Athlete of the Week
Jacobs co-op, sr. The two-time state qualifier is looking to make his third straight state appearance.
DeDina swam well Saturday in the St. Charles East Invitational, which was a college events meet that featured longer distances. Jacobs coach Rick Andresen said because the meet had grueling events such as the 400-meter individual medley and the 200 butterfly, the team only took the varsity kids who have the ability to compete at those distances, but he was very encouraged by the way DeDina and his teammates swam.
“We have 30 kids on the team, and 22 of those are at the freshman and sophomore level,” Andresen said. “We’re going to miss Josh next season because he practices hard and he encourages the others when they aren’t performing. It’s nice when it’s coming from someone else other than myself.
“He helps the younger kids as well, because they see what it takes to be a state swimmer and how hard he works.”
Holiday concerns: With only four meets left in the regular season, Andresen was worried about where his team would be because of the way Christmas and New Year’s fell on Tuesdays, which cut out practice time.
Andresen figures his team missed out on 55,000 yards compared to last year, but his team posted fast times against Huntley on Jan. 9 and at St. Charles East.
“I was quite concerned about the way we would swim, but our performances were encouraging,” he said. “We still trained hard but not as much. At this point in the season I don’t care about rest. We just have to train as hard as we can until we start tapering some of these guys for sectionals and conference.”
Invites: Cary-Grove coach Rick Schaefer said this year has been loaded with invites, which is something he would like to address for next season.
“I think we are swimming too many of these invites,” Schaefer said. “It’s nice to have a dual meet because you can experience head-to-head races more and we haven’t had enough of those. Duals also aren’t all-day events like invites where kids get a lot of rest between swims.”
Golden Eagles coach Andresen agrees. Because his team is predominately competing at the freshman and sophomore level, the invites don’t give it a chance to swim as often, whereas a dual meet allows both teams to compete.
“We probably need to get more duals,” he said. “We need to get our junior varsity a chance to swim some more, and the invites are limited entry, which doesn’t allow for everyone to compete.
“I don’t think it has a negative effect on them because by the time they come up to varsity they should see enough experience, but it’s nice to accumulate it early.”
Flu season: With the flu catching everyone’s attention, coaches are keeping an eye out for signs and dealing with it early. This time of year if swimmers miss a week of practice because of illness, it can be detrimental to their postseason chances because now is the time when teams up the intensity before tapering sessions.
THIS WEEK'S TOP MEETS
Woodstock Invitational, 11 a.m. Saturday at Woodstock North Woodstock co-op has been swimming well lately as many of its swimmers have been posting good times. This is a home invitational and you should see some fast times from the Blue Streaks. Division rival McHenry also will be in attendance.
Buffalo Grove Invitational, 11 a.m. Saturday at Buffalo Grove Cary-Grove and Huntley head to the Bison’s home pool, which has been known as a fast meet. The Trojans project to win or finish second in the meet while the Red Raiders are looking for fast sprint times as senior Matt Haage zeros in on a state cut.
– Patrick Mason, firstname.lastname@example.org