Boys’ swimming finish their season excelling in both sectionals and state


Grace Cronin

The boys’ swim team had many qualifiers for state. The highest placer was junior Jaeddan Gamilla who got fourth in the 200 individual medley and third in the 100 breaststroke.

Grace Cronin, Sports Reporter

The boys’ swim team finished off their season strong as five boys qualified for state at sectionals on Feb. 19. This meet was special because they had waited two years to compete again after IHSA canceled swim sectionals and state last year due to COVID-19. The team came ready for a spot in state and showed that through their great performance.

“Going into sectionals, our team started tapering to do our best,” senior Tyler Leslie said. “We taper by decreasing our yardage and increasing our effort levels at practice. This allows the body to rest more and train for the final sprints of the season. I think this prepared us all for sectionals and state so that we could place how we did.”

Metea held sectionals this year with seniors Tyler Leslie, George Wang, Jacob Henkle, Evan Lopez, and juniors Jaeddan Gamilla, Braden Olson, Henri Marchand, and Asher Reddington all competing. The team was able to qualify in seven different events including Leslie in the 200 free and 100 free, Wang in the 50 and 100 free, Gamilla in the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke, and the 400 relay consisting of Henkle, Leslie, Wang, and Gamilla, as well as the 200 free relay with Leslie, Marchand, Wang, and Gamilla. The boys were able to finish sixth overall with a score of 145 points, while Neuqua took home the win with a score of 216 points.

“My hopes going into state was just to make the final [top six],” Gamilla said. “I hoped to improve my previous personal best times in my events, and it is safe to say that I reached those goals.”

The boys who qualified for state would go to swim at the FMC Natatorium on Friday and Saturday. In the relays, the team was able to place No. 15 out of 30 in the 200 free and No. 17 out of 33 in the 400 free. Individually, Leslie placed No. 14 in the 200 free and No. 31 in the 100 free, while Wang was able to place No. 34 in the 50 free and 23 in the 100 free. Gamilla placed in the top four for both his individual events with a fourth place finish in the 200 IM and third in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 55.35. Stevenson would become the state champion with Metea placing No. 19 out of 50 with a score of 23 points. 

“I would like to give a lot of credit to my coaches and teams,” Gamilla said. “Swimming is a tough sport and having the right mental mindset while competing is essential to performing well. Having my coaches Jagers and Gidlow, as well as my teammates, supporting me along the way has meant the world to me. I would have not gotten the results from this season without my team being there for each other.”

 Now that the season is over, the boys will continue off-season training with some joining the water polo team for the spring season while others go back to swimming for their club. Since it is Leslie’s last year at Metea, he will finish the school year playing on the varsity team for water polo. He will begin college next year on the Augstanta water polo and swim team. On the other hand, Gamilla will finish the season at Mavericks Swim Club and compete in Orlando, Florida at a national swim meet.