2011 Boys’ Swimming and Diving Preview

By Rebecca Yun

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The NWN had the opportunity to talk with head coach Dan VanderJeugdt regarding the boys, their goals, and the team’s strengths.

NWN: With graduated swimmer Konner Scott gone, how is the team looking this year?

VanderJeugdt: It’s looking great! The team this year has a lot of depth. There are 64 boys on the team this season, which is twelve more than last year. Having Konner Scott, Tim Binkley, and Elliot Kerbel was great, but this is a new team and a new year. The boys all have some great goals that I think are definitely obtainable.

NWN: What are some key meets during the season?

VanderJeugdt: We are mainly focusing on Evanston, Maine South, Evanston Relays, Sectionals, and State.

NWN: What are some of the team’s strengths and weaknesses?

VanderJeugdt: Our strengths are that the boys are extremely dedicated and have great work ethic. The only weakness I can think of is that there is only one returning state qualifier this season (senior Ryan Miller).

NWN: What are some of the team and season goals?

VanderJeugdt: We would really like to go to State. Season goals for each swimmer are different, but the boys all want to meet their personal bests and get lifetime bests for the season. If the guys haven’t achieved their personal bests, I feel like I haven’t done my job.

NWN: Who are the best swimmers on the team?

VanderJeugdt: Seniors Ryan Miller, Nick Giffen, Stephen Giddens, Dan Melnick, and diver Nick Flately. We also have newcomers Filip Zivkovic and Miguel Paloma.

NWN: How do you hope to place in the Niles West Invite and the Niles North meet? Will the outcome of the North meet affect the season in any way?

VanderJeugdt: I’m not worried about how we place. Our main goal is to swim around the same times as last year. The Niles North meet won’t affect our season at all. It’s just another meet. Do you know which meet is most important? The last one of the season. Every meet before that is all about learning and competing. That way, the boys will be prepared to swim their hardest at the last meet.