Men’s swimming & diving expect to place third at state meet

Ashley Clark

READY, SET, STATE: Diving off the starting blocks, members of the men’s swim and dive team compete fiercely against the New Trier Trevians. The New Trier dual meet on Jan. 23 was the only meet the Titans have lost. The final score was 83.5-102.5.

SOPHIE HENSLEY, staff reporter

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In spite of losing three state qualifiers and key sprinters on the 2014 men’s swimming and diving team, head coach Keith MacDonald acknowledges the depth and power the 2015 team possesses this year.

According to senior captain Jon Salomon, the team holds a special bond that allows for a successful season in the pool.

“I feel like we are a really close team,” Salomon said. “We motivate each other… [and] we also are all really good friends. We hang out [and] we have fun with each other, [which] lightens the mood.”

According to MacDonald, the boys have only lost one dual meet so far this season against New Trier with an overall score of 83.5-102.5. Thus, they have a current conference record of 4-1. Sophomore Sam Iida identifies New Trier’s strength in the water; however, they have a second chance to compete at conference.

“We didn’t lose by much; they have a lot of depth which is key in dual meets because you can use as many people as you want,” Iida said. “I didn’t feel bad losing because we were pretty close.”

Besides New Trier, Evanston has also always been big competition, according to Salomon. On Jan. 16, GBS beat Evanston with a score of 111-75.

“It was a confidence builder,” Salomon said. “[Evanston is] in our conference, so it was good to beat them one- on one. A couple other guys [on our team] had some really good swims… so it was good to go out there and race and win. Some of our other swimmers like Tommy Hagerty and Sam Salganik had some good swims against their top guys, [too].”

Besides the regular dual meets, the boys have additionally competed in three invites, according to MacDonald. The diving side of the team placed first out of seven teams at the New Trier invite on Dec. 13, while the swimming side placed second out of eighteen teams at the Evanston invite on Jan. 10. The boys also swam the Titan Relays on Jan. 17, placing second out of eight teams

“We would’ve won [the Titan Relays], but we [disqualified] a couple relays,” MacDonald said. “The team that won, Metea Valley, is one of the top teams in the state, as are we, so that was a good opportunity for us. […] It’s a little frustrating, […] but ultimately the end of the year is what’s most important to us, so while it wasn’t a great scenario and we weren’t super pleased with it, we just have to move forward.”

In regards to the diving side of the team, they are currently undefeated and are coached by Coach Laura Duffy. Senior captain Aaron Ach attributes most of the team’s success to Duffy in regards to her coaching style.

“I really couldn’t have gotten luckier in terms of coaching during the school season,” Ach said. “She hasn’t just taught us a lot about ourselves and about life… mechanically, she just has a variety of ways of explaining the same thing, and she’ll explain until it clicks, and when it clicks, that’s when you learn why you love the sport so much. I have a renewed appreciation for her. ”

Ach anticipates that although the tension rises dramatically towards the end of the season, he and his teammate will accomplish great things at the state meet.

“[In diving,] the max number of qualifiers for state is two [people],” Ach said. “It’s a very, very high pressured meet and you’re competing against 47 of the other best divers in the state and there’s a whole lot that can happen [during the State meet] and a whole lot you have to prepare yourself mentally [for].”

Ach, Salomon, and the rest of the Swimming & Diving team hope to win a trophy at the upcoming state meet on Feb. 27 at New Trier.

“Our goal is to get a trophy, which is top three [in the state], and we’re on a pretty good track so far, so hopefully everything goes well,” Salomon said.

The next time the boys compete in the pool will be at the CSL Conference meet at Evanston on Feb.14.

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