The Oracle

Men’s swimming looks to succeed in post-season

STARTING SHECHTMAN:  Preparing to take his mark, junior Nick Shechtman (foreground) listens for the offical to start the event at Titan Relays on Jan. 14. GBS came in first out of eight teams at Titan Relays, an invite South hosts every year where some non-traditional events, such as the 200 yard breaststroke relay, are included.

Yoon Kim

STARTING SHECHTMAN: Preparing to take his mark, junior Nick Shechtman (foreground) listens for the offical to start the event at Titan Relays on Jan. 14. GBS came in first out of eight teams at Titan Relays, an invite South hosts every year where some non-traditional events, such as the 200 yard breaststroke relay, are included.

Henry Schleizer, Staff Reporter

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Contending for a state championship has been an aspiration in the past for the men’s swim team; however, this year, the Titans not only have a good shot to contend, but a shot to win the State title, according to senior Bryan Lee. Lee says that with the Titans’ strong leadership, character and attitude, the Titans believe that a shot at a State Championship is as close as ever, according to Lee.

The Titans have been, acording to Lee, performing better than they expected.

“I think this season has exceeded our expectations,” Lee said. “I believe that we are having a special season right now. We are ranked fifth in the state, we moved up from sixth to fifth, so that’s really good.”

The Titans have done what they needed to do in practice and the off season in order to succeed, according to senior Sam Iida.

“We are beating, setting and doing times that we didn’t know we could do at this time of the season,” Iida stated. “It’s all just from the work we do. The whole team does offseason, and we get what we expect and then some, so this is not at all surprising. We are just looking to kill it at Sectionals and State.”

Head coach Keith MacDonald says that although the Titans have exceeded expectations, the team still has some work to do.

“We still have a ways to go,” Macdonald said. “The end of the season is the most important, [and] to this point we’ve had a lot of fun and the senior class has done really well and has met expectations [up] to this point.”

In order for the Titans to reach their goals at State and Sectionals, the men will have to do well on their relays, according to MacDonald.

“A lot of our success depends on our relays,” MacDonald said. “Our relays are potentially very strong. If we swim well in our relays at the end of the year, we will be able to at least meet our expectations, which are pretty high.”

According to Iida, the Titans’ success within the Conference has given them the confidence that they need to do well in the later part of the season.

“There is one really good in Conference opponent and that’s New Trier,” Iida said. “It’s really just us and New Trier.”

The Titans’ success in competitive, high stakes meets has helped them race with more poise, according to Iida.

“At the New Trier meet we won all three relays, which was outstanding considering that they have the best track record in Illinois swimming,” Iida stated. “There were some [events at] the Evanston invite which we got third at, [but] that was right after a lot of hard training, and we came back pretty well, and we really showed ourselves what we could do, and that was pretty nice.”

The Titans started off the season on a high note, and started off on the right foot, according to MacDonald.

“The first meet of the year was fun, it was the Deerfield Invitational,” MacDonald said. “At the end of the meet we tied New Trier and we had a relay tie breaker and we beat New Trier in that, so that was fun for us.”

According to Iida, a key component to the Titans’ strong racing has been the loose, calm atmosphere at practice.

“We work really hard, but we mess around a lot,” Iida said. “It’s all about being loose, if we are uptight we’re not going to swim fast, if we’re stressed out we’re not going to swim fast, if we’re worried about something we’re not going to swim fast. We just create an atmosphere where we do whatever we need to do in order to swim fast and just work hard.”

The Titans have had a season that has set them up for success, according to Iida. The Titans capped off their regular season with a win against Evanston on senior night by a score of 109-77; Iida  also set a school record for the 100 yard backstroke with a time of 50.48. The Titans will start their post-season at the CSL Conference meet on Feb. 11.

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Men’s swimming looks to succeed in post-season