Swim and dive makes a splash at State

The team’s hard work pays off with a third place finish at State

Jack Soble, Sports Editor

New Trier swimming and diving showed their might on Feb. 24 and 25, finishing in the upper echelon of schools competing for a state championship.

The Trevians came in with high expectations. They finished third in the state, their best since 2013, in a meet that took place right here at New Trier.

“There were a lot of fast swims from everyone, and that’s a pretty great way to end the season,” said Senior Alex Flanagan.

“Between preliminaries and finals, a lot of athletes get tired and slow down, but our team did a great job of finishing strong and dropping time,” he said.

New Trier’s top finishers were Junior twins Ryan and Patrick Gridley, who along with fellow junior Charlie Scheinfeld, senior Philipp Srivastava, and senior Patrick Drake claimed the gold in the 200 and 400 meter relays.

The Gridley brothers finished eighth (Ryan) and ninth (Patrick) in the 200 meter individual medley.  Ryan also took fifth in the 100 meter freestyle and Patrick took third in the 100 meter backstroke.

Scheinfeld won the 100 meter breaststroke as well as the relay. This came after sectionals where the Gridleys and seniors Jack Walter and Mason McQuet both shined, and 19 swimmers qualified for state.

In total, the Trevs earned 120 points, finishing only behind Hinsdale Central with 142 and Lyons with 156.5. Lyons took first for the second consecutive year, scoring ten more points than in their victory last year over Naperville Central, according to Chicago Tribune.

“The team has been training hard all year with a goal of performing well at the State meet. We had to focus all our efforts all season on performing well at our championship meets Conference, Sectionals, State.”

New Trier came into the season hoping to get a trophy which goes to the top 3 teams, according to Junior Tommy Wilson. “Obviously we wanted to win state, but this keeps us hungry for next year and I’m super pleased with third and proud of what our guys were able to accomplish.”

Flanagan agreed. “In my opinion we did an excellent job at the end of the season and I am really happy with the results. I was excited to see what kinds of swims everyone could have.”

He also described the work his team has to put in to be as successful as they are, a common talking point among New Trier swimmers.

“Our varsity group had two swim practices on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and on Tuesday and Thursday we did weight lifting and swimming. At the beginning we did a lot of aerobic sets and high yardage but towards the end we started doing more sprint work to prepare for the end of the season.”

Runkle was proud of his team’s effort. “The results were not surprising.  The kids worked hard all year. We expected to be in contention to win the state championship and we put ourselves a position to do that.”

Wilson expressed his gratitude for his teammates’ hard work and dedication. “We don’t get up at 5:00 AM and hop in a cold pool for nothing. We had a lot of fun and our guys really showed it. Sometimes having up to nine practices a week can get very grueling, but it’s all with the end goal in mind, and I feel like all of that paid off for all of our guys. I love this team and I am so glad I got to train with everyone the whole year.”