February 26, 2009
DeKalb swimmers set for state
By JAMES NOKES - [email protected]
DeKALB – This is a time to exhale.
The DeKalb/Sycamore boys swimming co-op met its goals last week at the St. Charles East Sectional. They ascended the mountain of expectations that come with having just one chance to make it to the IHSA State Meet.
So when David Gordon, Michael Gordon and the 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle relay teams enter the New Trier pool on Friday in Winnetka, there should be minimal pressure on each swimmer to do well.
“We had such a good meet,ý said DeKalb coach Marybeth McGill about the St. Charles East Sectional. “I think we have a renewed confidence because we were anxious going in. We wondered if we could get both relay teams through. We got them through so easily with the pressure on us that I think we could go even further.ý
Senior David Gordon (200 and 500 freestyle) is the highest-seeded DeKalb swimmer. Gordon is seeded seventh in the 500 freestyle and has been to the State Meet in back-to-back years. At St. Charles East, he swam his best 500, dropping five seconds from his previous best.
In the 200 freestyle, David Gordon is seeded 22nd. His brother, Michael Gordon, is 13th in the 200 individual medley and 23rd in the 100-yard butterfly. The 200 IM relay team is seeded 28th and the 400 freestyle team is seeded 22nd.
But McGill doesn’t take too much stock in the seeds. All that matters is getting into the final 12 and moving onto Saturday’s finals. McGill added she believes the each relay team has a high ceiling when it comes to improving their times for the State Meet.
“It doesn’t really matter where you are seeded,ý McGill said. “You can be the 30th seed or the first seed, what matters is you swim the time on Friday.ý
Even though the Barbs have a family-sized team compared to some schools that travel with an entire entourage, McGill believes the momentum and confidence the tight-knit group gained at Sectionals can carry into this weekend.
“After we got the medley team in I thought the 400 team would go downstate,ý McGill said. “The team was just so pumped up. We went in against some pretty good big teams and made them take notice with our performance.ý
“This is probably the best group I’ve had. They’ve been together for a long time. The camaraderie they have is great; they are great teammates and great friends too.ý
Name: David Gordon
This is a special time for our team. They made an announcement at school about us making it to state and the entire team is real excited. I’ve got one practice left and then we head to state. The reality still hasn’t hit me though that this is my last practice at DeKalb. I will still swim club with a lot of my teammates, but I am just so focused right now on putting forth a great effort for my school one last time.
I’m mentally prepared for the meet. I know it is the craziest scene to be a part of; the atmosphere is absolutely electric. I know I need to drop time to get into the top 12. But I have a great taper going on right now. I feel real good.
Last week at St. Charles East was the best I’d felt in the water all year. I swam the best 200 of my career. I guess you could say I saved my best for the right moment. I had an hour to wait for the 500 and then I went out and dropped five seconds.
The real sweet thing is getting to see all the great athletes at the state meet. There are some of the best swimmers in the country there. The athletes there are just freaks of nature. I’m ready for the challenge though and am prepared to represent DeKalb High well.