WINNETKA – Woodstock North co-op’s Quinn Cynor missed qualifying for the finals at last year’s IHSA Boys Swimming State Meet but wasn’t discouraged by the results, knowing he had three more chances and a whole offseason to get faster.
On Friday, the Woodstock sophomore advanced in not one but two individual events at New Trier with a top-12 finish. Cynor placed sixth in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:40.67 and eighth in the 100 backstroke with a 51.17.
No matter where he finishes Saturday, Cynor is set to become the first Woodstock North co-op swimmer to medal since Brenden Dougherty and Brian Spittler in 2006. Cynor is guaranteed a top-six finish in the 200 free. He’ll swim in the consolation finals in the 100 backstroke.
Loyola’s Luke Maurer won the 200 free (1:36.45), and Glenbrook North’s Ryan Purdy was first in the 100 backstroke (48.92).
“I feel really good about where I am,” Cynor said. “My 100 back will be improved tomorrow, but other than that, I did what I had to do.”
Cynor was named last season’s Northwest Herald Boys Swimmer of the Year as a freshman after he swam in the 500 free and 100 butterfly preliminaries, taking 22nd and 34th, respectively.
Cynor tapered his workouts before sectionals last season, not knowing if he would make state times. He was confident in his times this year and did not taper until after sectionals, a move that paid off with a pair of top-12 finishes Friday.
“Now I know I can just swim my heart out, knowing that I haven’t rested for any other meet,” Cynor said.
Woodstock North co-op coach Ian Shanahan said Cynor worked tirelessly in the pool after missing the finals last year.
“His goal was to make it to Saturday,” Shanahan said. “He’s swimming with a lot of confidence. Nothing really surprises me anymore. We had to shave and taper at sectionals last year just to be here. He was able to go faster, which is always nice. A lot of kids come here and go slower.”
Cynor is excited for the opportunity to improve on his final place in the 200 free.
“The energy here is really up there, as opposed to any other meet I’ve been to,” Cynor said. “[Saturday] I’m just looking to swim fast and have fun. I’m only a sophomore, and I got two more years. In the 200 free, I have no pressure being No. 6.”
Cynor was the only local swimmer a year ago to qualify for state in an individual event. This season, he was one of six.
Cary-Grove co-op, which is comprised of swimmers from all four of the District 155 schools – Cary-Grove, Crystal Lake Central, Crystal Lake South and Prairie Ridge – did not qualify anyone to Saturday’s finals.
Peyton Richardson, a junior at Prairie Ridge, took 26th in the 200 individual medley (1:57.17) and 38th in the 100 butterfly (52.59). Ben Castro, a freshman at Crystal Lake Central, placed 34th in the 100 backstroke (54.11) and 41st in the 100 butterfly (52.75).
Kolin Fadden, a senior at C-G, was 43rd in the 50 free (21.97). Finally, the Trojans’ 200 medley relay team of Ben Castro, Cole Seeger (C-G, jr.), Richardson and Cameron Castro (Crystal Lake South, sr.) finished 29th out of 33 teams with a time of 1:38.42.
Fadden and Cameron Castro served as captains this season.
“Looking at the future for this team, I only feel like we’re going to get bigger and better,” Cameron Castro said. “It’s really cool to see the freshmen and sophomores qualify for state. Being able to imagine what these guys might be like as seniors, I’ll almost definitely be coming back to watch them.”
Trojans coach Scott Lattyak is equally excited about the future.
“You look at it as great experience for them, so next time the nerves aren’t going to be there, and they know what to expect,” Lattyak said. “The first year is kind of working out the kinks. The second year we hope to come back and make a little more damage here.”
Huntley senior Dillon Cherwin was 20th in the 200 IM with a time of 1:56.09, and Jacobs co-op’s Vince Chiappetta, a sophomore at Jacobs, took 33rd in the 500 free with a time of 4:46.49. Both were making their state debuts.