DeKalb Chronicle Article about DCST HS Boy Swimmers

Sectional goes well for DeKalb swimmers

By ERIC VAN DRIL - [email protected]

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ST. CHARLES – Heading into Saturday afternoon’s boys swimming sectional, head coach Leah Eames and the DeKalb/Sycamore boys swimming team had one goal: Qualify as many people as possible for next weekend’s state meet.

The team did that, sending Michael Gordon, Chad Thompson and Kei Ishimaru to next weekend's state meet in individual events. Thompson finished fifth in the 200 freestyle, while Ishimaru placed third in the 100 butterfly. DeKalb will also send their 400 freestyle relay, which finished second and consists of Gordon, Thompson, Ishimaru and Cory Page.

But after the meet’s first event began, the Barbs' suddenly showed Eames they weren't content with just qualifying for state. They wanted to win events and beat swimmers from several swim programs steep in tradition.

“Overall, it was definitely an ‘A’,” Eames said of the Barbs’ performance on Saturday. “One of our main goals coming into today was to send as many individuals and relays to state as we could. And we accomplished just about every single one of the ones that we were aiming to get, which was awesome.”

DeKalb had a number of highlights throughout the day – including a pair of individual-event victories by Gordon in the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke – but the most shocking moment was when DeKalb's 200 medley relay team dropped their year-best time by over three seconds to take the sectional’s first event. The team won with a time of 1:38.31.

“We were seeded over a second behind coming into sectionals and it was a shock to drop that much,” Eames said. “We weren’t expecting to take that first relay at all. We were hoping we’d be able to drop coming into sectionals, but both Chad (Thompson) and Michael (Gordon) weren’t really rested for this meet.”

Gordon also set a school record in the breaststroke, which he finished in 1:00.07

Despite a lack of rest, DeKalb managed to finish sixth in a sectional made up of several strong swimming programs, including Wheaton Warrenville South (the winner of the sectional with 198 points), Marmion, St. Charles East and St. Charles North. The Barbs scored 153 total points, a particularly impressive number considering DeKalb doesn’t have a diving program.

Most impressive, however, is that DeKalb seemed to earn a sixth-place finish through sheer determination.

“These guys weren’t rested for this meet,” Eames said. “They’re tired. Their legs and their arms hurt, but it was just the adrenaline and their endurance. They swam really fast and I wasn’t expecting those times to come out today.”

Grant Alef, the sole swimmer representing Kaneland, qualified for Friday’s state meet in two events. He finished second overall in the 500 freestyle and third overall in the 100 backstroke.