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New Trier News

The student news site of New Trier High School

New Trier News

The student news site of New Trier High School

New Trier News

Boys swim takes second at state

For second straight season, Trevs finish as runners-up to Hinsdale
Boys swim and dive hold runner-up trophy at Westmont’s FMC Natatorium after Hinsdale Central’s victory

It was essentially a two-team race for first place throughout the boys varsity swim and dive season. New Trier finished No. 5 in the country after an 18th straight sectional victory, but led by an impressive junior class, Hinsdale Central seemed to have the edge as the nation’s second-best team.

Coming into the final weekend, the Trevians knew they had to be perfect and hoped for Hinsdale to make some mistakes. However, after Friday’s races, it was obvious another second-place finish was coming. 

“Spirits were pretty down and we had a couple mistakes on Friday,” sophomore Jared Goldstein said. “But we handled it really well, and we pushed through, and all of our seniors made sure everyone was really hyped and ready to go the next day.”

Despite the bittersweet ending, the team was very successful at the state meet in Westmont. It took second place in all three relays, including a school record in the 200 freestyle. Individually, seniors Aiden Musick and Charlie Bufton each had at least one top-three finish, and junior Stuart Timmerman finished seventh in both the 100 fly and 100 breast.

I’d rather be second in Illinois than first in Kansas. I’d rather lose to really, really good competition than just win everything by default.

Aiden Musick

“As bad as it is that we lost, having Hinsdale there really made us better,” Musick said. “I’d rather be second in Illinois than first in Kansas. I’d rather lose to really, really good competition than just win everything by default.”

New Trier and Hinsdale separated themselves from other teams throughout the season and did the same in the final meet. The teams finished with 210.5 and 337.5 points, respectively, more than 50 points ahead of third-place Waubonsie Valley. 

With three top-10 teams in the country, the Illinois high school swim scene is always incredibly competitive. Even with several soon-to-be college swimmers, including multiple power-five commitments, this year’s New Trier team knew beating a historically strong Hinsdale Central would’ve been very difficult.

“These last couple years, Hinsdale has kind of been a powerhouse,” said Musick. “They’ve got several guys committed high division one, so they’re just a little bit deeper than us.”

For most teams, a second-place finish would be something to celebrate. And although they were very proud of their performance throughout the season, it was difficult for head coach Josh Runkle and the team to appreciate just how successful they had been.

“It was hard going through [the loss], because they know how good they are,” Runkle said. “I woke up Sunday morning and I was like, ‘Man we’re really good. We were really good.’”

New Trier swim and dive has a storied history, with dozens of state championships and a conference title seemingly every season. It’s hard for a New Trier team to be uniquely good at this point, but outside of the pool this year’s team was unlike any before.

“This is the strongest team I’ve ever been around as far as just swimmers and their physical strength,” Runkle said. “When they walked in on the first day, we we’re all like, ‘Oh my gosh, all these guys are 10 to 15 pounds bigger than they were a year ago.’”

The state meet has been held at the FMC Natatorium in Westmont recently, a massive new complex. Although it’s a great swimming area, the stands can no longer be as packed as they were when New Trier hosted the meet. However, the energy at this year’s meet was obvious for the Trevians.

“Friday was insane—I mean, the stands were packed and everybody was there,” Goldstein said. “Saturday, it was a little less crowded, but I think our student section really stepped up and made it really fun.”

No team in any sport hopes to get to the championship only to fall just short. When New Trier faced Hinsdale Central in earlier meets and kept the score close, there was plenty of hope that when the teams inevitably met in late February, the Trevs had a better shot. As a result,the team left Westmont disappointed until they could really reflect on their success.

“When you’ve won 24 of these [state titles] throughout the history of the school, there are some people who are like, ‘oh, you only got second,’ so it’s kind of a bittersweet thing,” Runkle said. “As I was driving home, it gave me time to think about how good this was, and I hope when they walked out, the guys were happy.”

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