Boys swimming: Fremd, Barrington tie for MSL title

By Bill Esbrook
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 2/11/2023 6:33 PM

The Mid-Suburban League boys swimming championship meet was at Fremd Saturday, and Vikings coach AJ Adams said that meant a lot to his team.

Especially Kurt Pennell.


"Kurt being a senior," said Adams, "and this being his last swim in our pool, he wanted to go out with a bang."

Pennell did just that and more, and his win in the 50 free in the time of 21.49 -- as well as leading the Vikings to victories in two relays -- helped his team to tie for the MSL title with Barrington.

Both squads finished with 228 points.

The Broncos were led by Rylan Anselm, who won the 200 free (1:42.87) and the 500 free (4:40.76), and its 400 free relay team, which won the final event of the afternoon to forge the deadlock with Fremd.

"He's been very focused on his goals since the beginning of the year," added Adams of Pennell. "He wants to medal this season in the 50 free at state, and he's been in the weight room this entire week, getting ready to have a really good taper for next week (the beginning of the state playoffs)."

"Kurt and Jaden Heinlein (a Fremd junior who won the 200 individual medley and the 100 backstroke Saturday) are captains on our team, and they demonstrate a lot of leadership. Jaden is a monster when it comes to swimming. He steps up when he knows he has to step up, and he's done that since he's been a freshman here."

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Szymon Mieczkowski of Schaumburg took the 100 fly in 51.05, and the junior said he was excited about competing in the MSL title tourney.

"It's a different mindset for these bigger meets," he said. "I really like racing at the higher levels."

Saxons coach Sam Gabriel added that Mieczkowski is "by far one of the hardest workers we have on the team."

"The coolest thing for me to see is his work effort," said Gabriel. "He's not only doing it the right way as far as swimming and (setting an example) for the younger guys on the team, but he's also getting the out of the water stuff right as well, and is getting rewarded for it."

Edgar Rutkauskas of Buffalo Grove was fastest of all in the 100 breaststroke (1:00.00), while teammate Holden Wheeler won the diving competition at 536.45.

Fremd's team of Heinlein, Eric Zhan, Aurelien Laffont and Pennell took the 200 medley relay, while the foursome of Pennell, Heinlein, Andrew Di and Tyler Franke were victorious in the 200 free relay.


The medal winning Barrington 400 free relay team included Lucas Bucaro, David Basa, Adam Gaffney and Anselm.

Bryce Loeger of Conant (47.24) took the crown in the 100 free, while Rolling Meadows sophomore Emmanuel Anguelov was runner-up in the 200 free.

"He's worked so hard in the offseason," said Mustangs coach Monika Chiappetta of Anguelov. "He wasn't satisfied at the end of last year, and his maturity this year has been unreal. It's showing in the pool."

The winning times for Fremd's Heinlein were 1:54.16 in the 200 IM, and 49.95 in the 100 back.

Prospect finished third in the team competition, followed by Meadows and Conant.

Schaumburg was next, and Saxons coach Gabriel talked about how important the Mid-Suburban championship meet is to the swimmers, as there were 10 pool records set at the opportunistic event.

"A lot of these guys have been on club teams together," said Gabriel, "they've raced against each other their whole lives, so when you get them all out here on the pool deck it helps bring you to the next level."

"We're having fun here, but there's also the competitive side. You want to beat the guy next to you."

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