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DeKalb-Sycamore swim team exceeds its own expectations quickly

DeKALB – Marc Dubrick has been on successful swim teams with talented teammates in the past.

But this year, the DeKalb-Sycamore co-op senior is having more fun than ever, and the Barbs are better than they’ve been during his four years on the team.

“This is the most fun we’ve ever had, and it’s the best team that we ever had,” Dubrick said. “Right away, our team bonded. … They’re just a blast to be around.”

The Barbs are swimming so well that they beat Ottawa, 115-54, on Monday when coach Leah Eames decided she would put athletes in different events than they’re used to, simply to give them some variety.

The Barbs won every event except the 50-yard freestyle, in which Dubrick, normally a distance swimmer, was out-touched by .08 seconds.

“I kind of took a chance and switched up some of the events,” Eames said. “I just kind of wanted to give them a little something different … They have their main events, and our top guys have their best events that they’re training for for state. But at the same time, they’re pretty well-versed where tonight I was able to switch it up and still get the wins in almost every event.”

This year, the team is bigger than it’s been in recent years, and several freshmen stepping in to become some of the team’s top swimmers, including Jacob Bjork and Daniel Hein, who combined to win four events Monday.

Hein won the 100 and 200-yard freestyle along with the 200-yard medley relay, even though the freshman’s forte is the butterfly, while Bjork won the 100 breaststroke and the 200 individual medley. Dubrick won the 100 backstroke, while Michael Carlson won the 500 free and Dylan Powers won the 100 fly.

The Barbs expected to be good this year, but just how good they’ve become so quickly has been somewhat of a surprise.

“I was definitely expecting us to be good this year, especially with the freshmen coming in,” junior Ryan Schultz said. “I think we’re a little better than we thought.”

The Barbs swept the top three spots in two events on Monday – the 200 and 500 freestyle.

It’s that depth, along with ever-falling times, across the board that has Eames excited about her team’s potential this season.

“This is the deepest team that I’ve coached, and not just in numbers,” Eames said. “We’ve got more guys, numbers-wise, than I can remember for the boys program. We’ve got a lot larger team, but the depth is just huge.”

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