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Prep Athletes of the Year: 2012-13

What we wrote...

As soon as DeKalb-Sycamore swimmer Daniel Hein stepped up to the blocks for the preliminary round of the 100-yard butterfly at the state meet two weekends ago, coach Leah Eames could see a stark difference between the freshman phenom and his older counterparts.

Hein was seeded third in the race, but his competitors were much bigger, and Eames couldn’t help but look forward to the next three years, when he’ll grow, both physically and mentally.

“He’s got more growth as far as training potential goes and as a kid,” Eames said. “He’s a pretty small little guy as a freshman. … He’s definitely one of the guys to watch in the state.”