Swimming Insider: C-G co-op's Robak athlete of week

Cary-Grove co-op's Mitch Robak
Cary-Grove co-op's Mitch Robak

Athlete of the Week

Mitch Robak

Cary-Grove co-op, jr.

Robak won two individual events and swam the backstroke leg on the winning 200-yard medley relay during his team's last dual meet of the season, an 88-82 win over McHenry on Feb. 6. 

During the meet, the junior almost set a Prairie Ridge school record when he finished his 200 individual medley in 2:08.88. The school record is 2:08.00.

While the athletes compete on a co-op team, Prairie Ridge and Crystal Lake South still keep individual school records.

"He's right there," Trojans coach Rick Schaefer said. "I know it's something he wants."


Conference look: The Fox Valley Conference meet is Saturday at Woodstock North. The conference has been remarkably even this season with each team featuring different strengths that should make for a close meet.

Cary-Grove co-op has the most depth in the area which has helped them to an undefeated record in dual meets despite not having a clear No. 1 swimmer.

"We have a good chance at winning conference," Trojans coach Rick Schaefer said, "but we probably won't win an event."

McHenry has lots of speed at several sprints and mid-distance events and should win a handful while Huntley has the edge in relays and some off-stroke events like the breaststroke with sophomore John Cazel leading the way.

For Warriors sophomores Trey Schopen and Kevin Braun, the conference meet will be used as one last tuneup before they begin tapering for sectionals. Schopen has talked about goal times he wants to hit by Saturday's meet to put him in a good position to qualify for state while Braun sits just a half-second off the qualifying time in the 50 freestyle.

Jacobs co-op distance swimmer Alex Reinbrecht, already a three-time state qualifier, plans to continue training through conference and up until next weekend's sectionals before he winds down his training. He can afford to swim these important meets not rested after swimming times right around the state qualifying standard all season.

The senior has yet to lose a distance race this season and figures to be the favorite the next two weeks.

Woodstock co-op had a strong showing during their last hosted invitational, the Mary Landa Invite, and hope to improve on times. Liam DeWane is the team's top swimmer and has a shot at placing in his two events.

This week's top meet

Fox Valley Conference Meet, 11 a.m. Saturday at Woodstock North

While area teams go head-to-head for the conference title, intriguing swims between teammates will emerge. Teams can only send the top two swimmers in each event to the Feb. 22 sectional meet so some swimmers will be swimming with their season on the line.

The races between teammates for second and third will be exciting.

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