Athlete of the Week
Woodstock co-op, sr.
Steinken impressed coach Ian Shanahan this past week as he performed well in his events. Shanahan has high hopes for the senior, which include a trip to the state meet. Steinken has been swimming for Shanahan for four years, and the two have that goal circled in red.
Steinken won the 25-yard breaststroke in the Glenbrook North Invitational on Saturday and had a big role in helping Woodstock to a 121-49 win over Belvidere on Tuesday.
“He did really well Saturday and has impressed me so far with his progress this early in the season,” Shanahan said of Steinken.
Cary-Grove testing the waters: C-G coach Rick Schaefer has a unique way of approaching dual meets.
“I am really excited about the dual meet season,” Schaefer said. “I like to put kids in events that they normally don’t swim. I don’t like to pigeon hole kids into certain events, which tends to happen sometimes, and it has happened to kids in the past. I believe that dual meets are the place to try kids out in different events ,and I tell them, ‘Show me what you can do here.’”
Schaefer said his goal for the season is to have each one of his swimmers take part in every event at least once.
Schaefer knows his team has incredible depth and trying each swimmer at each event is a good measuring stick to find out what type of talent he has come championship meet time.
“I have noticed early on that these kids want to be noticed,” Schaefer said. “They are really wanting to show that they can be a part of this team. We have a good, deep team, and I am going to give everyone a chance to make an impact.
“It is so competitive. No one kid can say they have a certain event locked down because the No. 2 guy is gunning for the No. 1, and the No. 3 guy wants the two spot. It is going to be really interesting.”
Out of nowhere: Last season the Woodstock co-op sent no swimmers to the state meet, but if you ask Shanahan about his outlook for this year’s state meet, he will tell you to keep an eye out for a few of his swimmers.
“We’ll be really good this year,” Shanahan said. “We’ll be returning a big senior class, and we are hoping to have at least two, three or four state qualifiers this year.”
And it is a real possibility. Shanahan said his swimmers who missed the cut last season – some by as little as less than a second – have entered the season already in shape and willing to work.
Senior Morgan Hoffman looks to qualify in the 100 freestyle and the 100 backstroke, while Steinken has a real shot at qualifying in the 100 breast and 200 individual medley.
“This is my ninth year coaching,” Shanahan said. “And this is probably the deepest group I’ve had. Now, I might have had a better individual class in the past, but nothing as deep as this team this year.”
This week’s top meet
Huntley at Cary-Grove, 5 p.m. today
Schaefer will swim a lot of his swimmers in different strokes for the first time this season, allowing them to make a case for themselves in various events.
This meet should offer some fast times as the Trojans get back to swimming yards after coming off a meet that was measured in meters Tuesday at Hoffman Estates.
– Patrick Mason, firstname.lastname@example.org