Testing the waters

Boys Swim and Dive wades into a new season

Photo+by+Matthew+Niemczyk.

Photo by Matthew Niemczyk.

Justin Peabody, Features Reporter

Having finished their first two weeks of practice, the boys’ swim and dive team is gaining momentum after winning their first meet against Conant on Friday night on both the Frosh/Soph and Varsity levels.

Coming off this victory, Head Swim and Dive Coach Alfonso Lopez feels optimistic about the team’s progress thus far, especially considering the historic achievements made by last year’s senior athletes.

Not only did the team win last season’s MSL East division, they also placed 2nd to Barrington in the MSL Conference meet, their best overall finish since 1978. Six events moved on to the state meet, one of which earned the first state medal since 2002.

The team has made it to state for four consecutive years, so Lopez aspires to continue this streak to inspire the younger athletes on the team.

“You always want to shoot high, aim high, and make sure the next generation knows that they can try to uphold that and not just be like, ‘Well, that group is very fast, but we can’t do that,’” Lopez said.

This year’s team, which is 48 athletes strong, mostly consists of freshmen and sophomores, but Lopez believes there is enough ability to make it another state-qualifying season.

In the meantime, however, Lopez is primarily focused on helping athletes attain faster times and cleaning up technique rather than winning meets. Friday’s Conant meet mostly served as a placement check so the athletes have a threshold to improve on.

Lopez looks forward to seeing what the younger athletes can accomplish and how the varsity athletes continue to make gains.

“Expectations are very open. We don’t really know what we’re going to do, and that’s kind of fun…there’s not a lot of pressure of, like, this is where you have to be, it’s (a matter of) where can we get to,” Lopez said.

Lopez and the athletes are preparing for their next meet against Rolling Meadows next Friday.