Boys swim and dive beats Naperville Central in dual meet

Team fights through fatigue to remain undefeated in dual meets



The swimmers begin the 100-yard varsity breaststroke race, which was won by sophomore Sam Brown

The boys varsity swimming and diving team defeated Naperville Central in their second dual meet of the season, picking up a convincing 127-59 victory at the New Trier Natatorium on Dec. 13.

Although both teams were slightly hampered by injuries, the Trevians managed to take down the Redhawks fairly easily despite missing senior Pearce Bailey, who was participating in the Junior National Championships in Seattle that weekend.

Though they missed Bailey’s impact in the pool, the swimming team embraced the opportunity of trying to win without their star teammate.

“I think the big win really helped the team see that we are a much deeper team than we were last year, which is really reassuring because most other teams last year thought of us as a ‘one man team’ in that no one else was that good,” said senior Sam Dienstag.

The team’s senior core of Dienstag, Rishi Nair, Marc Hagist, and Evan Rittner led the way in Bailey’s absence, tallying a combined 34 points from their individual races.

Hagist and Rittner both finished in the top three in each of their individual races while Nair and Dienstag won two races apiece with Dienstag winning the 200-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle races by 4.13 and 3.25 seconds respectively.

Dienstag, Hagist, and Nair also joined forces with sophomore Edward O’Hara for two of the team’s three relay victories, finishing with times of 1:30.22 and 3:20.03 in the 200-yard freestyle and 400-yard freestyle races respectively.

“We did as well as we could have last season, but we all still wish that we could’ve done better; and this year, the guys on the team are clearly super motivated to do better,” said Hagist. “All of the guys have started this season clearly hoping to beat last year’s subpar record and it shows.”

While the seniors dominated the swimming portion of the meet, sophomore John Ervin and freshman Wyatt Wellehan put on an exhibition of their own against the Redhawks, finishing with the two highest scores among the varsity divers.

Ervin and Wellehan engaged in an epic battle for first place, trading the lead six times and finishing with 233.40 and 214.65 points respectively.

The pair also posted the varsity team’s four highest single-dive scores as Wellehan scored 43.05 points off of his 2.1 difficulty dive in the third round while Ervin topped out at 48 points with his 2.4 difficulty dive in the second round.

“I feel really excited about our team. We’ve got a lot of young guys that have a lot of potential and a couple of [junior varsity players] who I think can be really good if they keep working hard,” said head diving coach Bruce Kimball.

“It may be up and down at points this season, but I think that as [the divers] get more experience, they’ll end up becoming a strong group by the end of the year.”

While getting a victory over a perennial state title contender proved to be a major confidence boost for the team, it should be noted that the Trevians, specifically the swimmers, were far from being at their peak performance level, for the rigorous training schedule, which include practices bookending the school day, has been taking its toll on the swimmers.

“The challenge for us is really the fatigue factor and how broken down we are,” said head swimming coach Josh Runkle. “Swimming is one of those sports where taking time off can be detrimental because it’s such a training-based sport.”

Although the heavy workload left the team banged up going into the regular season, their performance thus far has not given any indication of their fatigue.

Following a 2nd place finish at the Warrior Relay in Deerfield on Dec. 6, the team trounced Rockford- Guilford 141-27 on Dec. 7 behind freshman Graham Wilson and junior Nathan Reid and picked up a road victory against Hinsdale Central on Dec. 14.

“We want to practice to be the fastest as we can possibly be at the end of the season, and everyone’s been holding each other accountable for hard work and fighting through the pain that comes with tough practices,” said Dienstag.

Although the team has embraced the hard work that it will take to regain their state title-contending form, both the swimmers and divers are keeping their focus on the future as they still have yet to face state title favorite Glenbrook South or conference rival Evanston.

However, with the way that they’ve performed so far this season, they look to be up to the challenge.

“Realistically, I think that we can get back to being a top ten team in the state meet,” said Runkle. “Last year was a down year for us because we were really young. We had a lot of first-time varsity guys that were being counted on, so now that [they’ve] got that year of experience under [their] belts, I’m looking forward to a good year.”