Created:Thursday, February 21, 2013 11:31 p.m.CDT

Swimmers take aim at top 12 
in prelims

Cary-Grove's Michael Hamann is among the local swimmers who will compete at the state meet beginning today at New Trier. (Sarah Nader -

Nine local swimmers bettered the state qualifying times at their respective sectional meets and will be swimming today in the state preliminary round. The swimmers will represent Cary-Grove co-op, Jacobs co-op, Woodstock co-op and Huntley.

Each swimmer who has qualified will swim today beginning at 3:30 p.m., and those who finish in the top 12 in each event will advance to Saturday’s final. The top six will be in the championship heat, and those who place seventh through 12th will be in the consolation heat.

Here is a look at the local swimmers who will be swimming today at New Trier in Winnetka and where they will be seeded based on their performance at sectionals:

Michael Hamann, senior, Cary-Grove co-op

Events: 200-yard individual medley (1:53.95), 4th seed; 100 butterfly (51.14), 14th seed; 200 medley relay (1:36.90), 15th seed. 400 freestyle relay (3:13.65), 27th seed.

Hamann is the area’s most decorated swimmer. He is a four-time state qualifier and he will be swimming a full workload, the most of all area swimmers. He was sick at last week’s sectional meet at Barrington but still posted some impressive times. The senior said he is motivated to drop time in the 100 butterfly to go faster than the All-America time standard. He also has a good chance to place in the top six during Saturday’s finals in the IM.

Hamann’s relay teammates will be Andrew Brierton, Adam Eibel and Tyler King in both relays.

Alex Reinbrecht, junior, Jacobs co-op

Events: 200 freestyle (1:42.98), 15th seed; 500 freestyle (4:37.47), 6th seed.

Reinbrecht and Hamann have the biggest upside of the local state qualifiers. Reinbrecht swam faster than the state-qualifying standard in the 500 freestyle by more than 10 seconds last week and looks to improve even more. The junior is among the top distance swimmers in the state, especially in the 500, which he said was “smooth and felt good” last week.

“I feel very confident in my races,” he said. “It was a huge motivational boost for me to know that I can swim this fast without resting. I wasn’t shaved or tapered [at sectionals], and with a week of getting geared up for state I am looking forward to making some big drops.”

Josh DeDina, senior, Jacobs co-op

Events: 200 IM (1:58.02), 30th seed; 100 breaststroke (59.41), 19th seed.

The senior has improved on his breaststroke in each of the past three meets. Like Reinbrecht, he was not tapered before sectionals when he went faster than 1 minute in the breaststroke. Swimmers usually drop time in the breaststroke when fully tapered and shaved because of the nature of the event, which is long and gliding. The swimmers can get a good feel for the water in that event.

Adam Steinken, senior, Woodstock co-op

Event: 100 freestyle (47.58), 26th seed.

Steinken almost made state in the 100 breaststroke but will settle for swimming one event. He said he was tapered at sectionals and felt really good. He said after his swim Saturday he would find somewhere to swim Sunday so he could see how his body felt. This is uncharted territory for the first-time state qualifier, so it will be interesting to see how much time he can drop and how long his taper will last.

Henry Gantner, senior, Woodstock co-op

Event: 50 freestyle (21.90), 35th seed.

The 50 freestyle is a quick race. Most swimmers take one breath throughout the race. There is little room for error, and Gantner has shown he can swim under pressure. The field is separated by about one second, so it will be interesting to see whether he can move up.

Matthew Haage, senior, Huntley

Event: 50 freestlye (21.90), 34th seed.

The senior has been working hard all season and finally got a payoff when he qualified for state.