Power in numbers, Shorewood swimmers win Woodland with depth
Conference title taken without a single first
There were no individual gold medals for event titles for the Shorewood boys swim team at the Woodland Conference meet Saturday at Greenfield.
Only they did have to lug one big gold trophy back home, emblematic of a repeat league championship for the diverse and deep Greyhounds.
"I think were able to win the meet by the large margin because what a few schools have in 'star power' we more than make up for it with our starring role of depth," Greyhounds coach Rob McCabe said. "Not to say that we don't have stars it's just that conference wasn't their meet to shine brightest."
And that suited senior freestyler Kirill Korolev, who is having fun in this his final season, just fine.
"It began at the start of the year," he said. "We could tell that we were going to have a better team (because of depth) and that got us really pumped...and we've had a real big time doing it. We've got a lot of diversity on this team including a foreign exchange student, and it's been interesting getting to know everyone."
Korolev, the defending WIAA State D2 champ in the 200-yard freestyle and the rest of the Greyhounds now look forward to the WIAA sectional meet at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Cudahy.
The winner of each event, plus all those who are among the next 12 best efforts out of all sectionals statewide, advance to the state D2 meet in Madison on Feb. 21.
"I think the sectional taper guys will have the utmost confidence training this week as they prepare for Saturday's meet," McCabe said. "All they have to do is look at their teammates that tapered for this past weekend. As a team I think we are the strongest in our sectional but the main goal is to qualify (people for state)."
Korolev, whose swim career will likely end with the conclusion of the following club season, is trying for a strong finish. A major goal is to break the school records in both the 200 and 400 free relays.
"I'm hoping we can do it," he said. "This season has gone by amazingly fast. It seemed like yesterday we were just getting started, then it was conference relays and now we're here (at sectionals)."
Despite the lack of individual victories, the Greyhounds still scored 469 points in winning the Woodland as Wauwatosa was well back with 383.
Korolev and Michael Perry led the way for Shorewood. Korolev was second in the 200 free in one minute, 49.76 seconds and was fourth in the 100 free (49.46).
Meanwhile, Perry was second in both the 200 individual medley (2:07.82) and the 100 butterfly (54.43).
A major key to success, McCabe said, was the third-place effort of the 200 medley relay team of Devon Brusnahan, Joe Lock, Henri Carignan and Suhith Bayana with a season-best time of 1:44.39.
"I am incredibly thrilled with the medley relay time as that was almost a three-second drop for that combination," McCabe said. "I give them a lot of credit for firing up the team with that electric race."
The 200 free relay team of Bayana, Joe Stephenson, Perry and Korolev was second (1:31.52) and the 400 free relay team of Carignan, Perry, Alex Borut and Korolev was third (3:23.99).
After that, it was the athletes who were rested for the meet who took over, McCabe said.
"The boys that tapered for conference had incredible time drops.," he said. "Both the JV and varsity kids dropped substantial amount of time. Take a look how guys like Willem and Pieter Van Den Kieboom, Ilya Litvin, Lucas Barry, Tommy Chamberlain, Joe Lock, Andrew Clokey and Charlie Phillips did. Both Andrew (Clokey) and Charlie (Phillips) dominated their heat(s) in 500 freestyle. Willem earned a spot on the sectional team with his 31/2 second drop in the 100 butterfly.
McCabe also said that Brusnahan and Carignan swam "lights out" and that Stephenson had two best times as did Zach Hammond.
Other top efforts for the Greyhounds included the following: 200 medley relay: Tommy Chamberlain, Hammond, Clokey and Stephenson, sixth (1:49.14); 200 free: Alex Borut, seventh (1:55.7); 200 IM: Brusnahan, fourth (2:12.25); Hammond, fifth (2:15.73); 50 free: Bayana, fifth (23.4); Stephenson, eighth (23.97); Lucas Barry, 10th (24.32); 100 butterfly: Clokey, fifth (57.9); Willem Van Den Kieboom, 10th (1:01.5): 100 free: Bayana, eighth (52.49); 500 free: Borut, third (5:09.06); Lock, sixth (5:20.69); Clokey, eighth (5:25.15); Phillips, 10th (5:40.03); 100 backstroke: Brusnahan, fourth (58.1); Carignan, fifth (59.65); Chamberlain, eighth (1:05.29); 100 breaststroke: Lock, fourth (1:06.26); Hammond, sixth (1:07.24); Litvin, ninth (1:12.14); and 400 free relay: Brusnahan, Clokey, Barry and Lock, fifth (3:35.26).
McCabe was pleased all the way around.
"I thought Saturday's meet was exceptionally awesome and I don't think we could be any happier," he said. "Varsity won the meeting by 86 points. The JV team won by 76 points. I think those are dominant team wins displaying our team depth."
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