Last season, the Evanston Township High School boys’ swim team qualified four swimmers to the State meet but failed to score any points. This season, they were out to make up for that.
In the final regular season meet on Feb. 5, the Wildkits beat Glenbrook South, 98-88, at Evanston. Senior Max Behles took first in the 200-yard freestyle. In the 500-yard freestyle, Behles finished first and senior Kevin Quinn took second. Quinn also took first in 100-yard backstroke. Sophomore Wes Marberry took first in the 100-yard breaststroke.
In the Varsity Championships, on Feb. 13 at Glenbrook South, the Kits finished second behind New Trier. Behles took the top spot in the 200-yd freestyle and third in the 100-yard freestyle. Quinn took third in the 100-yard butterfly and fourth in 100-yard backstroke. Sophomore John Mcbrantney took fourth in the 500-yard freestyle. Marberry and senior Matt Wich in the 100-yard breaststroke, took fourth and fifth respectively. The Kits’ 400-yard freestyle relay team of Quinn, Wich, Behles and sophomore Mackenzie Miller took second.
“Varsity conference went very well. Everybody swam well and a few guys had some amazing swims,” said Behles.
On Feb. 20, in the New Trier Sectionals, the Kits came in second with 271 points, behind New Trier’s 347. The swimmers that advanced to State were Behles (200-yard and 100-yard freestyles), Quinn (200-yard freestyle and 100 yard butterfly), Marberry (200-yard individual medley and 100-yard backstroke), freshman Blake Morgan (500-yd freestyle as well as 100-yard breaststroke) and Zach Miksis (100-yd breaststroke). A total of five swimmers advanced and represented the Kits in nine events. The Kits’ 400-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard medley relay teams advanced as well.
“For Sectionals, I think that some of us came in a little too relaxed and that showed in our performances. I wasn’t exactly proud of any of my times from Sectionals, but am glad that I will get to repeat them and hopefully do better at State,” said Quinn after Sectionals.
The State meet was held in Evanston so they had a slight advantage against the other teams. Behles said, “Having home pool advantage [was] awesome. We know where the walls are and our competition, who has never swam here before, [was] at a disadvantage.”
Quinn added before State, that, “The team does not want to do badly in its own pool and we are all going to do our best and show the rest of the State what we are made of.”
On Feb. 26 in the preliminaries of the State meet, Behles took seventh in the 200-yd freestyle and tenth in the 100-yd freestyle to advance to the consolation finals in both events. The 200-yd medley relay team of Quinn, Marberry, Wich and Behles finished twelfth, beating Peoria (Notre Dame) by five tenths of a second to advance to the consolation finals.
In state, the top six swimmers in each event qualify for the championship finals and those finishing seventh through twelfth qualify for the consolation finals.
The next day, Behles took seventh in the 200-yard freestyle and eighth in the 100-yard freestyle. The 200-yard medley relay team took eleventh place. The team as a whole finished twentieth in the State by scoring 15.5 points.
Looking back on the season as a whole, Quinn said, “We worked hard every day over the course of the season. As a team we put in the work and we pushed each other to do our best.” That hard work and dedication certainly paid off for them this season.