Glenbrook South varsity boys swimming coach Keith MacDonald did not have to deliver a pep talk at any point at last weekend’s Central Suburban League South Meet inside the home natatorium.
The program’s JV squad did — without having to say a word.
“Having [the JVers] here, competing on the same day with us, brought a lot of energy on deck,” MacDonald said on Feb. 10. “It helped; it got us going.
“We rallied around that and the guys [who had tapered for the meet].”
In previous seasons on CSL South Swimming and Diving Meet weekend, JV competitors raced and plunged on Friday, and the varsity members competed on Saturday.
MacDonald’s young varsity team finished runner-up (316.5 points) to New Trier (479) at the six-team gathering. More than a few Titans underclassmen stood out for the parent club, with freshman Quinn Loughran touching first in the 100-yard butterfly (52.12) and joining three sophomores (Elliot Chen, Kevin Becker and Adam Zuiker) to take runner-up honors in the 400 freestyle relay (3:16.25).
Max Iida, another Glenbrook South freshman, silvered in the 100 breaststroke (59.67) and bronzed in the 200 IM (1:57.64). Titans sophomore Mike Hadjiivanov entered the water in the 100 free race as a No. 3 seed and finished second with a time of 48.6.
“Our seniors aren’t our best swimmers,” MacDonald said. “But they’ve accepted and embraced their roles as leaders; that’s probably what I like most about our team this year.”
Zuiker, GBS sophomore Matt Dale and Hadjiivanov finished 3-4-5 in the 100 backstroke with respective times of 54.11, 54.82 and 55.42.
Dale was tapered for the meet and got slotted in the penultimate heat of the event with a seed time of 57.69.
“Tremendous swim,” MacDonald said of Dale’s nearly three-second time drop.
South’s other top-six performances at the division meet: 200 medley relay (third, 1:40.19 — Dale, Iida, Loughran and junior Zac Spalding); Chen (fourth, 200 free, 1:45.99); 200 free relay (fourth, 1:29.39 — Hadjiivanov, Iida, senior Nick Shechtman and Chen); junior Cameron Schulte (fourth, 100 breaststroke, 1:01.61); Zuiker (fifth-place tie, 100 fly, 53.51); Becker (sixth, 200 free, 1:47.58); junior Anthony Kang (sixth, 200 IM, 2:04.85); 200 free relay (sixth, 1:30.72 — Loughran, senior Eric Schmidt, Becker and Kang); and 400 free relay (sixth, 3:21.42 — Spalding, Kang, Dale and Loughran).
Glenbrook South’s JV team also placed second on Feb. 10, totaling 425 points to champ New Trier’s 455.
“One of the better JV teams we’ve had,” MacDonald said.
South freshman Nick Khatkovyy paced the JVers with a pair of championship swims (2:02.69, 200 IM; 54.31, 100 fly) and swam the first leg of the victorious 400 free relay (3.22.35, with juniors John Dales, Aidan Sochowski and Jordan Perrott). Sophomore Colin Song clocked a first-place 1:03.12 in the 100 breaststroke, and freshman Michael Smalec won the diving segment with a 253.2-point total.
The Titans’ varsity crew vies for state berths at the Deerfield Sectional on Feb. 17.