IN THE SPOTLIGHT
An older brother of a Glenbrook South freshman swimmer hits the water for the men’s swimming team at the University of Arizona, home of the Wildcats.
An older brother of another Glenbrook South rookie swimmer will be a freshman graphic design major this fall at the University of Cincinnati, home of the Bearcats.
The Titans freshmen: Max Iida and Quinn Loughran, a pair of Glenview Titan Aquatic Club (GTAC) members who set a Boys 13-14 state age-group record with Tim Hays and Elliot Chen in the 400-meter medley relay (4:06.19) last summer.
Their big brothers: Sam Iida and Eddie Loughran.
Each big bro influenced his little bro.
“I started to swim because of him [Eddie, a Titans senior swimmer this winter],” Quinn Loughran said a week after tying for 11th place in the 100-yard butterfly (50.41) at the state swimming and diving meet at Evanston Township High School on Feb. 24. “But I didn’t get serious about the sport until a couple years ago, and Eddie helped me adjust to high school swimming.
“For years, after trying it in the second grade, it was my secondary sport behind basketball.”
Sam Iida was a slam-dunk swimming star at Glenbrook South before signing with Arizona. The elder Iida — with little brother Max in attendance — sped to first place in the 200 IM and 500 freestyle events at the 2017 state swimming and diving meet. He set a state record in the 200 IM with a time of 1:46.02 — more than three seconds faster than the first-place time recorded by New Trier senior Charlie Scheinfeld in the event at last month’s state meet.
“I spoke with him [Sam] before the meet,” Max Iida said after finishing 12th at state in the 100 breaststroke (58.13), a day after clocking a season-best 57.57 in the prelims on Feb. 23. “He gave me some advice, told me to go for the school record in 100 breast (57.32, none other than Sam Iida’s mark).
“I won’t be as nervous next year.”
Loughran, the reigning Central Suburban League South Meet champion in the 100 fly, also admitted to feeling some jitters at a meet unlike any of the others he had experienced in the 2017-18 season.
It was crowded at state, in the stands and on deck.
And it was loud — ear-splitting loud at times.
“Both overcame some nerves and swam well at state,” said Titans coach Keith MacDonald, whose squad edged Glenbrook North 248-242 to capture the Deerfield Sectional championship on Feb. 17. “They enjoyed being part of the team and have already expressed excitement in improving at next year’s state meet.”
Iida and Loughran collaborated with sophomore Adam Zuiker and senior anchor Nick Shechtman to place 12th in the 200 medley relay (1:36.18) at state.
“Better than I had expected,” the 5-foot-7, 155-pound Loughran said of his freshman season. “Swimming at a meet like [the CSL South Meet] helped give me perspective on big meets at the high school level; it prepared me well for the sectional and state meets.
“Being at state, competing in a meet like that both days,” he added, “was a cool experience.”
Loughran and Iida both appreciated the coaching they received from MacDonald and his staff throughout the season. Iida got bigger and stronger. Loughran soaked up MacDonald’s style of coaching — a bit different compared to the direction he had received from GTAC coaches.
“[MacDonald’s] philosophy emphasizes raw training; it’s a, ‘Here’s what you need to do to make this time [in an event],’ ” said Loughran, who also qualified for state in the 500 free (Deerfield Sectional time of 4:43.46) after flying to a season-best and third-place 50.21 in the 100 fly. “It’s technical but not as technical as it is in club swimming. Coach is also big on unifying the team.
“I got a lot out of being a part of the team.”
Iida was there for Loughran, every step — make that, lap — of the way.
“Even though we swam different events, Max always supported me, always encouraged me to go faster,” said Loughran, who intends to improve the underwater (dolphin kick) component of his “game” in the offseason, though it will hardly be an offseason since he, like Iida, plans to swim competitively in the spring and summer.
Notable: University of Arizona freshman and education major Sam Iida (Glenbrook South High School, Class of 2017) touched third in the 200-yard breaststroke (1:54.77) at the PAC-12 Championships in Federal Way, Washington, on March 3. The time (fast enough for an NCAA B cut) ranks seventh all-time in program history. The Wildcats placed fifth at the meet with 387 points. The NCAA championships will be held March 21-24 in Minneapolis. … Glenbrook South placed 35th (4.5 points) with a young crew at last month’s state swimming and diving meet in Evanston. Three Titans entrants qualified for the finals session on Feb. 24, and only one (senior Nick Shechtman, anchor of South’s 12th-place 200 medley relay) of the advancers won’t be able to vie for state berths next winter. State-finals Titans with at least two years of eligibility left: sophomore Adam Zuiker and freshmen Quinn Loughran and Max Iida. Glenbrook South juniors Cameron Schulte and Zac Spalding and sophomores Mike Hadjiivanov and Elliot Chen swam only in the state prelims on Feb. 23.