St. Charles East senior boys swimmer Nick Wellman helped the Saints stay afloat in Thursday's 100-86 dual loss at St. Charles North.
He placed a close second in the 100-yard freestyle before collaborating with East's winning 400 freestyle relay in the final event of the night in a meet that marked the first big event of the second half of the season.
Kane County Chronicle sports reporter Kevin Druley touched base with Wellman about the Saints' outlook in the latest edition of Weekend Chit-chat. The following is an edited transcript:
How is the training progressing at this point in the season?
The yards are great. We've got, I think, just shy of 300,000 yards under our belts, you know. We have that going for us, the amount of yardage, but we just need to work on the more technical things – the dives, the turns – we need to get those flawless. And unfortunately, I don't think they were flawless [Thursday]. I think that's the next step in our training, as well as kind of backing off the yardage and maybe doing a little bit more individual-type stuff. So that's what we've got going on right now.
During preseason coach [Joe] Cabel talked about this team breaking the school record of 616,000 training yards. You guys on pace?
Yup – 616 is the school record coach Cabel wants us to try and break. … We should hit that right before state, I believe. We're about halfway there, through our season. We're just a couple days over the halfway point, so I think we're on track for that.
Was the East-North crowd bigger crowd than you expected?
Yeah, for sure. I looked up in the stands and I saw more orange shirts than I did blue shirts. That's definitely a good thing to see. … We had a lot of people from East High School in general I would never expect to see at a swim meet, so I think people are catching on a little bit more than they have in the past, so it's good to see.
How was the meet as a stress-reliever, being at the end of finals week and all?
Yeah, you know, I was talking a couple days ago. You know, the swimming's the easy part for me, so I was looking forward to coming to his meet. I was kind of done with the finals mindset. It's good to get in the water, because when you're in the water, you never think about school, surprisingly. So you kind of just get to (unwind). The wake-up swims before school that coach Cabel put on for us, that was just kind of a good way to clear your head.
How close are you guys to the North Stars?
We beat them at the Neuqua Valley invite over Christmas break. They got eighth place and we got sixth place. So technically, on paper, at the Neuqua Valley invite, we beat them. Our dual meet record is different.