Sectionals is the biggest event for the varsity swimming and diving team. It took place on Saturday February 16th at Normal Community West High School. All the varsity swimmers from teams all around Illinois compete to get a state time. But for those who don’t get a state time, this meet is a showcase of all the hard work they have put in this season and they will try to achieve a time they have been shooting for all season. From the sectional team, the Ironmen produced three state qualifiers.
Brian Davis (11) scored a 405.75 and placed third at the sectional meet. To qualify for diving, you must place in the top 48 divers in all of Illinois. The diving competition took place of the morning of Friday February 22nd. For the preliminaries, athletes only have 5 dives to try and place in the top 12 to go on to finals. Davis placed 35th overall after prelims with a score of 150.55. “I was very happy with my performance and felt really good about it,” said Davis.
Lance Bergmann (12) was another state qualifier. He went to state in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 58.63. This time ranked him 7th overall in the state of Illinois. Bergmann placed 13th overall just missing finals with a time of 58.50. While displeased with his placement, his time was a personal best and broke his own school record. “Obviously, faster is always better, but realistically, yes I was very happy with my time,” stated Bergmann.
Erik Pinter (12) also qualified for state. He qualified in the 100-yard freestyle and the 200-yard freestyle. His time going into prelims for the 200-yard freestyle was a 1:44.18 and he was ranked 31st overall. For the 100-yard freestyle, Pinter ranked 24th with a time of 47.57. He added a little on the 200, swimming a 1:45.08 and ranking 36th. But Pinter dropped time in the 100 and went a 47.41 but stayed the same in the rankings.
Coach Heather Budak stated, “I was extremely pleased with their performance. Brian had some great dives at the State meet. As a second time qualifier, he was more relaxed and focused. Erik had fun at the meet. He approached State as the ‘icing on the cake’ and swam relaxed, raced well, and improves his 100 time. Lance was focused and prepared to race. He felt a little more pressure going in seeded in the top 12. We couldn’t be happier that he bettered his school record right behind such a drop at the Sectional meet.” Coach Budak was very happy with the varsity team’s performance at the sectional meet as well. She is very proud of the Ironmen swimming and diving team and is looking forward to another fantastic season next year.