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DeKalb Chronicle Article About DCST Swimmers in IHSA State Prelims

Gordon, Alef advance to swimming finals

By ERIC VAN DRIL - sports@daily-chronicle.com

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WINNETKA – Before this weekend’s state meet, DeKalb-Sycamore co-op swimmer Michael Gordon had swam in the state meet on two occasions, but failed to finish in the top-12 – the cutoff for qualifying for Saturday’s finals – in all his races.

That changed Friday when Gordon finished fifth in the 100-yard breaststroke, earning a berth in today’s Championship Qualifier.

“It was my last chance [to qualify for finals] as a senior, my last race,” said Gordon of his 57.79-second swim. “I really wanted to get in and make it back for tomorrow.

“Going into the race, I was looking to get a top-12 and just get a best time. Obviously, I did a little bit more than that. I’m very happy with it.”

By advancing, Gordon has a chance to win the state title. But with Neuqua Valley’s Kevin Cordes (54.0) setting the state record and Peoria Richwoods’ Matt Elliott (53.87) taking back his 2010 state record in the next heat, Gordon knows he’s up against stiff competition.

“They’re out ahead of the pack,” said Gordon of Cordes and Elliott. “Hopefully I can move up – a third or fourth would be great. I’m just really excited to make finals.”

Gordon swam four races Friday. He narrowly missed out on the finals in the 200 IM with a 15th-place finish (1:55.5). He also participated in DeKalb’s 200 medley relay, which finished 22nd, and the Barbs’ 17th-place finish in the 200 freestyle relay.

Kei Ishimaru was the only other DeKalb swimmer to compete individually. The junior placed 14th in the 100 butterfly, only one-tenth of a second away from 12th place. Ishimaru also finished in 24th in the 200 IM (1:57.45).

Like Gordon, Kaneland’s Grant Alef narrowly missed out on qualifying in one event – a 13th-place finish in the 500 freestyle (4:40.29) – but qualified for the finals in the 100 backstroke. The Minnesota signee finished in sixth place with a time of 51.42.

“I’m very pleased with it,” Alef said. “It’s the second-fastest backstroke I’ve ever done. I got in the finals and tomorrow should be even better.”