McHENRY – The Cary-Grove co-op boys swim team had long since clinched the dual meet victory over McHenry, but Trojans senior captain Ethan Hare came out of the pool frustrated with his final swim of Thursday evening.
Hare and teammate Omid Babakhani have their names on the wall at McHenry West from this same meet last year when they were part of a Cary-Grove co-op team that set pool records in the 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays.
In Thursday's FVC dual, the Trojans were shooting to see how they stacked up against last year's team, which had gone on to state. Hare called re-breaking the record a "lofty goal" but one that could give them a ton of confidence heading into next week's Fox Valley Conference meet and the subsequent sectional.
They came up short in raw time but, for a couple of reasons, didn't leave too frustrated.
"I wouldn't say we're really dissappointed about them," Babakhani said. "We've worked really hard this season, so we're really tired and we reailze we're going into taper soon, that's when we're going to be seeing these big time drops. So, yeah, we're a little sad that we didn't get these times, but we know what's coming up."
The Trojans won the the 200 freestyle relay, as Babakhani, Cameron Castro, Kolin Fadden and Hare swam a 1:31.41; they won the 400 freestyle relay with Connor Dolezal, Fadden, Babakhani and Hare swimming a 3:25.94.
Part of their positivity came from knowing that the pool record last year was broken while wearing FastSkin competition suits. At a recent meet, the Trojans wore those suits and swam a similar time.
"It's all right,. It's about equal with the times we would do last year under those conditions, so I feel fine with that," Hare said.
Despite not breaking their own records, the Trojans won the meet, 118.5-50.5, taking eight of 11 varsity races.
"I feel pretty good about the team," Hare said. "There've been some guys that have been consistently doing very well all year. Some guys went through a bit of a rough patch, but they definitely broke out of it recently. Very happy to see that. I think we're doing good."
C-G co-op also got wins from Peyton Richardson in the 200 freestyle (1:57.27) and 100 backstroke (59.884), Hare in the 50 freestyle (23.0) and 100 freestyle (50.65), Peter Hankins in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.34) and Noah Siegmeier in the 500 freestyle (5:04.91).
"I've been having a pretty rough season so far, so I was kind of waiting for a meet where I could just put all my effort into my races, and I wanted to see how fast I could go for that 500," Siegmeier said. "I kind of just gave it my all and I was happy with my time. It's not my best, but I'm very happy with how I did in that 500 free."
McHenry got wins from Tyler Hemphill in the 200 individual medley (2:14.44) and Riley Hedberg in the 100 butterfly (56.17). The Warriors also won the 200 medley relay with a team of Hedberg, Dylan Qualls, Bryce Williams and Nathan Murrin.
"I feel like I'm at the best of where I could be as of right now, just keep improving times and getting better," Hedberg, the Warriors' only returning state qualifier, said.
Cary-Grove co-op, fr.
Siegmeier won the 500-yard freestyle by almost five seconds with a time of 5:04.91, about a second off his lifetime best. He also placed second in the 100 backstroke (1:01.86) and swam the team's best backstroke split of the year in the 200 medley relay.
8: Wins by C-G co-op out of 11 events.
AND ANOTHER THING ...
It was C-G co-op junior Connor Dolezal's birthday, which meant cupcakes for the team afterward. Unfortunately for Dolezal, it also meant that team captain Ethan Hare smeared one with blue frosting all across his face and newly bleached-for-postseason hair.