Boys swimming: Prospect makes quick work of field at St. Viator

  • Prospect's Andrew Tonkovic wins the 100-yard freestyle in boys swimming at the St. Viator Invite on Wednesday.

      Prospect's Andrew Tonkovic wins the 100-yard freestyle in boys swimming at the St. Viator Invite on Wednesday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • D300 swimmer Gabe Niemi powers ahead in the first heat of the 200-yard freestyle in boys swimming at St. Viator on Wednesday.

      D300 swimmer Gabe Niemi powers ahead in the first heat of the 200-yard freestyle in boys swimming at St. Viator on Wednesday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Huntley's Ben Rocks powers off the block for the win in the 100-yard backstroke in boys swimming at St. Viator on Wednesday.

      Huntley's Ben Rocks powers off the block for the win in the 100-yard backstroke in boys swimming at St. Viator on Wednesday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • D300 swimmer Charlie Mason competes in the second heat of the 200-yard freestyle in boys swimming at St. Viator on Wednesday.

      D300 swimmer Charlie Mason competes in the second heat of the 200-yard freestyle in boys swimming at St. Viator on Wednesday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Huntley's Max Van Doran powers ahead for the first position in the second heat of the 200-yard freestyle in boys swimming at St. Viator on Wednesday.

      Huntley's Max Van Doran powers ahead for the first position in the second heat of the 200-yard freestyle in boys swimming at St. Viator on Wednesday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Prospect's Ian McGough (left) gets second in the 100-yard backstroke as teammate Hugo Arzbaecher powers ahead in boys swimming at St. Viator on Wednesday.

      Prospect's Ian McGough (left) gets second in the 100-yard backstroke as teammate Hugo Arzbaecher powers ahead in boys swimming at St. Viator on Wednesday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Huntley's Ben Rocks checks his time after winning the second heat of the 50-yard freestyle in boys swimming at St. Viator on Wednesday.

      Huntley's Ben Rocks checks his time after winning the second heat of the 50-yard freestyle in boys swimming at St. Viator on Wednesday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • D300 swimmer Martin Nowak powers ahead of the others in the second heat of the 100-yard butterfly in boys swimming at St. Viator on Wednesday.

      D300 swimmer Martin Nowak powers ahead of the others in the second heat of the 100-yard butterfly in boys swimming at St. Viator on Wednesday. MarkWelsh | Staff Photographer

  • D300 swimmer Pavlo Komarov works his way through the 100-yard freestyle in boys swimming at St. Viator on Wednesday.

      D300 swimmer Pavlo Komarov works his way through the 100-yard freestyle in boys swimming at St. Viator on Wednesday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Prospect's Sejin Park powers through the 500-yard freestyle in boys swimming at the St. Viator on Wednesday.

      Prospect's Sejin Park powers through the 500-yard freestyle in boys swimming at the St. Viator on Wednesday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
By Bill McLean
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 12/15/2021 9:23 PM

People who blinked once Wednesday night at St. Viator missed a boys swimming invite.

It took a snappy 75 minutes to complete a five-team, 11-event meet at the Lions' cozy, five-lane natatorium in Arlington Heights.

 

"We like to be efficient around here," said St. Viator coach and 2004 alumnus Mike Miklius.

Prospect's Knights?

They like to be fast. Prospect -- churning in its second invite in five days -- won three of the first six events and five overall, totaling 244 points to claim the championship.

Runner-up District 300 co-op (Jacobs, Dundee-Crown and Hampshire) tallied 196 points, followed by Huntley (182), Notre Dame College Prep (107) and St. Viator (97).

Knights junior Conrad Bobrowicz swam on a pair of victorious relays (200-yard medley, 200 free) and touched first in the 100 breaststroke in 1:07.32 to pace the champs. Senior co-captain Andrew Tonkovic sped to first-place finishes in the 200 IM (2:05.87) and 100 free (50.36).

"Andrew is a solid swimmer all-around," Knights coach Alfonso Lopez said, noting the 200 IM is an off event for Tonkovic. "He's got 'secret' speed, meaning he hits another level when tired. And he never drops technique, which is important at the back end of races."

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Hugo Arzbaecher, Ian McGough and Ben Zwolenik (anchor) joined Bobrowicz in the 200 medley relay (1:45.74), and Zwolenik anchored the 200 free unit (1:37.78) after swift legs from Bobrowicz, Jack Eyles and Colin Koziol.

Huntley won the third and final relay (400 free, 3:30.36) by more than 2 seconds, thanks to strong efforts from Max Van Dorn, Luke Hackemack, Yehan Subasinghe and junior tri-captain and anchor Ben Rocks, who also zipped to gold in the 50 free (22.91).

"Lot of power, lot of drive," Red Raiders coach Jenna Gaudio said of Rocks, a state qualifier in the 100 free as a freshman. "It's easy to see how much he cares about the sport."

Rocks isn't only solid while racing. After completing his anchor leg in the 400 free relay, he stayed in the tank until his counterpart in a neighboring lane touched the final wall.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Rocks, solid citizen, then clapped for the foe.

"Finishing a race, no matter what a swimmer's level happens to be, is an accomplishment," he said. "Why not applaud there?"

Hackemack deserved rounds of applause from all after his 4-second-plus victory in the 500 free (5:21.57). Van Doran, too, after his triumphant 1:57.17 in the 200 free.

Martin Nowak stood out for District 300, overwhelming the 100 butterfly field with a time of 54.7. The runner-up in the race clocked a 1:00.64.

"We like a meet like this because we get to swim against teams we normally don't see," said District 300 coach Molly Gomberg, whose deep crew silvered in three events and bronzed in five others. "St. Viator is a good host. This pool ... it's different. It's a different atmosphere here.

"But I'm in awe of any school that has a pool."

St. Viator, with a squad of four seniors and four sophomores, got a fifth-place finish from Ronan Valera in the 100 breaststroke (1:14.59) and another fifth-place result from Ricky Anesi (500 free, 5:56.63).

"It's a good group," said Miklius, who, as a Lions senior at a sectional meet in 2004, dropped 14 seconds in the 500 free to qualify for state with a time of 4:53.15. "I like their spirit, as swimmers and as students. They're all involved, super involved.

"It's nice to see them figuring out what they want to do with their lives after high school."

Notre Dame's Evan Wachula won the 100 backstroke in 56.34.

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