Athlete of the Week
Hamann, a three-time state qualifier, returns for his senior season for the Trojans, who are deeper than ever.
In the first meet of the season Saturday, Hamann and the Trojans competed in the Stevenson Patriot Relays, where the Trojans took first place in the Green Division. Hamann was part of two winning relays and swam some sprint off-stroke events at the nontraditional meet.
“I have a feeling you guys will be writing a lot about him this year,” Trojans coach Rick Schaefer said. “He is a tough swimmer and he really solidifies our core events.”
C-G co-op features depth: Cary-Grove and co-op partners Crystal Lake South, Crystal Lake Central and Prairie Ridge enters this season enjoying the deepest team they have had in years.
“We are three-deep in just about every event,” Schaefer said. “The only stroke we are a little lax on is breaststroke, but we have all of the strengths you want in a team: speed, length and endurance.
“We have some freshmen this year that we are really excited about, and we have some eye-popping talent up and down our lineup.”
The Trojans will be graduating eight seniors after the season, and Schaefer noted that with all of the experience, combined with kids who are looking to make a mark in their last season, this is the year to be able to do something special.
“This could the strongest Trojan team in years,” the second-year head coach said. “With all of this depth, I think we have our best shot in years at a sectional title. Barrington (which edged out the Trojans at last year’s sectional meet) is a good team, but if we swim to our potential we should be able to catch them. We have a good handle on what kids have solid shots at making state again, so we can adjust the tapering process accordingly when the time comes.”
Making themselves known: McHenry took fourth in the Patriot Relays, showing some talent in the process.
The Warriors placed second in the 200- and 600-yard freestyle relay behind C-G and won the 350 butterfly relay.
“We have a strong Fox Valley Conference this year,” Schaefer said of the Warriors. “They swam well, and it should be interesting to see how it plays out this year.”
This week’s top meet
Cary-Grove at Hoffman Estates, 5 p.m. Tuesday
The Trojans will swim in their first dual meet Tuesday after two sprint invitationals. The Hawks feature a state swimmer in senior Nick Jessee who will test the deep Trojan team in several individual events as well as relays. The meet is the only one on the Trojans’ schedule that will be measured in meters.
– Patrick Mason