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Highlights abound for St. Charles teams at swimming sectional

ST. CHARLES – Although the St. Charles East boys swimming team finished second in their own sectional Saturday, coach Joe Cabel was not displeased with him team’s results.

Saints swimmers qualified in six events compared to eight state finalists for the Class 3A sectional winner, St. Charles North.

North won with 385 points to East’s 364.

“No disappointments, just great swimming under pressure,” Cabel said. “It was one of the greatest team efforts I've ever seen. It was fun to watch every race today. “

North coach Rob Rooney, meanwhile, thought his team could have qualified for at least one more event. 

“We got everything through but one that we expected,” Rooney said. “[The 50 yd freestyle] was the only swim that didn’t go as planned.” 

Nathan Jesko will be the Geneva representative at next weekend’s state meet at New Trier High School in Winnetka. The sophomore took third place in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 53.92 seconds.

“I was hoping to place for this event,” Jesko said. ”I’m excited that I have the chance to swim at state.”  

Jesko swam as an individual since Geneva does not have a swimming team.

All three East relay teams advanced. The Saints won the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:26.00 and set a new pool record. 

Saints Will Shanel, T.J. Bindseil and Alec Carnell qualified in individual events. Shanel took top honors in the 200 individual medley (1:54.02) and fourth in the 100 butterfly (52.36).

Carnell finished first in the 100 yd freestyle (47.10) and third in the 200 freestyle (1:42.61).
Bindseil took third in the 200 individual medley with a time of 1:57.98.

The biggest thrill of the day for Carnell was his team’s record time in the 200 freestyle relay.  The previous mark was set by the North Stars.

“That was the best moment of the meet,” said Carnell, who swam one leg of the relay. “Nothing is better than wiping off a North record on our board.”

North qualified in in two relays, the 200 medley (1:37.06) and the 400 freestyle (3:11.01). The team took first place in both events.

North Stars Kyle Gannon and Spencer Gray both qualified in two individual events.

Gannon took second in the 200 freestyle (1:41.24) and first in the 500 freestyle (4:36.28).

Gray finished fourth in the 200 freestyle (1:43.14) and second in the 500 freestyle (4:42.58).
David Chokran fourth place finish in the 200 individual medley (1:57.98), earning a berth in the state meet.

Nick Kowaleski’s time of 50.97 in the 100 butterfly earned him a second place finish and trip to Winnetka.

Rooney had hoped Kowaleski would qualify for the 50 freestyle. The senior missed qualifying by 33 hundredths of a second.

The North coach was pleased how Kowaleski bounced back from the disappointment to qualify in the 100 butterfly. 

“The guy who stood back up and really got on his feet was Nick,” Rooney said. “He missed the wall down here on the 50 but then got back on the blocks right afterwards and went 50 points in the fly.”             

Gannon took top honors for the second year in a row in the 500 freestyle.

“The big goal was to make the cut today,” said Gannon, who finished sixth in the 500 freestyle at state last year. “I was pretty happy with my time. I swam 4:40 last year so a 4:36 was pretty solid.”

In addition to the swimmers, East diver Max Schmitt also qualified for the state meet.

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