ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles East boys swimming team won its first sectional title in 12 years Saturday as the Saints edged host St. Charles North for top honors.
The Saints scored 276 points to the North Stars' 260. North had won the title for the last three years.
The West Chicago-Batavia co-op team, competing in its first sectional meet, came in fourth with 127 points. Rounding out the top five teams were DeKalb in third place (225) and Bartlett in fifth (120).
“Yeah, that's sweet. It's been a while, about 10 years I believe” East coach Joe Cabel said about the title. “The guys had a really great day and a great team effort. A lot of great swims by a lot of people. The back-end of the meet saved it for us.”
“Congratulations to the guys from East. They closed the door in the last three races,” said North coach Rob Rooney. “I thought we had it after the 200 free relay but that’s the nature of sports.
“We got our relays through for so I’m excited for next week."
Both St. Charles schools will be well represented at next week’s state meet in Evanston as each team qualified in six of the nine swimming events.
East senior Will Shanel qualified for both the 200individual medley (1:52.97) and the 500 freestyle (4:37.35 ) by taking first in both events. His time in the 200 IM set a new pool record.
“I was thinking a 54 or 55 as the fastest [in the 200 IM]. Going 52 just blew my mind,” Shanel said. “I aiming to go 49 at the end of the season and that definitely is a great start for next week.”
Shanel will be joined by freshman teammate Nick Boryk in the 500 freestyle. He finished third with a time of 4:47.12. Boyrk also qualified in the 200 freestyle with a second place time of 1:43.89.
The North Stars’ Joe Myhre took top honors in the 200 freestyle (1:42.07) and the 100 freestyle (46.91) to advance.
John Tarpey, a sophomore at East, came in third in the 100 backstroke with a state qualifying time of 53.32. North senior Tim Steele’s third-place finish in the 100 butterfly (52.74) earned him a berth at the state meet.
All three of North’s relay teams – the 200 medley, 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle – advanced. The North Stars took first in the 200 freestyle (1:27.85), second in the 400 freestyle (3:11.61) and third in the 200 medley (1:37.85).
Two Saints relay teams also qualified. East came in first in the 400-yd freestyle (3:11.40) and second in the 200 medley (1:37.22).
Alex Laleian is the West Chicago co-op team’s sole qualifier. He qualified with his third-place finish in the 200 freestyle (1:44.27) and a second-place finish in the 500 freestyle (4:44.03).
Nathan Jesko, a junior at Geneva, also qualified in two events – the 200 freestyle (1:44.88) and the 100 backstroke (53.85) He took fourth in both events. Jesko swam as an individual since Geneva does not have a full swimming team.