DeKalb-Sycamore boys swim coach Leah Eames had trouble keeping track of everything that happened at the St. Charles North Sectional meet on Saturday.
With several varsity records broken and four individuals and two relays moving on to the state meet, it was hard to blame her.
The co-op had the most productive sectional meet in Eames' coaching career, taking third overall as a team behind St. Charles East and St. Charles, both of which scored points through diving events in which DeKalb had no participants.
"That was really a strong finish, probably the closest we’ve ever come to the top two," Eames said. "Just about everybody we were hoping to get in [to the state tournament], got in their events together."
The co-op was led by sophomore Daniel Hein, who qualified for state in the 100-yard backstroke and the 100 butterfly, taking first in both events. In the backstroke, Hein set a new varsity record and broke the pool record at St. Charles North, finishing in 51.08 seconds.
"Daniel is somebody who isn’t rested at all for sectionals. He was going hard all the way up until Thursday this week," Eames said. "His times today were just really impressive to me."
Hein also was part of DeKalb-Sycamore's winning 200 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay that took third, but made the qualifying time standard. The medley relay of Hein, Ryan Schultz, Dylan Powers and Holden Mackey set a new varsity record and was about one second faster than their season-best time from last year.
The freestyle relay of Powers, Mackey, Jacob Bjork and Hein dropped more than three seconds to get under the qualifying mark, setting a new varsity record in the process.
"Hopefully the best is yet to come in that (medley) relay. We’ll see what happens when Ryan and Daniel are fully rested," Eames said. "We’re really looking forward to seeing what that relay can do."
Schultz placed second in the 100 breaststroke to qualify for state and was fourth in the 200 individual medley. Powers advanced to state by taking second place in the 100 fly behind Hein and was fifth in the 100 back, just missing the cut. Powers also set a new varsity record in the 100 free by swimming the leadoff leg of the 400 free relay in 48.04 seconds.
Bjork took third in the 100 breast, finishing in a career-best time to make it to state. He just missed in the 200 free, placing fifth.
That’s definitely something we’ll be looking for next year for him to get a second event individually," Eames said. "Today he was pretty nervous. Next week he’ll have nothing to lose."
Michael Carlson placed sixth in the 200 individual medley and Tyler Schultz was sixth in the 500 free for the co-op.
"I couldn't have asked for anything more from the guys," Eames said. "It was incredible swim after incredible swim."