Breaking The Surface


The boys swim and dive team will kick off their winter season Dec. 2 at 5 p.m. in the Natatorium, facing off against Rolling Meadows in their first meet.

Athletes have been training since tryouts in late November, using basic warmups, technique work and drilling to prepare them for a season in the water. In terms of signups, participation has increased from previous years, giving the overall team 40 to 45 people in all, including 11 new members joining the roster.

“The core of our varsity team this year is made up mostly of sophomores and juniors, so we have experienced athletes returning, as well as two or three promising freshmen joining,” said John Valentine, varsity coach for the boys swim team.

Having a sizable team will likely be beneficial going into championships this year. This years competition consists of 10 home games and 15 away games. Competition may be difficult, both from high schools nearby and within the larger conference.

“Our number one competitor at sectionals every year is Stevenson High School,” Valentine said. “Historically, we have come in second or third place at sectionals to Stevenson. They not only have a strong swim team with big numbers, but also an exceptional diving program that racks up points quickly in meets.”

Since the rivalries with Stevenson and other schools can become intense, many athletes attend to both compete in events and cheer for their teammates. Senior diver Nolan Gute is one such athlete.

“The meets are really great to go to, especially since diving is just one part of the experience, and the rest of it is just sitting around talking to everybody,” Gute said. “It’s a lot of fun to be around the whole team at the same time.”

Non-athlete students interested in supporting the team can access the online version of the meet schedule on the Barrington 220 website under the Upcoming Events tab, linked here.

As Valentine and the team continue to prepare for the Dec. 2 meet and the rest of the season, their focus won’t be solely on winning.

“It’s more about progression,” Valentine said. “We tend to focus more on individual improvement, which involves all levels of swimming, rather than just focusing on individual achievement.”

Be sure to show up and cheer on the boys tonight at 5 p.m. in the Natatorium.