Swimming

High school boys swimming: Cary-Grove co-op cruises past McHenry in final FVC dual

Connor Dolezal, Cary-Grove
Connor Dolezal, Cary-Grove

McHENRY – Cary-Grove co-op boys swimming coach Scott Lattyak had a lot of choices to make in his team’s final Fox Valley Conference dual meet against McHenry on Thursday.

Next week, when the Trojans look to defend their FVC Invitational title for the 11th straight year, the second-year coach’s decisions won’t be any easier.

“We’re just looking to see who is going to end up being the ones who are going to step into those roles,” Lattyak said. “We have a very fast team with a lot of swimmers that are very comparable in speed. It’s making those final decisions as to who will move on to conference and also giving everyone a chance. We have to give everybody the opportunity to step up.”

On Thursday, C-G senior Connor Dolezal and Prairie Ridge freshman Hunter Jackson each stepped up for the Trojans, who won nine of 11 events to take a 116-54 victory against McHenry.

C-G co-op, made of swimmers from Cary-Grove, Prairie Ridge, Crystal Lake South and Crystal Lake Central, finished 4-1 in FVC duals this season with the Trojans’ only loss against Jacobs co-op.

Lattyak said times overall were a little slower, but he expected that going into the dual. Only the 200-yard medley relay team of Noah Siegmeier (Prairie Ridge), Jackson, Peyton Richardson (Prairie Ridge) and Cameron Castro (Crystal Lake South) swam a season-best time of 1:43.75

“I know the guys are entering the taper stage, but we’re also pushing hard,” Lattyak said. “We’ve increased the intensity a bit, not necessarily the mileage. I can tell they’re fatigued, hurting. But they’re still able to swim pretty fast considering that. I wasn’t expecting best times today by any means.”

Dolezal finished first in the 200 free (1:52.04) and 500 free (5:09.11). He also anchored C-G’s winning 200 free relay (1:27.71), along with Kolin Fadden (C-G), Nick Gerstbrein (C-G) and Castro, and 400 free relay (3:12.86), along with Fadden, Richardson and Castro.

Perhaps no race demonstrated the Trojans’ closeness in the pool more than the 200 freestyle. Dolezal edged teammate Fadden, 1:52.04 to 1:52.25.

“I felt like I was baiting him a little bit with that first 50 because I was told I could have taken that out a lot faster,” Dolezal said. “It felt good to come back that second 100. Normally, I’m known for going out really quick and then coming back dead, but I swapped it around this time, and I felt like it worked pretty well for me.”

Jackson won the 100 butterfly (58.87) and 100 breaststroke (1:04.29). He said the

butterfly has been his most improved event this season.

“Today in the fly, I felt great off the start,” Jackson said. “When I dove in, I felt fast. I didn’t actually think I was in front of everyone. When I hit that wall, I felt an overwhelming [feeling] of excitement hit me when I looked at the board. I didn’t care what my time was. I was happy I won for my team.”

Richardson won the 200 individual medley (2:05.92) for C-G, and Siegmeier won the 100 backstroke (57.63). Richardson was in the winning 200 medley relay and 400 relay, and Siegmeier was in the 200 medley.

McHenry’s two wins came from junior Riley Hedberg in the 50 free (22.86) and 100 free (49.30). His time in the 50 free was a second off the state qualifying time (21.86). McHenry senior Jonah Smith took second in the 50 (23.13). Fadden was second in the 100 (51.23).

Hedberg qualified as a freshman in the 200 free relay and 400 free relay. He’s made it his goal to qualify for state as an individual.

“I feel like me and Jonah Smith have been close in those races all year long. We’re right there for state times,” Hedberg said. “I’m pushing him, and he’s pushing me. We’re buddies in the pool, but when we’re racing, we’re both as competitive as can be.”

C-G doesn’t have any more meets until the FVC Invitational on Feb. 10. The Trojans know the competition will be as tough as ever.

“Jacobs is definitely pushing us,” Dolezal said. “I love those guys; I love racing against them. I think it’s going to create some awesome competition.”

STAR OF THE MEET

Connor Dolezal

Cary-Grove co-op, sr.

The Cary-Grove senior won the 200 free (1:52.04) and 500 free (5:09.11) and anchored the Trojans’ winning 200 free relay (1:27.71) and 400 free relay (3:12.86).

THE NUMBER

2: Individual events won by Cary-Grove co-op’s Hunter Jackson and McHenry’s Riley Hedberg.

AND ANOTHER THING ...

Cary-Grove co-op enters the Fox Valley Conference Invitational on Feb. 10 having won 10 consecutive conference titles. Trojans coach Scott Lattyak said Jacobs co-op is this year’s favorite on paper.

Cary-Grove co-op 116, McHenry 54

200 medley relay: 1. Cary-Grove co-op (Siegmeier, Jackson, Richardson, Castro) 1:43.75, 2. Cary-Grove co-op (Manley, Hartnett, Zavala, Gerstbrein) 1:48.31, 3. McHenry (Rose, Hemphill, Murrin, Williams) 1:48.51

200 free: 1. Dolezal (CG) 1:52.04, 2. Fadden (CG) 1:52.25, 3. Hemphill (M) 1:56.87

200 IM: 1. Richardson (CG) 2:05.92, 2. Byer (CG) 2:11.26, 3. Qualls (M) 2:12.85

50 free: 1. Hedberg (M) 22.86, 2. Smith (M) 23.13, 3. Castro (CG) 23.32

100 butterfly: 1. Jackson (CG) 58.87, 2. Zavala (CG) 58.93, 3. Hare (CG) 1:01.58

100 free: 1. Hedberg (M) 49.30, 2. Fadden (CG) 51.23, 3. Smith (M) 52.07

500 free: 1. Dolezal (CG) 5:09.11, 2. Seeger (CG) 5:13.41, 3. Byer (CG) 5:16.61

200 free relay: 1. Cary-Grove co-op (Fadden, Gerstbrein, Castro, Dolezal) 1:33.47, 2. Cary-Grove co-op (Hare, Bartczyszyn, Phipps, Seeger) 1:39.28, 3. McHenry (Bromley, Burns, Powell, Druml) 1:50.01

100 backstroke: 1. Siegmeier (CG) 57.63, 2. Manley (CG) 1:01.80, 3. Murrin (M) 1:03.24

100 breaststroke: 1. Jackson (CG) 1:04.29, 2. Hemphill (M) 1:05.89, 3. Qualls (M) 1:07.34

400 free relay: 1. Cary-Grove co-op (Fadden, Richardson, Castro, Dolezal) 3:27.28, 2. McHenry (Hedberg, Murrin, Qualls, Smith) 3:29.76, 3. Cary-Grove co-op (Bartczyszyn, Phipps, Byer, Jackson) 3:42.45

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