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Boys' swim and dive sends three to state meet

Junior Isaac Ginnodo races during the 100 yard butterfly at the Glenbrook North sectional meet last Saturday. The Knights were able to qualify three individuals to the state meet. (photo by Molly Mueller)
Junior Isaac Ginnodo races during the 100 yard butterfly at the Glenbrook North sectional meet last Saturday. The Knights were able to qualify three individuals to the state meet. (photo by Molly Mueller)

By Molly Mueller
Executive Online Sports Editor 
Right before senior Sam Gabriel jumped into the pool for the final heat of the 100 yard backstroke at the Glenbrook North sectional Sat. Feb. 21, Ryan Smith from Deerfield High School whipped out a 52.49 in the previous heat, about a second faster than Gabriel had ever swam. To counter Smith’s top time, Gabriel dropped 1.51 seconds to go from a 53.31 swim to a winning time of 51.80 seconds.
“That certainly scared me because I was a little afraid of winning the final heat and looking up and seeing that I didn’t win the whole thing,” Gabriel said. “So it certainly gave me that little extra boost.”
Along with being named sectional champion, Gabriel qualified for the state meet in the 100 yard backstroke and just nearly missed qualifying in the 50 yard freestyle by .39 seconds even with a 5th place finish.
Joining Gabriel at the state meet will be senior Stephen Schmit and sophomore Anthony Liva, who dove a 404.70 and 396.50, respectively, in the 11 dive event.
According to head swim coach Alfonso Lopez, overall the sectional meet this year was a success, especially compared to last year.
“Last sectionals we kind of just stuck at our times,” Lopez said. “We didn’t have the drops we wanted and it was not a good feeling. But today, minus a few swims that swam to time, we were just dropping time all over the place. So it’s good. It’s good because the kids feel like the taper, the drop, the work they put in payed off in the end. And for me as a coach, it’s always nice to know that I put them in the right position to succeed.”
The team’s hard did pay off with the 200 yard medley relay of Gabriel, junior Isaac Ginnodo, senior Michael Morikado and senior Tyler Culliton placing 5th with a time of 1:38.37, dropping 3.69 seconds to miss the state cut by .42 seconds and the school record by .02 seconds.
“I’m very proud of how everyone did,” Morikado said. “In almost every event, everyone had a lot of big time drops.”
As a team, the Knights dropped 46.11 seconds with the biggest drop coming from junior Jack Gabriel during the 500 yard freestyle. Jack went from a 5:20.68 to a 5:03.58 to drop 17.1 seconds.
Both Lopez and Sam hope to use this positive mentality heading into the state meet this Friday and Saturday.
“I can be happy with how I swam,” Sam said. “But I can’t be content. I know I can go faster. I want to go faster and I just have to get into the right mindset again.”
 

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