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Boys swim earns 2nd straight Sectional Title, sends 7 to State

The+boys+swim+team+earned+its+second+straight+Sectional+title+and+advanced+seven+competitors+to+State+at+the+Pekin+Sectional+Meet+on+Feb.+18.%0ACoach+Heather+Budak+was+named+Sectional+Coach+of+the+Year+at+the+competition.+
Photo Courtesy of: Normal Community Athletics Twitter // @Iron_Athletics1
The boys swim team earned its second straight Sectional title and advanced seven competitors to State at the Pekin Sectional Meet on Feb. 18. Coach Heather Budak was named Sectional Coach of the Year at the competition.

The boys swim team took home first-place honors at the Pekin Swimming and Diving Sectional on Saturday, advancing seven athletes to the IHSA State Competition on Feb. 24-25.

Senior Josh Fujimoto, freshman Wade Pyle and junior Kenneth Wills led Community to its second straight Sectional title. The Iron scored 281.5 points, runners-up the Washington Panthers tallied 195, while the West Wildcats took third with 157.

Seven first-place finishes secured a trip to Friday’s preliminary round of the State Meet in Westmont for Fujimoto, Pyle, Wills, Sam Grojean, Kamden Malinowski, Josh Svob and Gabe Nelson.

The 200 medley team of Fujimoto, Pyle, Sam Grojean (’26) and Kamden Malinowski (’23) earned a place in history, breaking the school’s longest-standing swim record.

Since 2006, the 200 medley standard at Community had been 1 minute and 38.67 seconds.

On Saturday, Malinowski, swimming anchor, touched the wall at 1:37.55, breaking the previous record by more than a second.

The 200 medley was the first of four trips to the top of the podium at the Sectional Meet for Fujimoto. The senior won two individual events — the 200 freestyle (1:43.37) and 500 freestyle (4:37.35) — and was a member of a second first-place relay — the 400 freestyle.

The 400 freestyle relay team of Fujimoto, Svob (’24), Nelson (’23) and Kenneth Wills (’24) secured their trip to State with a time of 3:17.50.

Pyle will compete in three events at Westmont’s FMC Natatorium. In addition to the 200 medley relay, the freshman had individual wins in the 50 freestyle, tying with Pontiac’s Jacob Lucas for first (21.59) and the 100 freestyle (47.73).

In addition to the 400 freestyle, Wills will compete at State in two individual races. At Sectionals, he finished first in the 200 individual medley (1:57.03) and took 2nd in the 500 freestyle.

Wills finished behind Fujimoto in the 500 freestyle, but the junior’s time of 4:39.95 met State qualifying standards.

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