in 5th place overall, only 5 points away from placing in the top 3.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Duerr said. “I didn’t want to have any regrets, and I feel as if I did everything right to make this meet go how it did.”

For more in-depth coverage of the boy’s state meet, go to lionnewspaper.com.