State swimming starts Friday
Friday marks the first day of the two-day IHSA Boys Swimming State Finals and five area swimmers from three teams will make the trip to Evanston.
Jacobs co-op and McHenry will each send two swimmers while Cary-Grove co-op will send one. Friday's preliminary round begins at 3:30 p.m. The top 12 swimmers will advance to Saturday's finals, which begin at 1 p.m.
Below is an overview of the area's five state qualifiers.
Jacobs co-op: Alex Reinbrecht - 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle. Francis Ogaban - 100 backstroke.
Reinbrecht: The senior distance swimmer will be competing in two individual events during his fourth state meet Friday.
He is coming off hisbest season. He didn't lose an individual distance race all season. During the Stevenson Sectional, the senior swam a personal-best time in the 200-yard freestyle (1:41.84). His time was the second-fastest in the state, just .33 behind Glenwood senior Stuart Hohm. Similarly, Reinbrecht had the second-fastest qualifying time in the 500 freestyle, another personal-best time, just a little less than two seconds behind Normal junior Jake Miller.
Ogaban: The sophomore will be swimming the 100 backstroke in his first state meet Friday. He barely missed the 100 freestyle state cut at the Stevenson Sectional but later swam his fastest backstroke time.
Over the past two weeks, spanning the Fox Valley Conference Invitational and sectionals, Ogaban has gotten faster in the event over the past two weeks and finds himself in the middle of the field with a 53.68. The leader in the event is Libertyville senior Alex Snarski who qualified with a 49.55
Cary-Grove co-op: Adam Eibel - 100 breaststroke.
Eibel: The Crystal Lake South senior swam at last season's state meet at New Trier as part of the Trojans' 200 medley relay, swimming the breaststroke. This season, Eibel will swim as an individual on Friday in the 100 breaststroke.
He swam he fastest time of his career at the Stevenson Sectional. Eibel went under the one-minute mark (59.98) for the first time in his career and his excited to qualify in his final season.
"When I would think about where I would be at the end of the season," Eibel said, "I always envisioned myself swimming at state."
His time puts him almost directly in the middle of the field and is a strong racer who thrives on swimming with good competition which he will see Friday. The top qualifier in the event is Metea Valley junior Jordan O'Brien who swam a 56.31 last week.
McHenry: Kevin Braun - 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle. Trey Schopen - 200 freestyle.
Braun: The sophomore is the area's top sprinter and will swim two individual events in his first state meet Friday after qualifying in both sprint events. His qualifying 50 freestyle time of 21.81 puts him in the bottom third of the other qualifiers but since the race is so short, the times are very closely lumped.
Braun's top event, the 100 freestyle, is where he has excelled over the past two weeks. During the Stevenson Sectional Braun finished in a personal-best 47.65. The top qualifier in the 100 freestyle is Mossimo Chavez, a junior from Whitney Young, who qualified in 45.59.
Schopen: The McHenry sophomore can do it all. He is a fantastic off-stroker and mid-distance swimmer. He was a key piece for the Warriors this season, giving depth to relays and earning individual wins. He swam faster than the qualifying time in both the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly but was disqualified in the butterfly after a false start.
Schopen qualified in the 200 freestyle with a personal-best time of 1:44.25 and has been getting faster over the past month. His time puts him in the middle of the field.