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DeKalb Chronicle Article about IHSA State Finals

Alef makes history

By ERIC VAN DRIL - [email protected]

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EVANSTON –Grant Alef accomplished a feat no other Kaneland swimmer had ever done in the history of the school during Saturday’s IHSA state final meet. 

He won a swimming medal.

Twenty minutes after a ninth-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle (4:40.78), Alef followed the long-distance race with an eighth-place showing in the 100 backstroke (52.73).

“It’s phenomenal,” Alef said. “It’s the first swimming medal we have ever gotten… And at school, I’ll have my picture in the Kaneland State finalists Hall of Fame.”

But, in a raucous meet that came down to Naperville Central edging Neuqua Valley by two-tenths of a second in the final event of the meet, Alef was by himself. 

“It’s a little lonely,” Alef said. “I know I miss out a little by not having a team, not having a team to train with for four hours over Christmas break. I’m here by myself and my dad’s my coach.

“But it’s cool to see the little tiny school from Maple Park have someone in the consolation final. Hopefully next year it’ll be the championship final.”