February 24, 2011
Boys swimming | State preview: Kaneland's Grant Alef going solo
February 24, 2011|By Mike Helfgot | Special to the Tribune
Kaneland High School does not have a swimming pool.
"There's a pond," Grant Alef deadpanned, referencing an oft-quoted "Caddyshack" line. "There really is. It's not good, though. Too cold."
No pool means no team. Fortunately for Alef, it doesn't mean no season.
A top club swimmer and multiple YMCA national champion who has been in pools — and occasionally ponds — year-round since he was 5 years old, Alef's high school "season" consists of two meets.
Allowed to qualify for sectionals with certified club-meet times, the Minnesota-bound Alef set a St. Charles North pool record with a 51.73 in the 100-yard backstroke last weekend to qualify for this weekend's state meet with the second-fastest time in Illinois.
The long-distance specialist — he'll swim the 200 backstroke, among other events, in college — also qualified in the 500 freestyle with a 4:40.91. Both times were significantly faster than he had posted in club meets this winter.