Boys’ Swim Team Annihilates Waukegan Bulldogs

By Rebecca Yun

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After losing to New Trier the week before, the boys’ swim and dive team bounced back against the Waukegan Bulldogs on Senior Night, winning the meet by a landslide with scores of 123-42 (JV) and 128-40 (Varsity),  placing first in every event.

Off to a great start, the 200-medley relay team of seniors Will Lefler, Nick Giffen, Ryan Miller, and Stephen Giddens placed first with a time of 1:44.50, while the medley relay team of seniors Matt Cossio, Patrick Melnick, Kevin Lee, and Aaron Hong placed second with a time of 1:58.13. In the 200 freestyle, Lefler was in the lead for the majority of the event and placed first with a time of 1:59.83. Additionally, Giddens placed first in the 50 freestyle with a time of 23.26, which caused the Wolves to cheer in celebration.

Following the short break for diving, which only included four divers from West, it was time to announce the graduating seniors on the team. The seniors and their families gathered at one end of the pool as the other swimmers formed an aisle of sorts for the seniors to walk down. Head coach Dan VanderJeugdt acted as the emcee, announcing the name of each senior, his likes, where he planned to go to college, and many other things.

“[The last home meet of the season] went well. The boys definitely swam fast. It was Senior Night and for the seniors, it was a good note to leave on. Waukegan isn’t exactly our hardest competition, but the boys needed them to swim hard against, and they did. Sectionals and state are coming up and the main thing the boys have to do to prepare is to rest. This is the time for them to just take a break and prepare for the last few meets of the season,” VanderJeugdt said.

The boys resumed their winning ways as junior Drake Nickell placed first in the 100 butterfly with a time of 56.62. Miller won the 100 freestyle with a time of 50.57, followed by junior Max Romanelli (54.06) and Melnick (59.56), who did a celebratory dance in his lane after breaking a minute for the first time.

Although there were a few disqualifications, the Wolves still managed to get a few lifetime bests.