Swimming; Orlando, Fla.; bonus cuts.
Having just read those items in succession, you’re probably anticipating a story about a spring break party.
The group of 20 St. Charles Swim Team athletes traveling to this week’s National Club Swimming Association Championships in Orlando knows fun in the sun merely is a tempting mirage during the trip. Especially when they’ll be missing several days of classes.
“It’s definitely a hard thing to get into your mind,” St. Charles East senior girls standout Shea Hoyt said. “To think, ‘Oh, wow, it’s Florida. It’s going to be nice and warm,’ but you have to stay focused for what you’re there for and be sure not to treat it as a vacation.”
SCST, led by co-head coaches Jon Cabel and Tim Lewarchick, is sending its largest contingent to the event, which also offers a summer counterpart in Indianapolis each year.
Here’s a look at some storylines to watch. The championships, which begin today and conclude Saturday, are held at the Orlando YMCA Aquatics Center. Swimmers advance by reaching qualifying standards.
• While high-schoolers comprise most of the traveling group, Haines Middle School eighth-grader Audrey Guyett looks to use the meet as a platform to build on her already-burgeoning buzz.
The younger sister of St. Charles North sophomore Monica Guyett and senior Nicole Guyett, Audrey continues a family pool legacy that only started recently.
Neither Guyett parent has a competitive swimming background. The girls simply chose to further their pool careers after taking swimming lessons growing up.
That early exposure can be the starting point of a familiar path, as East coach and SCST assistant Joe Cabel sees it.
“Year-round swimming, you know,” Cabel said. “Somebody said not too long ago, a high-schooler said, ‘There is no offseason in swimming.’ And those people that choose to do that, it raises the bar for you.”
Geneva’s Ryan and Taylor Falk join Monica and Audrey Guyett as sisters making the trip.
• North sophomore Joe Myhre had just moved from Indiana and joined SCST when he competed at the summer NCSA championships entering the school year.
Two weeks ago, Myhre was part of North’s 10th-place 200-yard freestyle relay at the IHSA state meet in Evanston.
“I think it was a great season,” Myhre said. “Most of this season was a learning experience for me, just taking it and getting ready for next season, I guess. I know how this team works now.”
• Several members of East’s decorated senior class – boys and girls – are swimming in multiple events, including Izzie Bindseil, Stephanie Garvin, Will Shanel and Hoyt.
Each athlete insists seniority is no object when it comes to fitting in.
“Without half those people there, I don’t think I would be pushing as hard as I would, if I was even there,” Shanel said.
Added Hoyt: “We all get along. It’s so much fun, this meet. Just fun hanging out. Just swimming fast.”
• Kevin Druley is a sportswriter for the Kane County Chronicle. He can be reached at 630-845-5347 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @kevindruley.